This weeks’ Campus Celebrity, Mike Borrelli, is among one of Saint Joe’s most outgoing and free-spirited students. His energetic and lively personality always brightens the room and manages to bring a smile to anyone’s face. Mike loves engaging in various activities on campus that allow him to meet new people.
Hometown: Harleysville, Pennsylvania
Major: International Business and Spanish double major.
Campus Involvement: Freshmen Orientation, Weekly Service, International Business Society, Student Alumni Association, and this will be my first spring break participating in the Appalachian Experience program.
What made you want to join the Appalacian Experience Program?
I really wanted to take part in the Appalachia experience because so many of my friends have come back and stated how life changing the experience is. I wanted to take part in the program at least once before graduation, so I figured this year would be perfect.
As a freshmen orientation leader, what advice do you give to freshmen after they’ve made their choice to attend SJU?
The one thing I always say to freshmen is to get involved. While cliche, I really think it’s the best way to meet people on campus. I’ve never had a class with some of my best friends that I’ve met through clubs and organizations, so without being involved I probably would have never met them. In addition, I really think it’s important to just be yourself. So many freshmen come into their first year of college trying to be “cool” and end up getting in with the wrong crowd of people. I think it’s really important not to lose sight of who you are which can be hard during freshman year.
What do you ultimately want to accomplish once you graduate from SJU?
As of now, everything post graduation from SJU is up in the air (mainly because I don’t want to even think about leaving) but after studying abroad, I’ve really started to consider the Fulbright Scholarship program. As an international business and Spanish double major, I think that this would be a great resume booster for later in life. I’ve also considered going to grad school to get my MBA with a specialization in International Marketing. But as I said, I’m still pretty open to whatever comes my way in the future.
You recently studied abroad in Madrid, Spain last semester, tell us about your study abroad experience!
I’m constantly asked this question and I never know where to start… I just think the entire experience was such a life changer and I’m so thankful that I was able to do it. I really was able to see myself grow and mature in ways that I never would have thought possible. Along with around 10 other SJU students, I studied at St. Louis University’s campus in Madrid, Spain. Since traveling was relatively inexpensive abroad, we were able to go to all around Spain including Barcelona, Alicante and Sevilla, as well as Ireland, Morocco, and Italy. I think my favorite trip was to Morocco; however, the trip there and back were by far the worst. Ireland and Italy were also great weekend trips because I was able to visit friends from SJU and get a little taste of their study abroad experience. All in all, I would 100% recommend studying abroad to every student. Even if you think you won’t be able to because of your major, talk to the Center for International Programs and they’ll be more than happy to help you.
What are some things you learned abroad that you brought back with you to SJU?
Other than the language, I learned a lot about the Spanish culture through my host mom as well as the families I taught English to. I think the best thing that I learned and was able to bring back to the US was how to be independent; there were so many times when we were lost in an unknown city without smart phones and we were forced to either ask for directions or find our way on our own. At times it was a little uneasy, but I think times like those are what help make a person grow. I’d really recommend the study abroad experience to anyone that can participate in it!