Student Success Story: Megan Go

Megan Go (she/her/hers) earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychological Sciences and Communication with a minor in Global Studies at UConn in 2020. Megan received the Fulbright Student Grant to teach English in Taiwan; however, that got postponed to the upcoming year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so instead, she completed an internship with the student-run Climatepedia certification program. After Megan returns from Taiwan, she plans to pursue her master’s in education. Read more below about Megan’s journey through UConn and CLAS.

How did you choose your major, program, and/or minor (if applicable)?

I applied to the UConn School of Business as an incoming freshman. Halfway through my first year, I decided the business career path wasn’t for me. At that time, I was still debating whether or not I wanted to pursue a career in education. Eventually, I decided to stick with Psychology and Communication. I always found the study of people and their relations to be fascinating, and I felt like these fields of studies could be applied to multiple career paths, including education.

As someone who grew up in a different continent and with a background of traveling often, studying abroad was always on my to-do list. Ever since the informational fair I attended during my freshman year, I’ve been planning to study abroad in Europe during my 3rd year. While I was in the School of Business, I tried to squeeze in a minor in Global Studies but due to the sequence of classes I had to take, it wouldn’t fit in my schedule. I ended up studying in Prague (Czech Republic) during my 6th semester at UConn. Once I came back, I realized I might have completed some credits within the Global Studies minor. I talked to Krista Rogers, the advisor for that minor, and she helped me sort out my remaining classes. I enjoyed completing this minor since there were several courses that interested me within the discipline.

What did you do after you graduated? Please describe your experience.

I walked across my backyard to receive a diploma I made out of scrap paper on my supposed graduation date. Despite the initial disappointment that we weren’t getting a graduation, I tried to stay positive. Currently, I am waiting to leave for Taiwan for my Fulbright Grant, where I will be teaching English in the upcoming year (hopefully everything pushes through)! I plan to be involved with the community while I’m there by taking part in volunteering and learning more about my host country.

My original internship got canceled, so I ended up doing a 3-month internship with the student-run Climatepedia certification program. Through the program, I learned more about the issues within our changing climate, and created material for educating the public. I also took time to take free online classes with certifications in fields of study I wasn’t able to take at UConn due to the lack of time such as Essentials of Global Health, Language of Design, and Literacy Learning and Engagement in Uncertain Times. Most importantly, I learned that it’s okay to relax and I don’t need to be productive every second of the day. It was a huge shift from the mentality I had in college, as my days were usually booked from 8 in the morning until 11 at night. I was so used to being busy during my undergraduate years, so I never had the time to slow down. I took the time to work on my mental health and connect with my friends and loved ones. Getting social interaction was incredibly important during this time of isolation.

Once I returned from my time in Taiwan, I plan to pursue my master’s in education.

Please share two or three noteworthy internships, co-curricular activities, volunteer experiences, jobs, programs, or other degrees and certifications acquired that contributed to your current success.

I interned at The Loomis Chaffee School the summer before my last year at UConn. I was a teaching assistant in two classes along with taking on the responsibilities of a resident assistant and an advisor. It was my first time working in the education field, and I am grateful for this opportunity because it gave me the experience I needed working in a school environment. I met amazing coworkers and mentors who, until this day, still give me advice regarding my career decisions.

During all 4 years of my undergraduate life, I was involved with organizations under the Asian American Cultural Center. I volunteered as a mentor for both the Asian and Asian American Mentoring Program (AMP), which is a mentoring program designed for incoming freshmen and transfer students, and Kids and UConn Bridging Education (KUBE), which is a Saturday program designed for students in Grades 5-8 where they participate in activities that hone their literacy, art, and writing skills, while exploring a variety of cultures.

Did you overcome academic, career preparation, or job search obstacles during your time at UConn? How?

I struggled internally with what career path I wanted to pursue. A majority of members in my family are in careers in business so that’s what I grew up expecting from myself. I had to learn to distinguish the difference between what others wanted for me and what I wanted for myself. Exploring different organizations within the School of Business and CLAS, along with talking to advisors and people working in the field, helped me choose what was a good fit for me.

Please share if groups, organizations, or other resources at UConn contributed to your career success and how.

As mentioned, I spent most of my time in the Asian American Cultural Center on campus. Coming from a high school that lacked diversity, it was refreshing to meet more people just like me. I struggled with my cultural identity during college, so having this cultural center was a wonderful resource. Not only was I able to be involved in the Asian community, but I was also able to learn more about myself in the process.

I am a sister of Delta Phi Lambda Sorority Inc., which is an Asian-interest (but not an Asian exclusive) organization. I made plenty of connections through it, and I’ve gotten not only career advice, but a network of a wonderful support system.

Ever since my freshman year, I’ve worked at the Undergraduate Student Government as one of the Funding Student Staff. This was my first part-time job, and not only did I acquire working skills, but also wonderful coworkers and a network of knowledge.

What advice would you give to current UConn students who are looking to follow the same career path?

There isn’t really one specific, solidified path everyone needs to follow when pursuing a career in education. It’s never too late to think about getting into the field regardless of your major. I’ve always been the type to have my entire day and week structured out. I realized that isn’t the case when it comes to life outside of school. You don’t need to have your entire life figured out right away once you graduate. Make the most out of your resources in college to help you pinpoint your career path. While staying on top of your work, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses! Your undergraduate years will fly by, and sometimes a pandemic hits, making that time pass you by even faster.

What are some recent accomplishments and achievements you have received within the last year?

My senior year was a very fruitful one, which is why I was let down when the pandemic hit and we couldn’t continue with the rest of the Spring 2020 semester. I did an independent study under Jason Chang for the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute. My focus was on the history of Filipino nurses and their work during COVID-19. Ironically, it hasn’t been published yet due to the pandemic, but it was supposed to be made into a panel to be displayed in the Asian American Studies Institute.

I received the “Outstanding Senior of the Year” Award from the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Development for my work within the Greek community and beyond.

I graduated in the top 15% of my graduating class within the Communication Department, hence my Communication Scholar title, and finished my last semester with a spot on the Dean’s List. Last, and certainly not least, I received the Fulbright Student Grant to teach English in Taiwan.

By Erin McConnell
Erin McConnell CLAS Career Ambassador Erin McConnell