Why I chose the College of Engineering and Applied Science at UC
UC felt like home when I first stepped on campus and here's why
The first time I stepped on campus at the University of Cincinnati it felt like home. That is the feeling that every high schooler, searching for a college to attend, aspires to feel. A place away from your familiar hometown that instantly feels like you have been there for years.
It's more than a pretty campus
As a prospective student the beautiful campus draws you in at first, but as you take a deeper look you realize it's much more than the buildings that make your college experience. Instead, it is more the connections you make in class, the walk with friends to a dinning hall after lab, and the activities you get involved in after classes are over for the day. That is truly where you will find the home away from home feeling that college first-years long for. UC felt like the perfect fit for me. It had the incredible Co-op program, it was not too far away from home, and it had plenty of activities to get involved in.
Fostering friendships and writing my college story
When I stepped on campus on move-in day, I could not wait to get started writing my college story. I knew friends from my high school and made many new ones too within the first few weeks. Fostering new friendships is one of the easiest ways to begin getting involved at UC. For me, I met so many friends pursuing different degrees and with different interests. I had plenty of friends to join me in going to work out at the Rec, exploring the city of Cincinnati, and walking to a nearby coffee shop to study. However, I still felt that I had a missing piece in this chapter of my story.
How I started getting involved around campus
After attending the Involvement Fair, I knew the missing piece was being involved on campus. University of Cincinnati has an extensive number of clubs for students to join and help them find their perfect fit on campus. So many different organizations caught my eye and I wanted to join everything possible. My advice is to get involved as early as possible but do not overwhelm yourself. So many clubs were of interest to me, but I started small at first to allow myself to acclimate to my course load.
At first, I will admit, I was overwhelmed in finding my perfect fit on campus and what exactly I wanted to be involved in. There were so many amazing options and I thought I had to join all the clubs I wanted within my first month of college. That is so far from the truth. As time went on, I was able to get more involved and balance my involvement with my classwork.
Rachel's pro tips to getting involved
A good rule of thumb when getting involved is to find at least one organization to join from the following three categories:
- Something professional and connects to your major
- Something you are passionate about
- Something new and out of your comfort zone
Find an organization that helps with your career goals
Getting involved on campus helps students learn beyond the classroom and on co-op. As a biomedical engineering major, I learned a lot in the classroom my first year, but my extracurriculars taught me a lot too. I learned a lot about networking and how important it is for building lasting connections and finding co-op positions.
Try out an engineering club
In September of my first year, I went through sorority recruitment and joined Phi Sigma Rho, a social, women in engineering sorority. Before getting to college, I had considered joining a sorority, but I did not know if I could balance it with working to get an engineering degree and being away on co-op. That was until one day I got an email about Phi Sigma Rho, and I discovered it was exactly what I was looking for. I needed a group of women that shared my passion for engineering and getting involved at UC. Being a woman in STEM can be challenging and finding a group of girls going through it with you can make it a lot more enjoyable.
Phi Sigma Rho helped connect me to women in all different engineering disciplines and in different steps of their college experience. Making connections with people older than you in CEAS is so worthwhile. They give the best advice, as they have taken your classes before, and they usually have a couple co-op rotations under their belt. It is also so important to have these connections during the co-op search. Having a support system is so helpful to reach out to when questions arise about applications, companies, and interviews. I encourage everyone to get involved in something that connects you to older (and more experienced) students in your major.
Search Instagram for clubs and things to do around campus
My first semester of my first year I also got involved in Delight Ministries. My roommate found the Instagram page for Delight at UC, and we decided to attend the first meeting together. Many clubs at UC have Instagram pages and this can be a great way to find new organizations to get involved in. Being engaged in social media can help you discover new clubs, see what they are all about, and know when their meetings/activities are. I encourage finding something to get involved in that helps you meet people beyond the ones in your major. When joining something you are passionate about, you share a common interest with others in the club, but it also allows you to meet people pursuing different careers than you are. I found this to be really great because it is equally important to have a group of people to build connections within your field and have a group to enjoy things together outside of the classroom. Delight offered me a group of girls to spend time with every week, get to explore the city together, and find the best coffee shops in Clifton.
I encourage finding something to get involved in that helps you meet people beyond the ones in your major. When joining something you are passionate about, you share a common interest with others in the club, but it also allows you to meet people pursuing different careers than you are.
Rachel Kaufman Biomedical Engineering, '25
It felt like my forever home away from home the more I got involved
As much as UC felt like home when I first stepped foot on campus, it felt much more like my forever home away from home the more I got involved. Going into my Sophomore year, I cannot wait to get even more involved in new clubs and further involved in the clubs I am already in by taking on leadership roles. University of Cincinnati has many things to get involved in and as my passions develop and change, I can join more organizations to grow with me throughout my time at UC. Getting involved my first year was the best way to start writing the college chapter of my life and will continue to be written in my time at Cincinnati and beyond.