James W. Vick Center for Strategic Advising & Career Counseling
Beauford H Jester Center, Room A115
201 E. 21st St. D7100
Austin, TX 78705-5695
Phone: 512- 232-8400 | Fax: 512-232-8418
Lauren received the 2014 President’s Student Employee of the Year Award for her hard work in Facilities Services and the Campus Environmental Center. Lauren spent three semesters as an Undergraduate Studies student before declaring majors in urban studies and geography. She’s also completing a minor in Spanish and a BDP certificate in the Environment.
“Do not be discouraged that you are undeclared while everyone else has declared a major. Everyone as a freshmen is unsure of their future and what they want to do. Use this time to explore your interests.”
Starting in UGS
Initially I was upset that I didn’t get my first choice school when I applied to UT, which was the School of Architecture. However, I was very happy I was accepted to the University of Texas at Austin. Honestly, getting accepted to the School of Undergraduate Studies was a blessing in disguise. It definitely impacted my college career for the best. UGS really helped me realize what I wanted to study and do after college.
Finding a Major
I took classes in different departments that I was interested in. Fortunately, these classes also counted towards my degree requirements so I wasn’t wasting any time. I talked to professors and to career counselors in the Vick Center (then the Sanger Learning & Career Center) who helped direct me towards urban studies, which is my current major. I also joined the Campus Environmental Center and realized my passion for the environment, which convinced me to add geography as my second major.
Professor Paul Adams in the Department of Geography and the Environment, career counselors and my advisor Alexia Apollo in the Vick Center, the Campus Environmental Center, and the Longhorn Scholars Program all helped me explore my interests.
In my first year of college, I applied to the School of Architecture again and was rejected for a second time. I was pretty upset about it, but now I’m glad I wasn’t accepted because I wouldn’t have discovered my other interests and passions.
Double Majoring in Urban Studies and Geography
It is really interesting how interconnected Geography and Urban Studies can be.
With these majors, I am able to take classes from multiple disciplines to get a better sense of our natural and urban environments. My urban studies major also requires me to do research and have an internship, which has really helped me focus on my interests and obtain valuable experience and skills.
I was an intern for the Sierra Club and for the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling. For the past year and a half I have been working on campus at the Campus Environmental Center as the tailgate recycling coordinator.
Post Graduation Plans
I hope to have a full-time job working with universities, cities, or non-profits on environmental issues.