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Wait that was first semester?

The first semester is coming to a close and Freshman Seminar is almost over. With presentations later on today, and just about one more class left after that. It has been a rocky semester, not necessarily in grades, but in terms of stress. Although the experience has still felt a little more lax than what I am used to, it should be noted the high stress-high competitive nature of my alma mater was not healthy either. At the same time, I have withdrawn out of a few of the clubs and organizations I joined at the beginning of the year, but I have found some sort of place at The Ticker’s News Department. It is some sort of solace to continue working in journalism.

How has your participation in the Community Service Project encouraged you to draw upon the expertise of faculty and staff?
This community service project has been one of the more odd projects I have undertaken in my academic career. It was not difficult per se, but it has taken some unexpected turns. Personally, I had no idea that public speaking was really difficult for a number of people. That was a real obstacle, and it’s something that was not well handled in the course.

In terms of looking towards staff for help and resources, Sam is always helpful with her feedback, and her criticism of the PowerPoint and presentation were of great use in tweaking them for the final presentation.

Which support centers have you utilized?
Well, fortunately for our group, we didn’t really have to go out of our way to utilize the facilities of Baruch to help us find a non-profit. We originally were planning on using the library to find something worthwhile, but since I remembered the organization thanks to my previous involvement it was relatively easy for us.

Have you joined a student club?
As I mentioned earlier, I am a contributing writer for the Ticker, hopefully moving forward with becoming a senior writer. I was part of the USG, but I have since been on leave, considering the Tuesday time slot for meetings were not terribly convenient. I do intend on returning when that time becomes less busy. I was also part of the Wall Street Club for a good month and a half, but it got a little stale and I left. What I look forward to is starting the east coast swing/lindy hop club I’ve been preparing in the spring. (If you’re interested in joining or mentoring, please let me know by all means!)

Describe how using these resources for your team project has given you an edge in your other courses and your future success at Baruch.

Well the Freshman Seminar course did introduce us to the Newman library’s most important resource: their databases. The databases are some of the most valuable things a Baruch student could have. The one class we had really demonstrated how to utilize the databases of journals and scholarly articles we need for other classes.

How has your understanding of community service evolved as a result of your participation in the Project? Where do you see yourself in the next 3 years?

To be honest, I have not have much of an evolution of thought in regards to community service. I have always been of the belief that given the time to do so, it should always be something responsible citizens of any society should pursue. Even a basic belief in karma would demonstrate the value in doing so.

As for the next three years, I’m not entirely sure where I will be. There are a lot of things that could happen in between now and then. I might be Baruch’s number one fan by then, or the complete opposite. And that would dictate where my place in Baruch would be. Outside academia, I do hope to be pursuing a job/internship in the financial services industry that I’ve always seen myself doing.

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Deadlines are the bane of my existence

My apologies, this should have gotten here much earlier. Unfortunately, I myself forgot to keep track of my own religious holidays.

What does it mean to serve your community?

I don’t like community service requirements. Personally, I loved the fact my former high school didn’t have a community service requirement. This does not mean I detest community service nor does it mean it has very litte value to me. Instead it’s the opposite.

Helping foster community and improving the lives of others should come about organically. Truth be told, I like it when I see a friend doing something they’re passionate in, and invite me to join for a weekend event. Or that a group of friends I know spends their weekends at random Key Club events, and since I have nothing better to do, why not? The organic way of carrying out community service provides more fulfilling experiences for both the volunteer and the organization. At least, as far as my knowledge tells me.

It’s a sad day and age where people do not find it in their own interests to give back to their community. In a model where community service is not imposed, it also brings out the best out of individuals. It becomes easy to recognize who acts for the greater good as well.

My own experience with community service is that I do whatever is needed. If there’s a cause that needs to be fought, then I will fight for it. I have done it for high school, and I’m sowing the seeds for Baruch. I have helped start a nonprofit that works to raise money for high school activities. Aside from that, I have been working for the community in rather random acts of kindness, be it route marshaling for the triathlon or cleaning up parks. It feels especially good to know when you’re doing something good, not because someone asks you to do it, but rather it’s just something you do.

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To be honest, I don’t exactly like the idea of blogging for a public I don’t know. I have blogged before, but never for a class and never did I expect it to be personal in this sense. But one does what one needs to for a grade.

Where have I been?

I grew up in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. It’s a neighborhood that’s primarily middle class African-American, with a surge in middle class whites over the past decade or so. There’s a vibrant student population, from the Long Island University Brooklyn Campus, St. Joseph’s College, and Pratt University. There’s also about 4 public schools and two private schools in an 8 block radius or so from my apartment building, 3 of which I have attended. The public schools are some of the better ones in this part of the borough, so it attracts some kids from other neighborhoods to its population, largely comprised of children from Fort Greene, Clinton-Hill, and Bedford-Stuyvesant.

So I spent most of my childhood in the neighborhood, with outings occasionally to Jackson Heights, where my parents met with other Bengalis to congregate. It’s also where I spent a great number of years at test prep, preparing for important tests and the such. I grew up amongst an African-American and Hispanic community with a few Koreans and Chinese on weekends.

I spent the last four years at Stuyvesant High School. I can’t exactly sum up the experience in words, but it was immense. I made myself known in a school of 3,000+ and it wasn’t easy nor was it always pleasant. But it was done, and I could not have been more proud of anything else in my life.

So that’s where I came from.

Where am I going?

If you asked me this question one year ago, I could give you a straightforward answer. Now, I’m not so sure. My end goal is the same, if that interests you. I want to open my own financial services firm in about two decades. I am very convinced of what I want to do eventually. What concerns me, however, is how.

I’m giving Baruch a fair chance to enthrall me this first term. I’ve joined a few clubs and I have attended my first meeting at one. It seemed interesting. I’m a fan of having Friday off from school (for the time being anyways). I appreciate the Macbook. Having to not pay tuition and getting extra aid is always nice.

I’m not exactly enjoying the lack of clubs at Baruch. I’m not enjoying the lack in school spirit (although admittedly, I’m no stranger to it). I’m also waiting for the college challenge to kick in. Perhaps high school had me expecting more from college.

So where I’m going is still very much up in the air.

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