Hello! Welcome back to my Alumni Series. I am so excited to introduce to you one of my very best friends – Emily Owen. She is a wonderful woman and made the most of her time at Grove City! She is now abroad in France as an au pair (a live-in nanny). She will be there until the end of the semester. Though I am very excited for her return to the US (I’ve missed her!) I think this has been a wonderful opportunity for her. Enjoy this interview!
Tell me a little bit about you.
Hi, my name is Emily Owen and I am a recent graduate of Grove City College! I graduated with a B.A. in Psychology with minors in Family Studies and Social Work in December of 2016, a semester early. I am an optimistic person who loves to do anything as long as there are other people involved! Some of my hobbies include reading, dancing, hiking, and discovering new places. And of course, I am always down for talking over coffee or tea. I have two older sisters and a younger brother, and we are all very different from one another. That has been a huge help for me, I think in learning how to get along with all kinds of people.
Where do you work and what is your specific title?
Right now, I am working as an au pair (live-in nanny) in Paris, France. I technically live in a town called Choisy-le-Roi, southeast of Paris, but it is essentially Paris. I’ll be starting a graduate program in the fall at Evangelical Seminary to obtain my master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy.
What does being an au pair entail and what do you love about it?
My job entails taking care of two French children, aged 7 and 5. I take them to and from school, I prepare meals for them, we play together, and I teach a little bit of English to the older boy. I love the opportunity to live with another family and see their way of life, especially in their French culture. The kids are sweet and I have loved getting to know them. If I’m being honest, though, my favorite thing has been living in Paris!
What activities were you involved in during your time at Grove City College?
At Grove City College, I was a member of the Tri-Zeta Sorority, the Homecoming Committee President, a Spring Dance Company Senior Head, a Student Ambassador, a dancer/choreographer/house manager for the Orchesis Dance Troupe, a member of Psi Chi, a member of the Sociology, Social Work, and Psychology Association, and I also served with the New Life Ministry.
How do you feel your time at Grove City College prepared you for your future?
Grove City prepared me extremely well for my professional and academic career during and after school. The internships that I worked at during my years at school were made much easier by the fact that I had so much knowledge on a variety of subjects necessary for the job. As for graduate school, I was well-prepared to apply and be accepted from my education and the other available resources the college provides. In my current job, my education in psychology and development has been helpful in understanding the children I am working with. Overall, I learned how to work with a variety of personalities and working habits and how to look at the world within my Christian perspective.
How available were your professors after class if you needed additional help?
My professors were always wonderful and always available, whether it was via email or even a phone call. For a question about class, a hypothetical question, help with a problem at an internship, writing letters of recommendation, or even just giving time to discuss my career and life, they were always there to aid and guide me. Even now, I am in contact with some of my professors.
What does the school offer that you wished you had taken advantage of while at GCC?
I did take advantage of the Career Services Office, but I wish I had taken MORE advantage of the office and the services that they provide. You sometimes don’t realize until you’re in the real world what kind of skills you needed, and the CSO did a good job of offering information on those things.
Do you feel that GCC has continued to provided majors and programs that are current with the needs of today’s job market? Do they have programs that provide a “fast track” for certain careers?
I think GCC has done a good job of continuing to provide majors and programs that keep up with the times. As computer science has evolved, the school has added different minors or classes to keep up with what prospective students are interested in. While there are some degrees that we don’t have or that are not as “specific” as some people may want, the degrees we have do very well. I think with our network of alumni and how hard the school works to connect you to the real world, almost any degree can “fast track” you to a certain career.
Did you feel prepared for graduate school after your time at GCC?
Absolutely. Even though I have not started graduate school yet, I have heard from numerous people who came before me in the Psychology department that grad school was, while I hesitate to say it, easy because of their educational background. We have seminar style classes and requirements that some undergraduate students don’t even see or experience until grad school, so we are a step ahead.
What is your best advice to give an incoming freshmen at GCC?
You only have four years here, or even three and a half, so enjoy every moment! Go to a dance even if you’re not sure you want to go, because you soon won’t have the chance to. Try out a new activity, or take a random class you’re interested in. College is such a unique time to do these things and it flies by. Also, Grove City College is a special place. The people you meet there want to build you and help you grow, from fellow students, to staff, to professors. Don’t miss out on opportunities to meet people and get to know them, because those relationships will be what you take from these four years. Personally, I loved the environment of Grove City. Everyone is friendly and since most of the students are firm believers in the Christian faith, it makes for a closer, safer feeling campus. The people I met during my time at GCC were the most beneficial things, and the time I spent with them is priceless.