Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Reflections from Alvin Yee -

My name is Alvin Yee and I recently graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a major in Computer

Science and a minor in Chemistry.

I want to give my gratitude to the Ivy League Connection because they exposed me to the

intense levels of academic competitiveness during my two summers at Cornell. It made me

realize students were determine to achieve success and anything less was not acceptable to

them. My most memorable experience was when a dorm mate rewrote each detail from his

notes 75 times before the Freedom and Justice exam. I knew I wasnt the smartest student at

Cornell Summer Program so I felt the need to exert extra effort to keep pace. The experience

has taught how me to handle the heavy workload of the college life. My two Cornell Summer's

has helped me develop a good work ethic and I can proudly say the ILC was the root of my


Aside from my Cornell experience, choosing a major was by far the hardest choice I made in

college. I was undecided entering my freshman year so I experimented with economic. Shortly, I

found out that I lacked passion for the subject so I decided to try chemistry. I made this change

because I did well in the general chemistry series. I continued with chemistry until my junior year,

but uncertainty of possible careers distanced me from the study. I settled with Computer

Science, because I had a higher chance of finding a career in which I would be happy working

long term.

So the lesson I took away from choosing majors is to know which career you want to pursue

before declaring. Your major will be a stepping stone to any occupation that awaits you after

college. Find a interesting major early in college and you wont make the same mistake. In my

case, I had to stay an extra quarter due to my indecision to pick major.

In addition to choosing a major, it is critical to utilize school resources. There will be many

opportunities to land internships and jobs at your campus career fair. It is very important to be an

active participant at these events, because career fairs provide a high chance of employment.

There is less competition at campus fairs compared to job websites, because you will be

competing against your classmates and not the workforce. Start early by developing your

resume and your connections with TAs and professors. They will be the ones providing

reference for jobs and graduate school.

Remember college isnt all about academic. Go explore events and your environment. It will help

you ease through stressful projects and exams. I hope this information was useful.

Alvin Yee

UC Santa Cruz 13