Melissa M. Seif
Hometown: Beirut, Lebanon
"The leadership capabilities that I have acquired are priceless."
UMass Dartmouth is a landmark for encompassing diverse students—and allowing me the opportunity to get to know everyone and everyone to get to know me. It has a unique element in bringing everyone together. It took me three years to realize it, but as a senior I truly felt the "community" and "family" aspects that UMass Dartmouth offers.
I appreciate the AMAZING friends I've made at UMD. This campus served as the meeting point for us in life's journey; so I cannot but feel melancholy as I leave UMD. I'd like to express my gratitude to UMD.
The greatest challenge has been adjusting to a new culture and a new way of life. I'm a transfer student from Lebanon. The university I previously attended was an American university, so the language was not a problem; however, adjusting to a different country and different social mentalities was tough at first. I seized it as an opportunity and a self-assessment to future obstacles that may come my way.
Involvement in clubs and organizations has made my voyage through the UMD experience that much more enjoyable. I've been President of the Pre-Medical Society for two years and a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, Sigma Alpha Pi.
These experiences have opened the door to many job opportunities and further added value to my CV for graduate school. Because of these experiences, I've been honored with the Most Outstanding Woman of the Year Award at UMD.
The ultimate thing I recommend for students to participate in is the newly-formed Model United Nations club. It simply "brings the world to your hands."
Founding and acting as the Secretary General of the Model United Nations Program on campus this year has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. I was not only able to train students from different backgrounds and majors in UN protocol but was able to make the best of friends and grow as a person.
Acquiring new skills has also tied into my position in the Pre-Medical Society and my capabilities of becoming an International Orientation Leader as well acting as a Donald Howard Leadership Ambassador and Bronze Member. The leadership capabilities that I have aquired are priceless.
Enjoy the experience and savor every moment, the good and the bad ones. Take advantage of opportunities; they are out there—you just have to be willing and open to seize them. Also, meet new people, expand your horizons, and think outside the box.
Walk into campus as a freshman with a set of goals for your next four years, and always keep those in mind as you sail through, always striving to achieve them. Remember to have a blast while doing it—nothing lasts forever so enjoy it to the max!