Feature Stories 2017: Jennifer Legee '17: Peer mentor

Jennifer Legee working at desk.
Feature Stories 2017: Jennifer Legee '17: Peer mentor
Jennifer Legee '17: Peer mentor

As the Connect program's peer mentor lead, Jennifer Legee '17 helps other students discover their potential.

Discovering an interest in business

When I was choosing between UMass Dartmouth and another school, I felt that UMass Dartmouth had a wider range of majors.

Another deciding factor was that my mother, aunt, uncle, and cousin all went to UMassD, and they’re all successful with great jobs. I felt that the same would happen to me if I did well here.

I started with a different major. After I realized it was something I wasn’t interested in, I switched my major to operations management.

I knew studying business was for me because I’m good at math and would enjoy a 9 to 5 job. People I asked for advice said operations management would be a good fit for me because I’m organized, I like solving problems, and I have great people skills.

Finding success through the Connect program

I’m beyond happy that I chose to enter UMassD through Connect [an invitation-only, alternative admissions program]. By the end of my first year, I had a cumulative 3.8 GPA, and my family was so proud of me. I was excited to continue.

When I was invited into the Connect program, I was a little disappointed at first because the letter said I had been declined regular admission. I was upset, but after reading about the program, I decided to go to an information session.

Once I learned about the program, I decided smaller class sizes and extra help would be beneficial. I didn’t do well in high school, and I felt that college could be a chance to show everyone my potential.

Guiding students as a peer mentor

After I knew I could handle my classes, I applied to be a peer mentor for Connect. I thought the experience would provide leadership skills. As a peer mentor, I met with new Connect students once a month individually and twice a month in groups.

A year later, I was awarded Peer Mentor of the Year. I was proud of achieving this while keeping my grades up. After another semester, I was promoted to peer mentor lead.

It’s been a great learning experience. I’ve met with more than 100 students, and when telling my story, I’ve seen them picturing themselves in my shoes. They were once the ones who fell behind, but now it’s time to prove they can succeed too.

Planning a career in operations management

My goal is to graduate with a 3.5 or higher GPA and achieve Magna Cum Laude. Once I graduate, I want to become a store manager to gain more management experience, then work my way into operations management on the corporate side of the business.

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