Eliana Stavrakis


Rutgers 2022

Major:Italian and Finance with a minor in Modern Greek

How did you decide on your major?

I started taking Italian classes in seventh grade and it was, by far, my most favorite subject in school. By the time I got to college, there was no question as to whether or not I’d continue learning the language- Italian was a must. I had always wanted to be a lawyer, so over time, and especially after studying abroad in Rome, I decided I wanted to become an international lawyer so I could mix my two favorite things into one.

What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?

I love Italian because it has opened an endless amount of doors for me. I have made so many friends in Italy who don’t speak much English, so I really am able to connect with people who I would not have been able connect with otherwise. Language learning is truly a blessing, because you become so appreciative of the world and its diversity around you. Experiencing new language, culture, and people is so fulfilling and rewarding. I also feel so at home with our Italian Department. As a finance major, I know how cold college can be, but the warmth of the Italian Department makes up for it. The professors and faculty are amazing and the most supportive people at Rutgers, and I really mean that!

Do you have a favorite class/professor within your major?

My favorite teacher to work with throughout my time at Rutgers has been Federica Soddu. Federica has taught quite a few of my classes, so we have an amazing friendship that I am so grateful for. She is so caring of her students inside and outside of the classroom, and my study abroad trip to Rome would not have been the same without her. She pushes me harder than anyone else and challenges my Italian so I can be the best speaker I can possibly be. Unlike other courses at college, Federica and the rest of the Italian Department always made class something to look forward to, and I will miss our classes so much.

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

Outside of Italian, I also study Modern Greek, which is super fun. Taking Italian allowed me to realize that I have a knack for languages, so I figured I shouldn’t stop at just one. Outside of my Greek and Italian classes, I have begun self-studying French, Spanish, and German.

What are your other Rutgers activities?

I have been a sister of Phi Mu since my freshman year. Last year, I had the pleasure of being our Director of Harm Reduction and Prevention.

What are your plans following graduation?

Next semester I will be attending law school. I hope to become an international corporate lawyer. My ultimate goal is to work in-house for an Italian-American company!

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