‘My experiences in college helped me realize that I enjoy being passionate about work. I respect that in other people, too.’
“When I was graduating from Holy Trinity High School, I was trying to think practically, so I thought I wanted to be a computer engineer. I had been told that engineering was a field in which the world had many jobs. I had very good grades, so I never doubted my ability and capacity to learn. I had a lot of faith that this was what my job would be, and everything seemed to line up for my future.
“Initially, I went to Manhattan College, where I was given a mentor whose profession was in cybersecurity. He told me that after college he couldn’t get a job in computer engineering and found that he liked cybersecurity. He roped me in with that, so I decided to transfer to the University at Albany, where they have a cybersecurity program. Then I had an epiphany in the second semester of my sophomore year. I realized I wasn’t liking that anymore, either. My grades were slipping. My adviser sent me to the school therapy system to help me with my depressive state. This helped me see that I had a class in my first semester that I loved, and when I no longer had it, the crash happened. I had only taken acting because I needed an elective! My grades were great that semester. I decided to change to a theater major. I’ve been having a better experience ever since!
My new philosophy is that if you are passionate about something, you will succeed in it.
“I think I’m an empathetic person, and I have an ability to understand people, which is important in acting. Theater allows me to experience that on a larger scale while giving me the opportunity to evoke emotion. You need to understand many characters. I find it fun and I think I have a natural talent for it. I’ve learned that I also enjoy working in technical areas of theater. It’s making me a handier individual, and now I appreciate organization and collaboration.
“My experiences in college helped me realize that I enjoy being passionate about work. I respect that in other people, too. My new philosophy is that if you are passionate about something, you will succeed in it. You’re the only person who is going to be waking up doing what you have chosen to pursue. When you make these big changes in your life, everyone else will have their opinions. Regardless of what they say, the only person that is in control in that moment is you.”
Interviewed by Iris Wiener