Continuing our series featuring recent alumni is an interview with Jenn Lachell who graduated in May of 2015 with her BS in Marketing with a minor in Information Technology.
What are you doing now?
I’m working as an inside sales development representative at Skyhigh Networks. We assist companies in leveraging the cloud while maintaining their security and compliance requirements. Skyhigh is a startup headquartered in California and we have a little over 300 employees globally.
I loved the Rochester/Pittsford area enough to want to stay here after graduation. When I’m not working, I’m often exploring new coffee shops and hiking areas, golfing, and enjoying what life has to offer.
In what ways did your experiences at Naz prepare you for what you’re doing now?
Academically, Naz helped me develop my ability to problem solve, manage time, and pay attention to detail. These are traits I developed in the classroom and they have helped me be successful in my position at Skyhigh. There came a point in the first few months of my job where I was able to look at my job tasks and associate them to what I was doing for assignments in college. By making this parallel and incorporating study/homework habits, I’m able to efficiently complete my work and allocate my resources to the best of my ability.
In terms of extracurricular activities, there are a lot of opportunities on campus to explore yourself and what you enjoy – athletics, clubs, events, studying abroad, etc. Naz is full of opportunities to grow as an individual and I feel like my experiences certainly prepared me for the workforce. These activities contributed to building a foundation to be successful inside and outside the classroom – including the time management. Being involved opens many doors for you, allows you to view things from a different perspective, grow as an individual, and so much more. These activities have prepared me to be successful in situations that I didn’t have the opportunity to experience in the classroom (i.e. working with 20+ students in student government, planning campus-wide events, manage campus committees, internship experiences, etc.).
What is your fondest memory of your time at Naz?
I always find myself looking at the broader image rather than picking a single memory. With that being said, my fondest memory is looking back and seeing how much I grew over my 4 years at Naz. I remember graduating high school and being absolutely ready to go to college but I definitely struggled to create an image of where I would be in 4 years, not to mention I was very shy. Throughout my time at Naz, I grew as an individual, broke out of my shell, and was able to really define my values and who I am. When I met with prospective students as an ambassador, I found a lot of them were looking for an opportunity to grow and put their thoughts/feelings into action. I’m happy to say that my experience at Naz was one that I believe people look forward to in college.
What’s one thing about life after college that turned out differently than you expected?
I thought I was going to be a lot more stressed out in regard to where my life will go. Sure, there are times when I think about where I’ll be in the next few years when I have what I call a quarter-life crisis. The norm of society seems to be moving more towards changing jobs frequently and being involved in a lot of activities. I thought this would make me worry more about the next steps in my life, thus making me extremely stressed. I’m more or less trying to live life in the moment to enjoy what’s going on – I try to save my future worries for when I can spend an afternoon with a pot of delicious coffee.
As someone who’s been through the entire college experience, what’s some advice you have for incoming freshman?
- Get out and try new things. Sometimes you’ll have to try things on your own and other times you might have a friend or two – you’ll really discover who you are and what you enjoy.
- Visiting a professor during office hours is more than helping yourself in the class. When you meet with a professor one-on-one, you have the opportunity to network – professors want to see you succeed and will provide advice for your career.
- Ask questions and seek answers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in class – to be honest, you’re not the only one wanting to ask it. I’ve been in situations where I didn’t ask questions in the classroom due to not wanting to ask a “stupid” question. Not only did I not figure the answer, my confidence decreased and it took me longer to understand the next material that was based on previous material that I wouldn’t ask about. When in doubt, just ask.
- Everything will work out. There will be times where you’ll feel like the world is ending when you’re swarmed with assignments. The best thing to do is to take a deep breath, make a priority list, grab a few snacks, and tackle the priority list with the best work you can create. We all have different study habits and it will take a few times to truly “master” handling stress but there is always a common theme: everything will work out. At the end of the day, assignments have due dates and when that date comes, hand in the assignment and put a smile on knowing that it’s in the past.
- It’s okay to spend time by yourself to destress and rejuvenate – you’re going to be constantly around people (especially if you’re living on campus), find 1 or 2 things you can do each week on your own. Some of my favorites included going to the gym, walking along the canal, visiting a new park, and reading a book for enjoyment.
- Be yourself and stay true to yourself – you will find friends with similar interests and you will enjoy your time much more!
Read more of our alumni profiles here: Mary Bonomo ’15, Visual and Communication Design, Nicole Andolina ’15, Political Science and Legal Studies, Audrey Lawrence ’14, Social Work, Matt Maloney ’14, History and Spanish, Hayley Johnson ’15, English, and Kelsey Sweet ’15, Communications and Media