Erin Dougherty, a New York native now attending college at Arizona State University, says she plans to work with children once she graduates. A junior in college, Erin has had opportunities to work outside of school, including a job where she was a nanny to a girl with high functioning autism. Erin credits that experience with helping her decide on a major because it changed her world.
Working with her and seeing her progress motivated Erin to work hard. As a Speech Pathology major, Erin is preparing for a rewarding career when she graduates. More importantly, Erin will continue to impact lives just as she did when she was a nanny.
Confidence built and paid forward
When I asked Erin who/what builds her confidence, she didn’t hesitate to tell me that her mom builds up her confidence the most! She’s always been her biggest supporter in anything she does—whether it’s sports or school.
“She has always encouraged me to follow my dreams and do whatever makes me happy and she’s always there when I need some advice or a pep talk!”
Erin hopes to be the same type of confidence-builder to her peers as a Cengage Student Ambassador. After using MindTap in her Calculus class, Erin didn’t hesitate to apply for the job—hoping she could help more students learn to access and utilize all the tools found in the program. After all, understanding leads to mastery, and mastery leads to confidence-building!
How to be a “grown up” during and after college
One final question I asked Erin was, “As a student, what is the one thing you think needs to be improved in education more than anything else?” Her answer was simple, yet important: Learning more life skills. Erin says, “We have no idea how to do our taxes. There was never a course in “growing up.” Erin believes that—like for many when they enter college after high school—people don’t know how to live after graduating college either. One important skill Erin says is especially important to learn is work-life balance. Her advice for incoming freshman is that your GPA is always important, but especially that first year.
“Make sure you find a balance between school responsibility and fun. It’s extremely difficult to build your GPA back up, but easy to shoot it down.”
Favorite movie: American Sniper with Bradley Cooper
What’s your spirit animal: Amy Schumer
Lesson learned: lots of friends will be made, only a few will become lifelong relationships and that’s OK!
Best spot on campus: the palm walk!