Tracy Kasale '18, MBA '19 came to UMass Dartmouth to earn her BA in economics and stayed to pursue an MBA with an option in business analytics. She began her undergraduate studies through UMassD's Navitas Global Student Success Program, a one-semester program that prepares international students for university studies in the U.S. She has subsequently served as a student leader for International Student Orientation sessions, helping new students learn about life on campus.
Tracy also founded and served as president of the UMassD International Student Organization and assisted in developing the International Student Speakers' Bureau with the Leduc Center, the International Student & Scholar Center (ISSC) and Navitas. The project involved international students sharing their culture with the local community at Our Sisters' School, the Boys & Girls Club of New Bedford, and the Fall River YMCA.
Friends from around the globe
The most rewarding part of my experience as an international student is living a life beyond my wildest imagination and being exposed to so many unique cultural backgrounds. To think that I can talk to a friend in the Philippines or visit a friend in Vietnam just seems like such a dream, but I get to live that every day. This experience has shown me how we are more alike than we are led to believe, and how the few differences make our world more enriched and interesting.
Lifelong connections & endless support
The benefits of the Navitas Program include the lifelong connections I mentioned above, but more than anything, right now, it is the endless support, even way after leaving the program.
Four years later, I still seek advice or references from Navitas, and they are always more than willing to help. It is a program that I will always sing high praises of, because they have been a big part of my UMassD journey.
A lot of my favorite experiences at UMassD occurred outside the classroom. I had a great time doing International Student Orientation and working in the ISSC. I have done this orientation from my second semester at UMassD with Navitas and then with the ISSC from then on, until this semester. There is just something about meeting people who are in the same spot you once were: just being there to let them know that it is going to be okay, and making them feel more at ease in their first few days here.
Also, working in the office and assisting students, seeing them develop, and following their journeys, was really amazing to experience. And working alongside the wonderful staff in the ISSC for four years made my journey so worthwhile. I consider them my family.
Focus on business analytics
One of the easiest decisions I've made was to complete my MBA at UMassD. It was a great transition from my economics degree. I had learnt the theory and human behavior behind people's and company’s decisions, and I wanted to balance that out by studying the business side of it.
I opted for the business analytics option because it ties in well with economics by providing more practical elements. Of course, what sealed the deal for me was that it could be done in a year, and that I did not have to take the GMAT or GRE because of my GPA.
Preparation for career success
Charlton College of Business, even in its design, gave me a sense of professionalism. Some of the professors whom I have had the opportunity to interact with have taken a keen interest in my career success and are willing to provide great advice and helpful resources. The events I was able to attend, such as the Santander Bank Info Session, helped me get a clearer picture of what kind of fields I would be interested in as part of my job search.
Student ambassador for economics
My favorite part of being a student ambassador for the Economics Department was sharing my experience with students who were quite unsure of what they wanted to do, and with other students who thought they had to have it all figured out.
The most important thing I'd say is: your experience is what you make it. There are so many opportunities on this campus that even I have not had the chance to take full advantage of. Many of the professors are as helpful as you allow them to be and take as much interest in your success as you do. You need to take full advantage of that.
Next steps: career focus
I plan to join the workforce and have been applying for different jobs. I received an offer to work with an insurance agency here in Massachusetts. It is a very exciting opportunity, but I am not settled on it yet, and I’m still searching. I would like a position that offers a good balance of both my degrees, so I can use my skills more efficiently.