Pursue different passions: Mentor’s experience on a double degree program in the States

It’s normal for students find themselves conflicted on which degree programs to pursue because of their vast interests and passions. It can get even more overwhelming because there are just too many alluring options. However, like one of our mentors, you are bound to discover a university that can allow you to pursue more than one of your interests.

Meet Mentor Michelle. Michelle is a senior from the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently pursuing a double degree in Cinema Studies and Business.

Since high school, she had always known that she wanted to study film and business. However, choosing to studying in a top university in her home country, the Philippines, would mean that she’d have to choose one.

Through research, Michelle discovered the possibility of pursuing both educational interests. Thus, getting into UPenn was something she set her eyes on in high school.

Coming from a high school that had no International Baccalaureate affiliation or a program for those interested in pursuing studies abroad, Michelle needed to stand out. Michelle was guided by mentors who helped her study for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and decide on an essay topic. Her mentors aided her throughout the entire process not just with requirements but with packaging Michelle alongside her extracurricular activities

Michelle recounts that the process was quite a pain and her mentors were hard on her. However, she gushes that it’s a process she would undoubtedly go through again.

Since entering UPenn, Michelle has had the chance to enjoy classes from two different schools–the Wharton School and the School of Arts and Sciences. Moreover, she also landed an internship for a film financing company after deciding that she needed to gain more working experience before graduating.

If permitted, Michelle intends to pursue a career in Hollywood where the film industry is very much established. However, she intends to come back to the Philippines and bring back whatever she has gained from her time in the US. Since most universities there do not offer a program similar to hers, Michelle hopes to drive change by establishing her own film school and studio.

For those who are interested in settling in the US after graduation, Michelle mentions that although job opportunities are few for noncitizens, this shouldn’t hinder you from pursuing a career there. There are still many companies willing to sponsor international graduates.

Studying abroad has allowed Michelle to gain access to an education program that isn’t available in her home country. Moreover, she was able to discover herself and be independent since entering UPenn.

Michelle’s story goes to show that the possibilities are endless. With adequate research, patience and determination, you don’t have to sacrifice one passion to pursue another.

If you want to talk to Michelle and get to know more about her experiences as a student abroad, register here and visit her profile!

Good luck and may all your dreams come true!


A Friend Abroad

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