At the end of her junior year, allied health sciences major Megan Sargisian was uncertain about a future career. Despite having no background in insurance, she took a chance on a summer internship with Travelers in Hartford. The experience was transformative for her. She now has a job with the company outside of Boston, MA, waiting for her once she graduates in May 2020. Read more about Megan’s experiences as a UConn student.
What attracted you to UConn?
I started my college career right here in Connecticut at Manchester Community College (MCC). I had absolutely no idea what career path I wanted to take, so I thought community college would be a great place to begin to adjust to college life. It was a great choice because it put less pressure on my decision to commit to a larger school. Instead of going right from high school to a giant campus, I had two years to make that decision, all while completing prerequisite courses that could be transferred to virtually any college I wanted. By the end of those two years, my choice to head to UConn was a no-brainer. It was close to home for me and I gained a scholarship through MCC that confirmed my decision to attend.
What is your major, and why did you choose it?
I am an allied health sciences major. Honestly, by the time I made it to UConn, I still was uneasy about what my future career was going to be. I bounced around a lot of different ideas that all ultimately came down to requiring a science degree. Allied health sciences was the best fit for me. It is a flexible major with a multitude of opportunities. I am really pleased with my decision and I love the college I am a part of.
Which one of your UConn activities, internships or jobs was the most memorable? Why?
This past summer, I had the opportunity to intern with Travelers in Hartford. I was the ergonomics risk control intern and it was such an eye-opening experience. I learned about the internship while taking an ergonomics course in the fall of 2018 taught by [lecturer and academic advisor] Paul Bureau. Woody Dwyer, a representative from Travelers, came into the class and did a presentation about the internship. Little did I know he would be my boss in just a few months! I applied on a whim, not really having any experience with ergonomics or insurance, and still unsure about my career plans. I couldn’t believe it when I got contacted for an interview and was even more thrilled when I ultimately landed the position. This was by far the highlight of my entire career at UConn because I finally felt like I had direction. I felt as though the blanks had been filled in my path and I could start confidently walking towards my diploma and my career. The skills I gained during this past summer are ones I will hold onto for all my future endeavors and I can’t wait to continue working for Travelers when I graduate.
Name two other experiences that have enriched your studies.
Being a student at UConn and also living in Connecticut at first was unattractive to me. I was worried about seeing too many people I already knew and not meeting as many new people along the way. However, I have found that reconnecting with old high school friends has actually been the best thing. I have had the ability to take some courses by chance with people I grew up with while also expanding my friend group and creating great relationships. This has helped me greatly in that I felt confident working together and asking questions in my courses. I also took advantage of a lot of resources while on campus, such as the Q Center [Quantitative Learning Center] in the library and working with my TAs when I have trouble. This is something that I am grateful for because, without these connections and resources, I would not have been able to be as successful or confident during my time here.
What was the biggest challenge in your UConn career?
The biggest challenge I faced at UConn was the size of the campus. Coming from MCC, which has about 5,000 students total, to UConn was a bit of a shock. It was hard for me, in the beginning, to adjust to large class sizes and ask proper questions when I needed to. Once I took advantage of the resources on campus, however, and collaborated with new and old friends, I turned that around and was able to be more successful.
When do you expect to graduate? What then?
I will be graduating in May of 2020. I have already accepted a job with Travelers and will be working in Braintree, Massachusetts. My position with the company is Residual Market Risk Control Consultant, and I will be starting in June of 2020. I am eager to begin and also nervous about moving away from home. I have always lived in Tolland with my family and have always been a commuter college student both at MCC and currently at UConn. This will be a big change but already having a job out of school was the biggest goal I wished to achieve and I am very proud to say I have done so.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?
College was not an easy ride for me all the time. I think it is important for every student, new or old, to understand that things will work out. A year ago I was frantic about my career because I essentially had no plan and feeling pretty down about where I was headed. My grades were not perfect by any means and I felt as though I wouldn’t find my path. I had to keep reminding myself that that college isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it. Overall, what I have learned is that there is no rush because new opportunities are always out there. Understand that personality takes you just as far as good grades will. Be a kind person to others and yourself and be conscious of the connections you make. You never know who your next boss could be! Don’t doubt your abilities and give yourself credit because you can do anything you put your mind to.
This post originally appeared on Naturally@UConn on December 4, 2019.