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Valerie Finstad

Valerie Finstad
Major: 
Undeclared

Valerie’s outstanding academic record has earned her the title of College Scholar. Shakeel entered UT as an undeclared student in UGS to explore different fields. She now plans to major in biology, complete pre-med requirements, and pursue a career in research.

“Think a lot about multiple majors. Find a career where lifestyle, schooling, passion, and purpose all intersect and go after it ferociously.”

Finding a Major
I am declaring biology, pre-med. I decided on this when I gave classes I hated in high school a second chance and discovered I am good at them!

Exploring majors at UT is difficult because underclassmen don’t have preference when registering, and there is a lot of red tape preventing students from taking classes in a variety of fields.

Career Plans
I am planning on being a researcher in an undetermined subfield of biology.

Most Rewarding Class
Introductory Biology (311C) is extremely rewarding because you learn an extensive amount of information and biology is revealed in a thought-provoking way.

Helpful Campus Resources
I have used the Sanger Learning Center, and I always take advantage of the RLM computer lab, and the Whittaker Tennis Courts! (Yes, tennis helps me succeed in class!)

Favorite Study Spot: PCL

How to be a Successful Student at UT
Go to class! Sit near the front, especially in classes that tend to be boring. Take great notes, and when it comes time to study ,re-write them neatly in a way that makes sense to you. Study as you learn. If you take personal pride in your grades, you will do your best. Lastly, always do things you love that relieve the inevitable stress of college.

UGS Experience and Advice for Undecided Students
Being in the School of Undergraduate Studies has made my college experience more stressful and more rewarding. On top of my day-to-day classwork I have been thinking for two years about what I want to do with my life with almost endless possibilities in front of me. However, I have been able to see many facets of UT and the range of courses I have taken has helped me learn more about the world and myself.

I would advise UGS students to think a lot about multiple majors. Find a career where lifestyle, schooling, passion and purpose all intersect and go after it ferociously.