Meet Jenna Steffl!
Originally from Alexandria, MN, Jenna’s a 2014 graduate of the now-former Jefferson Senior High in “Alex.”
Jenna started on her path to UMD after a brief one-semester stint at a similarly-sized 4-year university when she transferred to Duluth for spring semester, 2015.
Today? Jenna’s a senior at UMD studying Human Resource Management with a Biology minor. She anticipates her degree will land her a job as Human Resource Specialist for a large company when she graduates.
When asked about her favorite thing about Duluth, she was quick to answer:
“There’s so much to do! I love to go down to Leif Erickson Park and the Lakewalk and talk a walk to relax and de-stress from a long week. It never gets old!”
Jenna’s favorite thing about UMD?
“Again, there’s so much to do! It’s so easy to find out about all of the events going on around campus. I love all of the posters that we have everywhere!”
LOVE IT! Here’s Jenna’s full UMD transfer story!
So, what was your reason for transferring?
“My first university wasn’t a good fit for me. I didn’t feel like there was a lot for me to do around campus and the city that the university was located in didn’t feel like home. It was a great school that lots of people love, but it wasn’t the place I wanted to live for the next four years.”
“Very simply, I love Duluth! It’s a great college town with so much to do. There’s always an event going on around campus or in the community, there are a ton of parks and places to enjoy outdoors, and I really enjoyed the size of the campus.”
What was your transfer experience like?
“So easy!! I couldn’t figure out how to apply initially, so I called the Admissions Office and spoke to a counselor. They took care of everything and I was able to email or call to follow-up with her on my acceptance, housing, and scholarship consideration as well. She was the best!”
How did you feel when you arrived on campus?
“When I arrived on campus, I was terrified. I remember sitting at Arby’s with my parents when they dropped me off and crying. I was so scared about starting over again. When I got back to my room in the residence halls; however, the girls on my floor welcomed me with open arms. They never let me eat alone and always invited me to hang out on the weekends. I’m still friends with them to this day and even live with a couple of them. I tell them that they adopted me and made UMD feel like home. I was also glad that UMD had a Winter Welcome for transfer students. The fact that I had an event to go to and knew that I would be able to learn the essentials of the university made me less nervous.”
Are you involved in any clubs/organizations?
“I am involved in the Tour Guide Program through the Office of Admissions and am slowly starting to get involved in things that are related to my major since I just changed it to Human Resource Management. I’m excited to make it to more meetings for the Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM) and Women in Business. For SHRM, I participated in a mentorship program last spring. This program paired me up with an HR professional from the community and I was able to meet with them over the course of the semester to learn more about her job and the HR profession. Through Women in Business, I was able to get a tour of the new Maurices headquarters in downtown Duluth. We then had a question and answer panel with current Maurices employees.”
Did you hear about or are you involved with any internship-related activities?
“Last semester through SHRM, I was involved in a mentorship/job shadow program. I was paired with an HR professional in the Duluth area and was able to learn about their job and see what they do on a day-to-day basis. It was a really great opportunity to help me figure out if this was for sure the right career path for me.”
Do you work on-campus and/or off-campus?
“Yes, I work as a Tour Guide Coordinator for the Admissions Office at UMD. As a Tour Guide Coordinator, I am responsible for checking in visitors as they come to campus for a tour. I supervise and act as a Teaching Assistant for the new tour guides on their Moodle site, and I also help answer questions and concerns of people who are trying to schedule a tour at UMD.”
Who is your favorite professor at UMD and why?
“My favorite professor I’ve had is probably Lyle Shannon. He was my human anatomy professor and the semester I had him was his last semester at UMD before he retired. He wore Hawaiian shirts to class all the time and had a unique sense of humor that always kept you on your toes. On our last day of class, students who had him in previous semesters came, someone raised money to buy him a new Hawaiian shirt, and we all gave him a standing ovation. It was a really cool experience to be a part of and see how many students’ lives he’s influenced!”
What has been your favorite class so far?
“My favorite class so far has been Genetics! Although it is no longer in my major (just my minor), I absolutely loved learning about it. It found the topic fascinating!”
What has been your best memory at UMD?
“My best memories at UMD are the ones made just goofing around with my roommates. The best part about college is getting to live with your best friends. We’ve had endless late-night baking sessions, TV binges, and spontaneous hiking adventures. These are my favorites because they’re always too much fun. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, just getting to know my friends better and making memories that will last long after college is the best way to spend my free time.”
What do you plan to do after graduation from UMD?
“I hope to find a job in the Twin Cities area. I don’t have a super specific plan though, and am open to all opportunities at this point. Right now I’m keeping my options open and hoping to find something that is a good fit for me.”
What would you have done differently when choosing a college?
“I would have focused more on the city and location of the schools I was considering. I didn’t realize that this city would be my home for the next four, possibly more, years. I only thought about the majors they offered. When in reality I’ve changed my major 3 times and what I thought I wanted to do as a senior in high school is completely different from what I am doing now as a senior in college. I should have realized that as long as the school has plenty of major options, I would be fine. I love the location of UMD and the city of Duluth, and it’s ultimately why I came here.”
What was your biggest fear about transferring and how did you overcome it?
“My biggest fear was having to start over again. I was scared to learn a new campus, make new friends, and navigate a new city. To get past this, I focused on baby steps. It’s not going to come all at once. I would try and talk to a new person in each one of my classes and get to know them. I would explore campus and the city on my own and learn where everything was. I had to remind myself that not everything is going to come at once and that I would get the hang of things eventually.”
Do you have any advice for other students who are considering transferring to UMD?
“I would say to just do it! The hardest part for me was committing to come here. Once you get here, getting involved in clubs and other activities is easy. Everyone I’ve met is super eager about getting people to join their clubs and organizations that there’s no way you shouldn’t be able to meet people like you and make friends.”