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Melissa’s Profile

Facts about your family:

Everyone in my immediate family, except me, was born in Chicago. My brother is in the film industry and owns his own production company. My mom is a high school guidance counselor, which made applying to college just that much more interesting.

Why did you choose to attend The University of Texas at Austin?

When I was applying to schools, I looked up the best undergraduate business programs and found McCombs. I never thought I would come to Texas, but once I got all of my acceptances (and rejections) back, I realized that it was the only school that actually had everything I was looking for – a great business and intense Arabic program, a city feel, a big name, a gorgeous campus and a million opportunities.

What do you want to do when you graduate from the university?

Hopefully I will get a job with an American multinational corporation working in one of its overseas locations, or I’ll go to graduate school for another four years.

If you had to choose one thing about yourself to share with the university’s Web audience, what would it be?

I believe in taking every opportunity that is presented because you never know what amazing experience could come of it.

Who are your heroes?

My former Hebrew teacher, Shoshana is my biggest hero. She has been through so much in her life and yet still manages to find the silver lining in every situation. Her insurmountable optimism is astounding and simultaneously, incredibly humbling. I learned more being her student than from any other teacher I have ever had.

If you could travel to one spot anywhere in the world, where would you want to visit?

Probably Cairo because a) it would help me with my Arabic and b) it’s the center of most of the modern Middle East popular culture, and why not go to the center of what I’m studying?

What are your current favorite books? What books would you recommend to someone you just met?

My current favorites are “Blindness” by Jose Saramago, which I read for Freshman Reading Round-Up and I absolutely loved, and “Why Women Should Rule the World” by Dee Dee Myers, which is as excellent as the title suggests. My recommendations are “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain and “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare. I am a closet literary nut!

What pushes your buttons? What are your pet peeves?

Slow walkers, people who give up without trying, really loud talkers and circular arguments. I can’t stand any of them.

What are your favorite Web sites? Why? – It’s the easiest way to keep in touch with everyone back home! – This is the best way to get new music, and it’s free! – I’m a fan of politics and WSJ tells it straight and clear, which I appreciate. – Yay New Jersey!

What are your favorite foods?

Bagels, apples, every type of soup and anything with avocados on it.

What music are you listening to?

The new Muse CD!! Other than that, I normally just set Pandora to the “Postal Service channel” and let it do its thing.

What are your all-time favorite movies? Why?

“Romeo and Juliet” directed by Baz Luhrmann – The greatest adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic EVER.
“The Life Aquatic” directed by Wes Anderson – I have watched this movie probably 30 times and it never gets old. It is just so beautiful and quirky.
“Fight Club” directed by David Fincher – This movie just rules, that’s it.

Who are your favorite artists?

Van Gogh, hands down. I have “The Café at Night” in my dorm, “Sunflowers” as my cell phone’s background and a “Starry Night” laptop case. I’m completely obsessed with his work.

What are your favorite academic subjects? What are you interested in studying in the future?

I’m a big fan of languages and history, which works well with my Middle Eastern Studies major. In the future, I hope to (finally) start taking some business courses and really learn how culture plays into trade and economies around the world.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

I actually have two favorite spots: the 5th floor of the PCL for studying, and Prufrock’s café in the PCL for hanging out. I just generally love our library.

Where are your favorite places to go in Austin? What are your favorite things to do in Austin?

I’m still trying to figure that out! I have so much more exploring to do before I know what my favorite anything is in the city.

What are your favorite free-time activities?

Adventuring about UT and Austin, taking pictures of said adventures and going to the random free lectures that all of the departments around campus offer. There is literally always something to do; I barely call it “free time.”

Other interesting facts about you:

  • Someday I hope to be fluent in Spanish, Arabic and Hebrew – we’ll see how that goes.
  • I did competitive speech and debate in high school.
  • My ultimate dream job is being a photojournalist for The New York Times.
  • When I visited UT to just “check it out,” I fell madly in love with the school and ended up depositing before I even went on my campus tour.
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September 25, 2009 | | Comments are closed for this post
photo of Melissa