Arizona State University transfer student Francie Igboabuchi began her path to higher education at Green River College after learning about their 2+2 tertiary education system. As a Nigerian, this was very different from her educational experiences at the time.
“It was a great investment because it allowed me to grow in ways where I could track my progress, understand the academic, cultural and employment system in a foreign country, and prepare myself for eventually attending a larger institution while saving money,” Igboabuchi said.
Inspired to pursue higher education by her parents, she recalls how education is considered to be one of the most invaluable tools that parents equip their children with.
“Growing up in a Nigerian household, my parents made certain that we received a great education," Igboabuchi said. "I grew up learning that schooling is different from education and that school teaches you to take responsibility for your own education, and learning that piece made me fall in love with academia. I feel that these four years of my undergraduate, and the many others that came before it, have prepared me not only to face the real world, but to give back to the world in a way that makes an impact, not only in the field of academia, but in other ways that we relate to each other.”
After looking into universities and researching her options, Igboabuchi knew ASU was where she wanted to spend the last two years of her undergraduate career.
“The amazing work that professors and students at the university have (done) and are still doing to move the needle of science, biopharma and biotechnology is outstanding, and if there is a school that I would rather learn from, it would be ASU.”
With an interest in science, and biology in particular, from a young age, she decided to pursue her BS degree in biological studies (biomedical sciences) in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Igboabuchi shared more about her journey from community college to ASU, as well as some advice for other transfer students.
Question: Were you involved in any clubs or organizations at your community college? If so, which one(s), and how did your participation impact your community college experience?
Answer: I was part of the Welcome Crew, a college and housing outreach team, and I was a resident assistant. I also became a campus student leader, participated in the Global Leadership Program, spoke at a Tea-Time Tuesday event and volunteered at several campus events like the talent show and C.O.R.E (Cultural Orientation and Recreation Events) for three quarters. My favorite and most fulfilling experiences were those where I got to serve first-year students, which were most of my experiences. Being able to learn in a new country myself and share that knowledge was the best. Not only was it as comforting to them as it was for me when I started college, but it allowed me to truly give back the gift of, "Hey, I see you too."
Q: Why (and when) did you choose your major?
A: I chose my major because I learned that I enjoyed biology in my last year of middle school. In middle school, I participated in science exhibitions, math competitions and spelling bees, but science always caught my mind. Over time, I learned so much more about human physiology, genetics and the research that goes into the understanding of these disciplines, and the more I learned, the more I fell in love and began to find my place in biomedical sciences.
Q: How did your ASU pathway program (MyPath2ASU) help you?
A: When I was getting ready to transfer, my awesome adviser at Green River College gave me some tips on how to prepare to transfer and how to craft my personal statement and show my true self. Not only did the program open up a new world on how to navigate academia to me, but it allowed me to explore other parts of myself as I prepared for the transition.
Q: What have you enjoyed most about your ASU experience so far?
A: The past two years have been nothing short of beautiful, and most of all, I enjoyed the friendships I have built with amazing people. Moving across countries or states can pose a few challenges with building and maintaining friendships, but being able to build and nurture that whilst still exploring has been great. Second to that, the education I have been privileged to receive here at ASU. I have learned so much that sometimes I am amazed by the sheer amount of knowledge that we now have access to. Being able to not only learn but apply that in real life has been another great part of my ASU experience.
Q: Are you involved in any clubs, organizations, research or internships?
A: I currently work as a community assistant and a teaching assistant.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to a new transfer student?
A: Don't label or box yourself in, but if you must, don't do it too early. Allow yourself to explore, whether that be through taking classes you might have never thought about taking, moving to new cities, states or countries, or doing things out of the ordinary. Give yourself the permission to not be a cookie-cutter student.
Q: What are your plans after you graduate with your bachelor's degree?
A: I plan on taking a year or two off to rest, recharge, work and give back as much as I can before applying to medical school.
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