Double major: Political Science and Italian
How did you decide on your major?
My father was born in a small town in Italy called Lenola, and Italian is his first language. I have always wanted to learn but my high school never offered Italian. So when I arrived at Rutgers my first semester of my freshman year, I enrolled in Elementary Italian 101. From that point on I have taken classes in Italian every semester and even had the opportunity to study abroad in Ferrara, Italy. I knew that I had a love for the country itself but after a couple classes I was in love with the language as well and constantly wanted to know more.
What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?
I believe the best thing about being an Italian major is that it develops a skill that most majors do not. Learning a language opens so many more possibilities for conversation, employment and friendship that I could not begin to imagine what my life would be like if I had not studied Italian. The Italian Department takes pride in improving their student’s oral and written skills, because the faculty know that the possibilities are endless with the knowledge of a second language. What makes the Italian major such a fundamental part of my college experience is that it gave me enough training in two years to be able to communicate while I was studying abroad. It was an incredible feeling being able to take what I learned from the Rutgers Italian Department and apply that in everyday life through daily interactions. Italian allowed me to make friends with people that wouldn’t have been possible had I not known the language, and has opened my eyes to a completely different way of thinking. I could not possibly think of one negative aspect of majoring Italian.
Do you have a favorite class/professor within your major?
This past spring I took the Senior Seminar with Professor Andrea Baldi where we discussed various texts and films in great detail. I loved this class because it was the first Italian class I had taken since returning from Ferrara, so I was very confident in my Italian. The class is a higher level class which meant we studied material that was a little bit more challenging than previous years. We read a novel that is traditional taught in Italian high school a felt amazing finishing a full book in a language other than English. In Ferrara, I was able to take a class centered on the multiculturalism of Italy. This class was incredibly interesting because it offered a different perspective of Italy that most of us have never seen. We studied the immigration patterns into Italy and well as newspapers and laws created by the Italian government. This class combined both my majors of Italian and
Political Science which is why it stands out for me.
What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?
This summer I had the opportunity to intern for United States Senator Robert Menendez in his Newark office. It was incredible to see a glimpse of how our government works and to
contribute. It was a great way to get some real world experience while using what I have learned at Rutgers. During the internship, I was even able to use my knowledge of Italian. It is incredible how many times I have used Italian in unsuspecting situations!
What are your other Rutgers activities?
I am very involved with my fraternity Theta Chi and have represented them in the past in Dance Marathon where I was one of the top male fundraisers. I have also served as the Democratic Committeeman of Ward 6 District 4 New Brunswick.
What are your plans following graduation?
My plan is to apply to law school but I am constantly searching for jobs in which I can use my knowledge of Italian. I plan on applying for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Scholarship for the 2018-2019 calendar year with the hopes of being able to learn about other cultures and meet new people.