• Explore Their Path


    Use this blog to learn about students, faculty, staff, and alumni in your majors of interest. Find Your Major Tribe!

  • Explore Stories By Major

Giovanna Echivarre-Morelli

Name: Giovanna Echivarre-Morelli

Major(s), Minor(s), Program(s): Performing Arts and Social Justice (Music), Dual-Degree Education, STEM Education minor

Previous Major (s), Minor(s), Program(s): Data Science, Music minor

What attracted you to your initial major(s) and minor(s)?:

When applying to USF, I wanted to go into a scientific field and learn how to code. I thought there would not be many women of color in the program, so I wanted a challenge and to prove to myself and others that people like me can belong. However, music has always been a part of my life. Though I did not see myself majoring in it, I wanted to still nurture my curiosity for it. Music intertwines through who I am and what brings me joy. I thought this major and this minor were a perfect fit for me.

What inspired you to change programs?:

My first semester was tough. I knew I was competent enough to code, but it wasn’t bringing me joy. When taking music classes I felt at home: I was excelling, curious, and felt -good- about new classes, even when they were challenging. I was putting more of a priority towards my minor than my major.

My second semester I also decided to enroll, on a whim, to a course called Introduction to Teaching. In this quaint, once a week course, I was learning pedagogy, self-care, and I was surrounded by like-minded people. I was excelling; I was having fun; I realized I could see myself as a teacher.

With the help of talking to new advisors (I walked right into the school of Education and set up a meeting with an advisor) and also talking to my professors, I was feeling more and more confident about switching my major. At this point I wasn’t to attached to a Data Science degree, even though I took half the Math courses required for it.

Of course the biggest thing holding me back was myself. I had doubts: Would my parents still support me? Would I graduate on time? Would my professional salary when I graduate provide a living wage?

I decided I knew what I was doing. And I had support from my friends, family, and staff at USF. Overall, I know it was my own decision to change majors and career paths, but I am so thankful from the support from my community.

What do you like best about your current major(s) and minor(s)?:

I like that I feel confident about my career path. I know I am getting the best help, and great advice from my professors, advisors, and peers.

I love PASJ because it has made a more engaged and humble person.

I love Dual-Degree because I can directly apply what I learn in PASJ to become a better teacher.

I love that my STEM minor allows me to take math and science classes so I can continue to discover and explore.

What is most challenging about your current major(s) and minor(s)?:

Time management is a big challenge. As I am double-majoring, I am usually stacked at 18 units every semester! However, I think I’m learning the hang of it.

Being in PASJ I want to be in every musical, every play, every ensemble. There’s not enough hours in the day, and many ensembles are 2 credits, of which I have no empty ones to offer.

What sort of internship and career opportunities have you explored?:

I have worked as a para-professional at a local private school. I had the chance last year to work with a special-needs student and lean about special-ed learning in the field.

I was also able to observe a local kindergarten class.

There are also so many opportunities to work in theater and music in the bay area, especially in SF, but I have yet to find enough time to commit to those internships.

What sort of extracurricular activities have your participated in?:

I have been involved in USF’s classical choir ensemble (UCCE) for 3 semesters. Creating a good relationship with the director helped me realize that singing was important to me.

I have performed with The College Players for 2 semesters, which is the student-led theater group on campus. There’s a lot of history behind this group and the community it fosters is inclusive and wonderful.

I have been involved with Chamber Ensembles for a semester which allowed me to focus on my instrumental musicianship skills. I plan on continuing this semester as in the class, we have different virtuositic groups that feature 3-6 people performing classical pieces.

I am joining USF Voices this semester to try something new.

I am joining the Liturgical Choir to pray and re-examine my Catholic faith.

All of these groups have introduced me to awesome people that support me and are a part of my daily life.

What resources helped you with your exploration journey?:

Going into CASA I think once, I was able to talk to an advisor and figure out the nitty-gritty of changing majors and what the process could be like.

Frequent CAPS visits allowed my to trust my therapist and tell them about my worries and new plans were.

And the “What-if” option on the Degree Evaluation allowed me to personally look at what classes I needed to take.

What advice do you have for students exploring majors?

You don’t have to be sure of yourself. It’s okay to change your mind multiple times. It’s a part of the college experience. It’s also okay to have an adult help you with your decision Don’t be afraid to reach out for support. People will be there for you.

