Looking Back While Moving Forward With Jennifer Stern

At some point in life, everything has to come to a close. In this interview, I met with Jennifer Stern as she reflected on her experience in college as she prepares to finish her senior year and graduate in the spring.    

Her Campus (HC): What made you interested in becoming an IMS major?   

Jennifer Stern (JS): When I applied to college I knew I wanted to do something in the pre-health field, but I didn't know what exactly. I was always debating between PA and PT so I wanted a major that was going to lead down multiple paths and it wasn't a path that I would have to switch my major if I changed what I wanted to do because it had so many options for me.    

HC: Did you ever consider any competing majors or was IMS always the main one that you thought of?    

JS: I was considering Exercise Physiology. I thought about it my sophomore year just because I was looking at the courses ahead and it was going to be a lot. That what I was going to apply for and then looking at IMS I was like, well, this is more pre-med. They say it's not, but all of the chemistry, biochemistry, all those requirements were going above and beyond, but I didn't switch out of IMS just because I wanted that challenge and I really loved how they had the experiential learning requirement which really got me out in the community. It put me out of my comfort zone. I feel like my communication is so much better now and especially with physicians and other physical therapists.   

HC: What would you say was the most challenging part of being an IMS major?  

JS: I think staying motivated because it is very challenging and like I was in a FIG and to this day a lot of the students that were my FIG are no longer pre-health or premed or IMS. So it's definitely challenging to keep working and stay motivated.    

HC: What career would you like to pursue with your IMS degree?   

JS: I'm pursuing physical therapy. I finished my application, so I'm currently doing that and I think IMS over prepared me for that process. 

HC: Obviously with the pandemic a lot of things are different this year so for you what was the process like applying to grad school?     

JS: It was definitely different than normal. It started off even over the summer before I even started applying. I was studying for the GRE all in my house. I had my sister, who's a music teacher, playing her instrument, teaching lessons like in the room next to mine, which was definitely a struggle to keep myself on track and focus. Then I had all my family schedules going on with my schedule, so it was just me isolated on my own studying.  

HC: What was the most stressful part about applying to grad school?    

JS: I think the most stressful thing for me was feeling trapped inside and like not having that outlet to get out of my bedroom and get out of my apartment.    

Jennifer Stern sitting by the water Photo by Jennifer Stern HC: How was your senior year affected by coronavirus?   

JS: It's not what I expected at all. I came in with high hopes. I actually pushed back my graduation. I was supposed to graduate this semester, but I pushed it back because I was like, you know what, I'm going to have a nice relaxing semester. I’m going to be able to hang out with my friends this time because I was so busy the other three years that I’m going to just have some class but relax a little but COVID completely ruined that.    

HC: What would you say was one of the best moments you remember from college?    

JS: It was actually joining a FIG which sounds so small, but I met my best friends there. They are my roommates now and I think it was just all of the friendships that I formed with people from all over. There were people from so many different backgrounds and some of them were criminology majors, some of them were also pre-health or interior design. It was just unlikely friends that I’m so glad I reached out to.

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