Serena Bailey is a Psychology/Childhood Education/Special Education major from Newburgh, New York.
What made you decide to come to Marist?
I originally chose Marist to participate in the Freshman Florence Experience (FFE) and came in undecided freshman year. I was really unsure of what I wanted to major in, but all of my work experience up to that point had been with children - tutoring, summer camp counselor, etc. While I was studying abroad in Florence, Italy, I started volunteering at a local elementary school teaching English to young Italian students, and I realized how much I loved working in that kind of setting. I declared my major as education later that semester.
What was your favorite part about the Marist experience?
FFE will always be the pinnacle of my experience at Marist. Being able to go abroad my freshman year was such a privilege, and it really shaped how the rest of my years would play out. When I was looking at colleges my senior year of high school, I just wanted to get as far away from my hometown as possible, so I was looking at freshman year abroad programs. Not many places offer that, but Marist did so I kind of chose it based on that (and the scholarships). It was a pretty comfortable transition because Florence has such a large student population, and I was able to indulge in my newly found independence and make really lasting friendships with the people I met there.
What are your plans for after graduation?
At this point, my plans for after graduation are really fluid and will likely change, but there are some big ideas in the mix. I’ve applied for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in the Czech Republic and made it to the second round (shout out to Pat Taylor in Career Services for being an amazing Fulbright adviser). If I’m accepted in the final round, there’s a chance I will be spending next year in the Czech Republic teaching English, which is a really exciting possibility. As I’m completing my NYS teaching certification, I’ll have to get my master’s degree within 5 years. For that, I’m most interested in studying multicultural education, possibly in San Francisco or a university abroad. I’d like to get right into a job post-graduation though and get some practical experience before I start my master’s.
Any advice for high school juniors and seniors considering Marist?
Consider the college experience you want to have and what would be most important. I didn’t have the average freshman year experience, but I never regret the decision I made to go abroad. Look at events, clubs, and lectures happening on campus and think about if those things interest you. The academic part of college is important, but whether or not you have meaningful or fun activities filling up the rest of your time can really affect your outlook on college overall. Create the spaces that don’t yet exist - you can also affect the college in a positive way!
Written by Shannon Donohue '17
Profile Tags:Profile Type: Alumni
Major: Childhood Special Education
Academic School: Marist-LdM Florence Branch Campus
Campus: New York