By John Ricciardi (SEBS’22) New Transfer Student
National Transfer Student Week—every third week in October—celebrates transfer students and the professionals who support them on their journeys. Join us in recognizing those who have made this journey! #TransferStudentWeek. Here we meet John Ricciardi (SEB’22), a Food Science major.
Transferring to Rutgers was a last minute decision for me actually. I knew I was going to be here eventually, but was reluctant to at first due to the remote learning environment of the COVID era. After careful consideration, I went ahead with enrolling since I did not want to take another semester off.
Now that I am immersed in the semester, I am so glad I made that choice to start when I did. I completed an associate’s degree at the County College of Morris and have been delighted to see that every single course transferred and allowed me to come in as a junior. Coming to such a large school as Rutgers from a small community college was daunting at first. However, my experience has shown me that there was no need to worry.
The first interaction I had with Rutgers SEBS faculty and staff was at the transfer session on zoom. The deans and my academic advisor provided me with everything I needed to know about transferring my credits from community college and what classes I needed to enroll in for the fall semester. I have had numerous conversations with my academic advisor over the phone after emailing her and making an appointment.
We do all we can to help ease the transition. Open houses and visitations help and we encourage all students to learn about their new school. Once enrolled, a SEBS transfer student are offered many resources online and in-person including attendance at a Student Transfer Advising & Registration Day (STAR) — Carol Andrew, Assistant Dean, Office of Academic Programs (OAP).
Remote learning is going better than I expected because I can go at my own pace and do my work at any time of the day. I have been able to connect to other classmates through a groupchat website, and from that have met a fair amount of my classmates. We have set up study groups via zoom and I have found a study buddy. There have also been review sessions on zoom for some with some of my professors which have been productive.
Finally, as a Food Science major I have joined the Food Science club through the same groupchat website and social media. Through that I have been able to meet others in the same program and have received an upper-class mentor to get advice and guidance from.
We have had a few virtual gatherings to meet others within the program as well as a student faculty mixer to get to know our professors. All in all, this semester has allowed me to connect with the faculty, staff and other classmates more so than I could have imagined. I am so excited to continue on my journey here at Rutgers.