Over the next few days Crusader Today will be featuring a number of alumni who are graduating from college. If you know of someone, please contact Mr. Reyes in Room 215 so they can be featured on the blog.
Justin Lakkis, Class of 2014
Justin is graduating, summa cum laude (GPA>3.85) from Rutgers University New Brunswick with a Masters Degree in Statistics/Mathematics. Justin was able to complete a five year program in three years by taking maximum course work each semester and taking summer classes.
In the short term, he plans to work as a program management intern with a telecom company called Iconectiv in Piscataway. Long term plan is to pursue a PhD in Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania (Administered by Graduate Group in Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Perelman School of Medicine). Justin plans on starting my PhD program in the fall after my internship.
When asked what advice he would give to a graduating senior, Justin said, “First, study hard freshman year. Too often, I've seen people let their GPAs sink quite low freshman year. While transitioning to college, you are exposed to so many new things. As a result, freshman often get distracted and get poor grades in otherwise easy classes. They often regret it later on as they have to play "catch up" to bring their GPAs up while taking the harder classes in their majors. Secondly and even more important, keep an open mind and be active in the community. College is your opportunity to establish a professional network that spans beyond just your town or county. This doesn't mean you have to make everything a networking event. Go to clubs, check out events on campus, chat with professors, and talk to your fellow students. It's also your chance to be exposed to new things. Keep an open mind as you meet new people and progress through your college career.
Justin continued, “People often describe college as a "formative experience" because you are exposed to new people and ideas that heavily influence your perspectives for the rest of your life, but it can only be formative if you are receptive and let the experience be formative. Speaking from personal experience, Rutgers taught me a lot, and "formative" is an understatement of how much it has shaped me as a person.