George Mason University Senior I
Name: Cristian Pineda
Major: Communication (Minors: Film & Media Studies; Business)
Classification (freshman/sophomore/junior/senior): Senior
Year You’re Graduating: 2012
1. Now that you’ve been at George Mason University for 4 years what is your favorite thing about the university?
I like that I am comfortable speaking with faculty and staff and able to navigate myself around resources on what to do after graduation. Even thought I am not a shy person, I was always hesitant on asking questions on logistical manners, such as organizing events, scheduling meetings, etc. Now that I have been here for this long, I know who to go to for the questions I have.
2. Now that you’ve been at George Mason for four years, who was your favorite professor, and what was your hardest class?
My favorite professor was Alejandra Balestra, for my SPAN 315: Spanish For Heritage Speakers class. Not only was the class a very good break away from the stresses of other classes, Balestra made the class entertaining. I always learned something new about my culture in that class, and she went above and beyond to make the class entertaining but informative. She taught us material that wasn’t required, and also held a very good relationship with the students. My hardest class was my MSOM 300: Managing Financial Resources class. I am not keen on accounting, and this class made me stress so much, having to study more than I ever had for any other class.
3. What organizations are you affiliated with on campus and why are you excited to be apart of them?
I have been lucky enough to be a part of many organizations throughout my four years on campus. The three organizations I am very active with this year are La Unidad Latinda, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc, the Aguilas Mentoring Program, and the Hispanic Student Association. I am excited to be a part of each of these organizations because I have grown closer to the members of each organization, and they have strengthened my passion for Latino issues. Another organization I am a part of is the Program Board Film Committee, where we organize film-related events on campus.
4. Where are some the best places to visit, shop, or eat at in Fairfax and how far away are they?
Around the area, I like visiting the Fair Lakes Shopping center, roughly 15 minutes from campus. They have a good selection of food, shopping, and recreation.
5.If you could send a message to yourself when you were a freshman to help prepare yourself for college what would it be?
I would let myself know that it is okay to NOT be super involved my freshman year. I would let myself know to not stress on not knowing a major, since it gradually formed throughout the years. I would also let myself know to enjoy my time early because the four years fly by REAL fast.
6. George Mason University is touted as the most diverse University in the nation. How do you believe the schools diverse population has impacted your academic and social lifestyle?
I think comparing GMU’s demographics to other schools, I would agree that we have a more diverse population than other schools. I believe that this has helped academically and socially because I am able to learn, listen, and understand other people’s points of views and lifestyle that I would never hear otherwise. This can also help shape my beliefs as well.
7. What is there to do on the weekends at George Mason? Parties, student organizations, visit home?
GMU provides services on the weekends, but because there is a large commuter population, there is a significant decrease of people on campus. There are occasional parties, but every university has that crowd. The DC scene on the weekend seems to be popular with people as well.
8. If there is one thing you would like to add to George Mason University what would it be? Then one thing you think the campus could do without?
I would add more of a push for school spirit on the university’s side. Certain organizations try to pump up the school spirit, but I feel like the school itself can do a part in promoting Patriot Pride. I could do without the unnecessary structure of Mason Housing and Mason Parking. Both services seem to get lots of complaints, and I have not had good service multiple times from both offices.
There are PLENTY of offices that provide free printing, but students don’t take the time to research them! Ratemyprofessors.com is DEFINITELY an important (and accurate) tool to select teachers. There are 5 gyms on campus, but people seem to only go to the Fitness and Aquatic center; all five gyms seem pretty good to me.
10. What skills have you learned over the years (ie. Time management, networking, etc.) , that you can say have helped you get to where you are today?
GMU has taught me not only academics, but also skills that can help me in the workplace. I have worked on and developed a sense of organization that time management is an important tool to manage schedules. I have gotten over my fear of networking, and am less shy approach people for job opportunities. I have learned how to deal with people who act completely different than myself in a group or individual setting. I also learned the balance between work and school, as well as the balance between business and personal life.
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