Senior Profile: Kaylan Hutchison

Kaylan Hutchison. (Photo courtesy of Kaylan Hutchison).

What is your major and minor? What other academic programs were you a part of?

Communication major, psychology and writing minors. I am also a member of five honor societies: Alpha Lambda Delta, Lambda Pi Eta, Sigma Tau Delta, Pi Gamma Mu, and Omicron Delta Kappa.

What are some of the jobs you held while at McDaniel?

I have been a parent preview guide for OSE, a Writing Center peer tutor, and a student ambassador at McDaniel Admissions.

What organizations were you a part of at McDaniel? What positions did you hold?

I am co-vice president of McDaniel Dance Company, a member of Student Alumni Council, and a sporadic contributor to the McDaniel Free Press and Contrast Literary Magazine.

Did you enjoy your time at McDaniel? How?

I love McDaniel! Though every college has its qualms, I met best friends and amazing professors, pushed past my comfort zone and studied abroad twice, took inspiring classes that gave me real-world experience, and have enough funny stories to make me feel like I can truly shine during awkward cocktail parties.

Who do you think was/is your best mentor?

Dr. Trader in the communication department was one of the best professors I’ve had, encouraging me, validating my strengths, and pushing me in and out of the classroom. He’s always been a friendly person to vent to. Vanessa Flora-Nakoski has also pushed me in terms of professional development at the Writing Center, and has always been someone I can get advice from. Dr. Holly Chalk was also a great mentor, offering me a collaborative research opportunity at the end of my freshman year. She taught me a lot about research, scholarly writing, deadlines, and working with a team.

What is your best memory at McDaniel?

I have too many amazing memories to name! I would say that overall, my four months in Budapest, Hungary on the McDaniel Europe campus were the most fun I’ve ever had. Living on my own (in the sense that I had a wonderful roommate, but was away from parents and RAs) was much more liberating than I expected. I loved trying Hungarian foods and drinks, exploring the ruin bars, learning the language and the culture, and, of course, traveling. I went on nine trips (seven countries): to Krakow, Prague, Berlin, Vienna, Milan, Paris, Venice, Madrid, Nice, and plenty of different cities in Hungary. Plus, our group got really close with the students abroad, and I still connect with them even now. I met people from Algeria, Nigeria, Croatia, Serbia, even Minnesota and New Jersey, and got to share an incredible four months with them, as well as my best friends.

What are some of the challenges you encountered and how did you overcome them?

Every college experience has challenges, from brief stints of homesickness, to work issues, to hearing information about you traveling through the grapevine that you didn’t even know about yourself! I think for many people, the small size of our school can feel a bit boarding-school-for-college-students, and the rumor mill can feel toxic, but surrounding yourself with good people is important.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I am currently in the interview process with Booz Allen Hamilton, for a junior strategic communications position. I hope to go into editing and one day publish my own short stories and novels.

What would you tell yourself as a first-year at McDaniel?

I would tell myself, as a first-year, to prioritize internships more (and that doesn’t mean taking the first thing you get, but instead actively searching from the jump). I waited for internships until later in my college career, but internships really help you get your foot in the door with companies you do connect with, and peace of mind to cross companies — or entire careers — off your lists with companies you don’t.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the McDaniel community?

Say yes to everything! Many students who haven’t connected with the campus also haven’t applied themselves. Join clubs, take on jobs, study abroad, stay on campus over the weekends. I loved my college experience because of my involvements and the connections I made, and to get the most of your college experience, you really need to make the most out of it.