Grad Profile: Susana Venegas

Susana Vergas will be leaving WOU with a degree in Social Science with a focus in Criminal Justice and two minors in Forensic Psychology and Spanish. Originally from Salem, Oregon, Susana is a proud first-generation student who attended all her four years at WOU.

Why did you choose WOU?

Western was my first college choice because of the small community and smaller class size I didn’t want lecture halls. I also wanted to be able to walk from class to class rather than drive or bike around campus. I also received a scholarship to attend Western Oregon University and I took that as a sign.

What do you love most about WOU?

I love the professors I’ve had the opportunity to work with. The professors truly care about the students and their success. You have one-on-one contact with them, whether it’s asking a question in class, seeking clarification regarding an assignment, getting thoughtful input from them or making connections that assist in the transition from the classroom to the professional world, the level of personal attention is here. I’ve also had amazing advisers who have helped me stay on track! Anna Hernandez Hunter and Mark Henkels, thank you!

What do you love most about the major/minors/degree you completed?

What don’t I love is the real question. I have a passion about the criminal justice field but I also enjoyed taking political science classes therefore social science was the right fit for me. It gave me the flexibility I needed to be able to take all the classes I wanted to take on both sides of the field. One of my minors is forensic psychology,  it’s hands down my favorite! I wish there was a major because I would be all about it. I love Professor Dr. Powell, she has taught me all about psychopathy and the criminal mind. The classes can be a lot of work but trust me it’s all fascinating! My Spanish Minor was the most difficult one for me but I love how challenging it was because it pushed me out of my comfort zone and ultimately I gained some confidence.

What do you know now that you wish you knew your first term in college?

That life isn’t about finding yourself it’s about creating yourself! It all begins and ends in your mind.

What is your favorite spot on campus and why?
I love the red couches at the WUC because they’re so comfortable and I enjoy listening to random people play the piano.

Did you have any funny mishaps or moments of confusion when you first started at WOU?

Of course I show up to the “NPE” building thinking it’s at the wellness center because it’s the “New Physical Education” building right…Nope! It’s actually the old
PE building but it’s called new. Yikes, that was confusing as a freshman. I felt lost but hey I’m here now. What’s the most important lesson you learned about yourself while in college? Going beyond the books by gaining confidence and overcoming my fears. College wasn’t always easy but being confident in myself enable me to continue to grow and demand more.

What have some of your extracurriculars been?

I’ve had two internships on campus that have significantly impacted me on campus. I was an intern for Human resources and a Peer Career Advisor for Service Learning Career Development. Both job opportunities have helped me develop professional relationships in which allowed me to deepen my knowledge and expand my opportunities. For example these jobs have enhanced my persuasive communicating and writing skills. This helped me not only outside the classroom when networking but also on campus with professors and staff. Being able to articulate sufficiently in writing and verbally is significantly important. I have gained these skills through my on-campus internships in which have also exposed me to potential employment opportunities.

What has been your biggest achievement, success or accomplishment in college?
Receiving the job offer I wanted after graduation!

What will you miss most about college?

Oh man! This is a tough one because I feel like I already miss it! I will miss the freedom it comes with being a “college student,” that label itself gives you the flexibility to be whatever, wherever you want to be in the given moment. If you’re having a bad day, you can just go take a nap, maybe pick up some coffee or go to the gym. The freedom of having to do whatever you desire at any given moment. I’ll tell you why this is the only time in your life you have this option because when you have a real job you have to go to work or else you face consequences like getting fired. You also actually have things to do there (hopefully). Okay and the coffee consumption it’s perfectly acceptable to spend your life savings on coffee while in college.

What advice do you have for current and future Wolves?

Actions are powerful, yes knowledge is too but your actions will get you the results. Go for whatever your heart desires and commit to the work. Be disciplined enough to want to work for more. Believe in yourself, be patient and consistent. Trust that each outcome is for the best. No one actually has it figured out…we’re all just trying to make it work. Do what best work for you, do not be afraid of failure just stay on your lane and enjoy the ride.

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