Senior Profile: Julia Grinberg

Julia Grinberg. (Photo courtesy of Julia Grinberg).

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

Psychology major. Honors Program.

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

Student ambassador and tour guide.

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

Relay for Life committee chair, Student Alumni Council secretary, Psi Chi member, Omicron Delta Kappa member, Trumpeters member, Phi Beta Kappa member.

Did you enjoy your time at McDaniel? How?

Yes, I got to meet a lot of really amazing people and form lifelong relationships. I had the opportunity for very rewarding and educational internships and research work during my time. I also got to learn more about who I am and what I want to do in life. I got to share my love of McDaniel with others as a tour guide, and as a member of SAC. I planned an event and raised money for a cause I’m passionate about with Relay for Life. I met amazing professors that guided me through my four years and onto the next phase of my career.

Who do you think was/is your best mentor?

Dr. Holly Chalk and Dr. Jack Arnal.

What is your best memory at McDaniel?

Sophomore year, when I was one of the chairs on the Relay for Life event, it was a year of hard work and stress. On the night of the event, just seeing everyone having such a good time and knowing that all of our efforts had truly paid off was an amazing feeling. That year we raised more money than some of the larger universities in the area, and I felt so proud of that. During the event, I went up to the press box at the top of the bleachers and looked at the incredible view from above, and that image is forever in my memory.

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

One of the challenges I faced was a change in career plans. After being at my internship site senior year, I began to realize that I wanted to do something different than I planned. I felt really scared because it was so close to graduation, and I didn’t think my advisor or my family would understand or support a career change this late in the game. It was very nerve-racking, but I told my advisor and my family, and they were incredibly supportive. My advisor has helped me with figuring a lot of my next steps out, and continues to support me in all my endeavors. Another challenge I faced was my capstone. As part of the Honors Program, I had to complete an independent study, and I ran my own empirical study within my department. There were so many things that went differently than I expected and I fell behind schedule on most of my plans. I felt like giving up and there were a lot of tears over this study. My advisor and my friends helped me through by emotionally and mentally supporting me, and pushing me to keep going. My own perfectionist nature also kept me from quitting. Although it was really difficult at times, I was able to get my study on track, and I presented it in the departmental capstone presentations in April and was very proud of my performance.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I am planning to continue taking classes at another university for another 2 years after graduating in pursuit of a second degree. I will be pursuing a Bachelor of Science in nursing to become a registered nurse. I also plan to keep working at my current internship site, Sheppard Pratt Health Systems, which is a psychiatric hospital in Towson.

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

I would tell myself that it’s okay to not know what I am doing. Some people come in having the next 10 years of their life perfectly mapped out, and never deviate from that plan. Some people come in having no idea what they want to do and they figure it out along the way. There’s no one right way to do things, and there’s no “on-time” or “late” when it comes to living your life. I came in fairly certain I knew what I wanted to do, and I changed my mind almost immediately in my first semester. After that, I had the next stage of my life really definitively mapped out, and when I realized that I wanted to deviate from that plan, it terrified me and I tried for a long time to ignore that feeling. I wish I’d had someone there to tell me that it’s okay to change my mind, even if I’m almost done with my degree, or even if I’m already settled in a career, there’s no wrong time to pursue your dream career.

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

I wouldn’t trade my time on this campus for anything. I wouldn’t trade the triumphs and the fun times, but I wouldn’t trade the failures and the bad times either. Every minute of my time here made me who I am today, and I couldn’t be happier with the person walking across that stage in May. Thank you to everyone who made my time here great, and thank you to everyone who hurt me, I couldn’t have done it without you.