What a great year 2016-2017 has been. We have had a blast working with amazing freshmen at Loyola University and the University of New Orleans this academic year, and we can’t wait to meet the incoming freshmen class! We caught up with UNO’s Michael Fernandez to debrief the year and hear what advice he has to share as a rising sophomore. Check out his insights below!
Michael Fernandez, UNO Class of 2020, International High School Class of 2016
What made you choose UNO? What are you planning to major in, or most interested in studying right now, and why?
UNO was the closest school that had my major, Mechanical Engineering, and it was very affordable and close to home. The thought of working with engines and mechanical parts working together is why I chose this major. My love of cars started when I was young; when I first saw a red Ferrari F40. It sounded so loud and vicious, something that would put you back into your seat. That’s when I started my obsession with cars and engines and how they work. I can just look at a car and tell you what the model, company, and year of the car.
What’s the best part of your freshman year?
The classes. The instructors are really nice and informative, in the way they explain materials. It was easy to transition to UNO. It seems like I had a good framework of people I knew and people already coming here. It seems to be easy to catch up on what I should be taking for classes and which instructors to choose. It’s one of those universities that it’s not too big, so you can get to know the people on campus.
What challenges have you encountered this year, and what have you done to overcome them?
I’ve had a couple teachers that have been difficult. Some have not been able to communicate to students in a way that is understandable. I ended up coming together with other students to study and help each other out in that class.
This Spring semester, I wasn’t doing so hot in chemistry. It was the middle of the semester and seemed like things weren’t going to get better. I switched out of the class and picked up a philosophy class. It was so good and my GPA was saved in a mid-semester “Hail Mary.”
Can you talk a little about working with Ms. Erica through College Beyond? What about her coaching have you found most useful, and why?
She really helped me in getting a second opinion and thinking outside the box. For example, we were able to look at what we could do differently with my class load. That’s when I decided that I could drop chemistry and replace it with philosophy to save my GPA. Philosophy will also count towards one of my humanities credits that I need to fulfill for my major. It’s actually a pretty fun class too!
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? What are your goals after college?
Graduated and working as an engineer for an automobile company, that’s my dream job. I would love to custom design and build parts for specialty cars.
Hundreds of new high school graduates across New Orleans are about to start college in just a few weeks. You’re already through that process! What advice would you share with them?
Don’t wait until the last minute! You don’t have to have your mind set on your major and track yet but try to have a good idea of where you want to go. Don’t slack and don’t skip. It’s easy to skip auditorium classes but you’d rather not because you will be lost in the class.
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