Grace HillMiddletown, NJ
Academic SchoolLiberal Arts, Management
When Grace Hill met with a Marist admissions counselor at her high school, she was initially struck by the College’s strong study abroad options. “I was intensely interested in having a study abroad experience,” she explained. Eventually, the business program sold her and she enrolled.
But things changed. Hill found her passion was economics rather than business and declared her major accordingly. She also realized that her ultimate passion was to teach economics at the college level, meaning a PhD program was most certainly in her future. Even though she was balancing an intense course load in economics and minors in both business and French, Hill set her sights on graduating a semester early.
“At some point, I realized I might not be able to fit in study abroad at all, even though that was one of the things I was most excited for as I started college,” she said. But Hill didn’t give up the dream; she decided to pursue a study abroad semester at Marist’s branch campus in Florence, Italy. “The Marist branch campus offered me a highly organized option and removed a lot of stressors. I could take required core classes while studying away.”
The experience was pivotal for Hill. “There are many Marist resources in Florence because it’s a branch campus. There were numerous Marist staff members there to help me make it work.” She was even able to further sharpen her French language skills through a few side trips to France.
During her time at Marist, Hill also participated in Toastmasters to hone her public speaking skills and spent two years in Gospel Choir. “That was very fun and the group had a great family vibe. I had no singing experience, so it was a different kind of activity for me.” Hill also worked in the Office of Institutional Research (IR). “IR is one of the best places to work on campus,” she said. “It increased my comfort with data and reports and allowed me to use them for professional work. My campus job is one of the best things I did at Marist.”
As she had set out to do, Hill graduated a semester early. She’s going to use the extra time to work on applications for graduate programs in economics as she makes her way toward realizing her long-term goals.