Do what you feel passion about, not what you think will bring you the most success. If you succeed about what you are passionate about, you will be much happier as a student at USF.

Morgan Campbell, From Environmental Science to Water Sustainability

Morgan Campbell Profile in Scenic Outdoor SettingRead more about why Morgan Campbell, chose her major in Environmental Science and what she liked about it, “I have always felt the most comfortable in nature by a body of water. In high school, I took as many science courses as I could and loved learning about the scientific laws that govern the world. So studying environmental science seemed like a great way to mix my passion for the outdoors and my love for science into a meaningful career.”

https://www.usfca.edu/arts-sciences/profiles/morgan-campbell

Jake Bowen, From USF Math Degree to Analytics Engineer at Facebook

Jake Bowen Profile PhotoRead how Jake Bowen went from a major in Mathematics at USF to a job as an Analytics Engineer at Facebook. “The USF program offered a variety of math classes and some of those have been useful in my work since — notably, Linear Algebra. I’d advise anybody wanting to work in analytics to focus on linear algebra. Professor Paul Zeitz’s “Problem-Solving Seminar” is amazing for thinking about how to approach problems you’ve never seen before. However, what’s been most valuable throughout the years are the relationships I formed with the faculty.”

https://www.usfca.edu/arts-sciences/profiles/jake-bowen

Alyssa Pohahau, USF Computer Science Alumna Working at Square

Profile Photo Alyssa PohahauRead how Alyssa Pohahau, Computer Science alumna, feels her major at USF gave her an edge in getting a job at Square immediately after graduation.  She said, “Having a network of professors who were not only interested in a student’s success in a class, but also after the class was over, meant everything to me at USF.”

https://www.usfca.edu/profile/alyssa-pohahau

Janelle Nunez, Majoring in History While Pursuing Pre-Med

Check out this video with Janelle Nunez sharing how “really analyzing what makes me happy? and who am I?” helped her decide to major in History while pursuing a Pre-Med path. She also is minoring in Public Service and Community Engagement though she didn’t discuss that in her interview.

Video and interview by Karen Ver Trinidad and Alexander Flores.  Music by Bensound.com

Andrew Luong and Haley Johnson Switched from Science to Business

Check out this video with Andrew Luong and Haley Johnson discussing their decisions to switch to majors in Finance and Accounting after considering the future careers that they wanted to pursue based on their interests.

Video and interview by USF Office of Marketing and Communication.

Danielle Massis, Found Her Major Tribe in Accounting!

Watch Danielle Massis share why she decided to switch her major from Biology to Accounting and describe how she sat in a room with her new Accounting peers and realized, “these are my people!”

This interview with Danielle helped inspire the Explore Their Path blog and suggests how you might use this blog in your exploration process!

 

Video and interview by Karen Ver Trinidad. Music by Bensound.com.

XO Davis, Data Science Major

Name: XO Davis

Major: Data Science

Previous Major: Biology, Chemistry

What attracted  you to your initial major?: My desire to help people in the medical field by making them healthy and happy

What inspired you to change programs?: My performance in the Biology major wasn’t going as well as I would’ve wanted it to so I found it best to think of a new pathway to medical school.

What do you like best about your current major?: I like the flexibility the major offers and how it still gives me the option to have a minor with less stress instead of having a fixed schedule for the next years of college. This offers me the ability to have a bio major if I want to and take the prerequisites for medical school while also having a set major that will offer me a good career in the long run.

What is most challenging about your current major?: I can’t say so far because this is going to be my first semster with the major but if there is going to be a challenge then it will most likely be the intense math.

What sort of internships and career opportunities have your explored?: I have done internships in hospitals for the past 2 summers so that I can get a feel of how it is there and if I would want to still pursue that career.

What sort of extracurricular opportunities have you participated in?: Intramural Basketball, Many Hayes vs Gilson activities, Multiple sorority sport competitions

What sort of resources have helped you with your exploration journey?: CASA

What advice do you have for students exploring majors? If you aren’t really feeling your major by the first semster or you don’t know exactly what you want to do then don’t be stressed about it. In my opinion that is what freshman year is somewhat meant for, to get a feel of multiple majors by talking with friends and upper class men. If you aren’t a freshman then still expoloring your passions is better than sticking to something that you don’t genuinely like or love.