Christopher Wojick is a senior majoring in landscape architecture. He is a CAHNR Ambassador and was a Freshman Year Experience mentor for the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture. He has also interned at the Janice Parker Landscape Architects firm. Here is what he said about his time at UConn.
What attracted you to UConn? As a high school student, UConn was always my dream school. My entire family attended the university, it is one of the best ranked public universities and was the most affordable option.
What is your major, and why did you choose it? Coming into UConn, I started as an ornamental horticulture major. Although it was incredibly interesting, I ended up realizing the major wasn’t my true passion. After two years and earning an associate’s degree in ornamental horticulture, I ended up switching into the landscape architecture program. Once I walked down into the studio and saw all the students and design work, I was sold. From a young age, I knew I loved all things outdoors while also holding a keen eye for design, so the transition made sense.
Which one of your UConn activities, internships or jobs was the most memorable? Why? This past summer and winter break, I was fortunate enough to have an internship with Janice Parker Landscape Architects in Greenwich, Connecticut. After working for months at the firm, I gained incredible experience and was constantly engaging with professionals in the field. The working world was a shock at first, but, eventually, I realized I chose the right profession. The work was incredibly exciting from field visits to high-end residential design.
Name two other experiences that have enriched your studies. Becoming a UConn CAHNR Ambassador was a great experience. I was able to interact with other people in the College while also helping both current and prospective students find their way and grow as individuals. It also put me in close contact with the academic programs office and other faculty in the College, which made it feel all that much more like home.
In my second year at UConn, I had the opportunity to act as a Freshman Year Experience mentor for the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture. I mentored 16 students weekly, both inside and outside of class. It helped me improve my public speaking skills while also assisting underclassmen to adjust to the University.
What was the biggest challenge in your UConn career? Balancing my time spent at UConn was my biggest challenge. Do I sleep, socialize or study? I found that a delicate balance of all three is essential. Keeping a planner nearby and only socializing when I had all my work done was the first step toward my success.
When do you expect to graduate? What then? I plan to graduate in May of 2019. I hope to take a couple of months to travel and then dive right into my career. I am already preparing job applications and hoping for the best!
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you? The last piece of my college career that not many students talk about is financial strain. I was fortunate enough to have a lot of my college tuition paid for through scholarships and my parents, but I was still held liable for the rest. At a time of such academic stress, I regularly had a hard time justifying all the money that was disappearing one semester at a time. Getting two on-campus jobs and working over the summer months always helped me get through it, but it never felt like enough. The point to be made is that finding a work/school balance is another essential piece to the puzzle of attending not only UConn but any university!