Francesca Schenker '09
What have you been up to since graduation?
After graduating with a double major in English and Spanish, I spent a year teaching English in southern Spain. I so much enjoyed my own study abroad experience at Loyola that I decided I wanted to return, this time as a teacher. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life! I not only became fluent in Spanish, but also got to travel around Spain and learned a great deal about myself. I did this program along with Lena Marchese, another ’09 Loyola graduate.
After returning home and trying to figure out my next move, I ended up getting a job at Sacred Heart University in the study abroad office. Since being at Sacred Heart, I have received my Master’s in Communications and have helped many students experience their first taste of the ‘travel bug’. I even get to travel myself to some of these locations! I have been here almost 6 years and truly enjoy working in international education with college students.
What is your fondest memory of Loyola?
My favorite thing about being at Loyola was the friendships and relationships I formed. I was randomly placed with my freshman year roommate and we are still incredibly good friends to this day. I really feel very blessed to have met such wonderful friends during my four years in school. Another highlight would of course be my time abroad! Spending the semester abroad in a small town outside of Madrid with 20 other classmates was something I will never forget.
Who was your favorite Loyola professor or class
By far my favorite professor was Thomas Ward. I had an 8 am Spanish class first semester freshman year and although we were all sleepy, he made the language interesting and fun. I had him a few times later on in college and he was continually an engaging teacher who made me love the Spanish language.
How have you remained involved with Loyola since graduation?
I have remained close with many of the friends I made while there. I of course attended my 5-year reunion at Loyola and it was a great experience being back on campus with old friends. Two close friends even got married last year at the Loyola chapel!
If you could offer a current Loyola student advice, what would it be?
Get involved! Whether that’s volunteering, performing in theater, trying out for an a capella group, or joining a club, just do something. I didn't get involved with enough when I was a college student and I always regretted it. Put yourself out there and don't be afraid to try new things. Also, since I now work in a study abroad office, I would be remiss if I didn't tell current students to STUDY ABROAD! I guarantee you that it will be one of the best things you will ever do. Soak up your four years of college because you will always miss them and they really are the best years of your life!
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