What has been the most rewarding part about working at the Sanger Center?
The most rewarding part about working at the Sanger Learning Center has been meeting new people who I might end up working with in the future, and learning more about how different people learn. It’s always exciting to figure out ways to work with people who think so differently, and to discover different ways of teaching the same material.
Tell us about a time you worked with a student (or group of students) and were particularly proud of the outcome. What happened? Why was it special?
During my first year with Sanger, I did one-on-one sessions with students. One student in particular came to visit me once or twice each week because he was having some anxiety about learning the material. We worked a lot on making sure he understood all the concepts to do well on his exams. Later in the semester, he interviewed with Microsoft and got an internship his freshman year of college. When he got the offer, he immediately told me about it – I was incredibly proud of him. He inspired me to move into the Supplemental Instruction program the following year for computer science and help even more students reach their goals.
What do you think is the biggest myth about learning/studying in college?
I think the biggest myth about learning and studying in college is that procrastination isn’t a big deal. I’ve seen a lot of students not being their projects until one or two days before it’s due, sometimes because they feel like they work best under pressure, and sometimes because they just don’t think it would take very long. When students email me about how they aren’t doing as well as they could be because they procrastinate, I advise them to use a calendar to give themselves time each day to work on the subjects they need. It’s amazing how managing your time on your phone improves the quality of work each student produces. And yes, I do this for myself too!
Tell us about an academic challenge you encountered when you got to UT. How did you handle it? What advice would you give to someone in that same situation?
Last semester, I had a crazy two-week period when I had to fly to two different cities, had three projects due, and two exams to study for on top of all that. I knew I would be really busy while I was traveling, so I did as much as I could to finish most of the projects, and started studying 10 days before the exams. During my travel, I scheduled a couple of hours a day to work and study on what I felt needed to be done. I treated my schedule as a puzzle of hour long blocks that needed to be filled with something productive. My advice for these crunch times is to use time management to be organized and productive. If you have multiple exams on the same day in the same week, start studying early, and definitely don’t just cram the night before.