Third Time’s a Charm
Graduate student Kristin Stein ’15, ’17 discusses how transferring to Pace during her junior year—her third school as an undergraduate—turned out to be just the right fit for her.
“School doesn’t come easy to me, but I put a lot of work and effort into it,” Kristin Stein ’15, ’17 admits. An ambitious Pforzheimer Honors College student, she transferred to Pace during her junior year after attending two other schools that lacked the resources and support she was looking for.
Since enrolling at Pace, Stein has graduated with a BA in Communications and is now pursuing an MA in Media and Communication Arts, won a Pace Pride Award for Most Outstanding Transfer Student of the Year, has conducted and published research—twice, studied abroad, interned at MTV, and speaks with prospective students interested in the Honors College. At the core of her accomplishments is the support system she’s established at the University. One of those main supporters is Assistant Professor of Media and Communication Arts Paul Ziek.
“I would say he’s my mentor right now and he’s helped me a lot. He’s the one that pushed me to get into the Honors College and opened doors for me for different scholarships, and made me aware of what Pace really has to offer. Not a lot of people take that extra step,” she says.
Together, Stein and Ziek conducted research on the relationship between celebrity and philanthropy, which she submitted to the annual Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association Conference. Currently she is conducting her own research about how the media portrays the New York Police Department (NYPD) versus how the community they serve actually perceives them. Once her research is complete, she will submit her findings to the 2016 New York State Communication Association Conference.
In addition to her research in entertainment, Stein also had the chance see and walk the red carpet through her dream PR internship at MTV—thanks in part to Pace connections, but also to her refusal to accept “No” as an answer. Originally rejected from the position due to lack of experience, she took to LinkedIn and followed a trail from her Pace alumnus brother, to his Pace alumnus friend, to their friend at Viacom. From there, she was able to wedge the door open and eventually found herself directing media on the red carpet.
But of all her experiences at Pace so far, standing among the top entertainers and media outlets in her field is a close second to the life-changing opportunity she had studying abroad in Italy for three weeks. “It was so great to not have a typical classroom to learn about religion and the history of Rome—instead we walked the streets. When [the professor] would talk about a location, there we were—right there in the middle of the Coliseum. To have such a hands-on experience and to be thrown into a culture is something that not many people get to experience in their life,” she says.
Having achieved so much at Pace during her few years after transferring, it may surprise you that Stein isn’t exactly sure what she wants to do in the future—though PhD studies are a possibility—but what might not surprise you is why. “I feel like now that I’ve been open to so many opportunities…now I see that there are so many things that anyone can really do.”
She encourages students to go after those opportunities as she has—by knocking on doors until they open. “Not to be corny, but everyone always says ‘This door closes so another can open,’ but I truly believe that doors close to see if you really want it—to see who can open that door.”
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