Kircys Canela ’18, far left, served as an orientation leader at MCLA over the summer.
Preparation for a Global Career
For Kircys Canela ’18 of New York City, N.Y., the opportunity to design her own program of study by majoring in interdisciplinary studies is providing the perfect foundation for her anticipated career in global social work.
In addition to a minor in social work, Canela is focusing on psychology and sociology for her interdisciplinary studies major. This plan, she said, gives her “the best of both fields.”
“I want to work in a different country, travel the world and work in schools and hospitals,” she explained. “I’d also like to open up programs in different countries for women and children.”
Canela, who came to live in the United States from the Dominican Republic at age 10, heard about MCLA from a counselor at her Manhattan high school, who told her the College had a great program for students who want a career in social work.
“I applied and attended an Accepted Student Overnight. I just loved it. I fell in love with the school and decided that was going to be my school,” Canela explained
Although she’s the first from her school to attend MCLA, that may soon change: Canela begins work as an Admissions ambassador this fall.
“I love MCLA,” she said. “As people with an interest in the campus come to see the College, I feel like the good vibe that I have will show them how other students at MCLA are.”
Over the summer, Canela was an orientation leader.
“It was awesome. I definitely feel like I created another family at MCLA. It was really cool just to see the incoming freshmen students, getting to know them, and giving them advice about MCLA, their college career and their studies. Overall, it was just a really good experience.”
Serving as an orientation leader, Canela explained, also helped her to strengthen her people skills. “I did have to live with complete strangers for a whole month. At first, I wasn’t really close to any of the other orientations leaders, but we all became really close by the second day.”
The best part of being an MCLA student, she said, are all the extra programs it offers, like tutoring, help in the computer labs and the library, as well as the Center for Student Success and Engagement (CSSE).
“Every program on campus basically shows how much the faculty and staff care about us and how they’re really invested in our success,” she said. “They know us by our names. They want to get to know us, and I just absolutely love that.
Canela is discovering many things about her herself through the multiple opportunities MCLA has presented to her.
Her activities on campus include participation in Hand Up, a new program that works with local organizations – Berkshire Food Project and the Friendship Center – to offer a soup kitchen at least once a month.
Canela also volunteered for the E3 alternative program for high school seniors not doing well with traditional studies. And, she’s a member of MCLA’s Dance Company.
“I really didn’t dance before college. I just decided to go to the auditions and it turns out I’m a really good dancer!” she laughed.
Looking ahead, Canela would like to spend a semester studying in Greece. In the meantime, “I absolutely love my professors in the social work field and in sociology. I’m going to take my first psychology class this semester, but I’ve already met with them and they seem very supportive. They know what they’re doing and want to make sure that I get all the help I need to succeed.”
Canela loves going to class.
“It’s so close. Everything’s right there. And having the professors know who we are is a good feeling. They know who you are and they will remember your name.”