June 11, 2019
Anna Gamelo is a 2019 graduate with a degree in experience architecture from the College of Arts and Letters. The following student view was repurposed with permission from the College of Arts and Letters.
Between interning and travelling abroad, classes and being a Big Ten student athlete, I have experienced so much during my time at Michigan State University.
I first became interested in MSU when I learned about its experience architecture program. It suits my interests more than classic architecture, but it does involve the work of an architect — just not in the same way.
A strength about the program is that you are able to work on projects that actually interest you. In each class, you can personalize your projects to an extent that allows your creative mind to express itself. I believe that is my favorite part about being in the major.
I also enjoy the fact that XA is a smaller major, allowing me to connect and interact with classmates and professors more. It’s fun growing through this major together and being able to know almost everyone in all your classes.
The skills I have gained from my classes, like pitching ideas, doing constructive research, meeting deadlines, group work, presentations and handling clients, are helping me become a more well-rounded professional and preparing me for life after MSU.
This past summer, I took those skills to Shanghai, China, where I obtained an internship through an MSU alumnus who I was able to work with during the three months I was there.
Most of my work involved English editing and translation, but I also was given opportunities to sit in client pitch meetings, create a slideshow pitch and do research for the public relations and marketing sector. It was an amazing experience. I highly recommend going abroad at least once while attending university.
When I wasn’t working, I traveled around Shanghai and to Beijing, Suzhou and Hangzhou.
Besides academics and experiential opportunities, I recently retired from gymnastics after exhausting my four-year collegiate eligibility as a member of MSU’s women’s gymnastics team.
Gymnastics has helped me develop over the years. I learned things like time management, discipline, hard work and responsibility. Being on the MSU gymnastics team also gave me the opportunity to be in a team environment and connect with my peers.
It’s fun sharing our successes, pushing each other to do our best and having people to support you even when you feel like you’ve failed.
During my gymnastics career, I earned many honors. For the past three years, I’ve been a Scholastic All-American, a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, an Academic All-Big Ten Selection and attended the Student-Athlete Academic Excellence Gala with highest honors. I am also a four-time varsity letter winner and was named a Student-Athlete Academic Scholar for 2017.
I’m now taking a break from the gymnastics/athlete scene and trying to experience normal student life since I hadn’t had that since I started the sport. It’s a very different experience and it’s interesting to see how my decisions no longer revolve around sport but instead other priorities.
I plan on graduating in May 2019 and would like to return to Toronto, Canada, where I’m from and look for a full-time job there. I would also like to travel a little and catch up with friends before I find a full-time position.