Meet Student Assunta Mareschi, President of the Business Club
Assunta Mareschi is a junior from Salerno, Italy, majoring in International Business with a Minor in Marketing. Assunta is the President of the Business Club, the VP of Student Government, and a math tutor.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
When I was 14, I was in Rome with my parents and happened to walk down the street in front of the Guarini campus. I went to Houston for my fourth year of high school and during a college fair, I saw a JCU stand, so I asked for information. When I returned to Italy, I booked an orientation visit at JCU. After one month of being here, I was relieved I had chosen JCU. I was enjoying the atmosphere and I realized that a smaller university is best for me.
How did you get involved with Student Government, Business Club, and math tutoring?
As soon as my first semester started, I joined the clubs fair and discovered the Business Club. I joined the board that same semester as secretary and applied for president when the other members graduated. Thankfully, I was elected, and we created the full board by December. That same semester, we also started a project with Grassroots, creating the Climate Countdown Committee, which is a task force of Student Government to reach carbon neutrality. When the election came, I became vice president.
As for the Tutoring Center, I really like math and have always been good at it. JCU was looking for new tutors one semester when I was taking both Precalculus and Statistics. At the end of the semester, my professor Stefano Arnone, the Chair of Department of Mathematics, Natural, and Applied Sciences, approached me to recruit me as a new tutor.
Tell us about the challenges and rewards of being a math tutor.
The challenge is that sometimes you may have four different students, which requires you to teach four different subjects within two hours. Students can come for help with Statistics, Math 101, or Financial Accounting and you may have to switch your mind from one subject to the other. The reward is that you might have a student who was scared to ask for help come in and tell you “I did not know I could do this,” or, “I actually did know this, I just needed more practice,” or they simply needed someone to tell them they could do it.
Given that you are involved in various extracurricular activities, what time management advice can you give students?
It is a challenge to get to know yourself better and see how far you can push yourself, but once you understand how much time you require for studying and how much you want to be involved, I think it is a matter of organizing yourself. In my case, I know that if I do things in the morning, I will be more productive. Some people are the opposite and may work better at night, so try to better understand how you like to work and put yourself into it. I watched a video of a Navy Seal Admiral who gave a speech explaining the importance of setting a simple goal and accomplishing it, like making your bed. So as soon as you wake up, make your bed. Then even if it was a bad day, you still accomplished one thing: making your bed. I started making my bed every morning and my mom said, “I should have shown you this video earlier!” Once you accomplish one task, you want to do more, and more.
What advice would you give to students on how to get involved?
Student Government officials are here to understand what students need and to give a voice to those needs. I believe public speaking skills are something that you are not born with, but that you have to develop on your own throughout the years. John Cabot helps you build these skills with all the activities/extracurriculars it offers. Getting involved is the best way to learn and John Cabot has helped me with that immensely. Have a conversation with anyone here and immerse yourself in a project or an extracurricular. When you are having a conversation, you might have a different opinion than the other person. This is great because you can then gain a different perspective on an issue. By showing up to class events, you also get to know a lot of professors and meet other students. That is the most important thing to have in college – peers you can talk to. I am honestly not a shy person, but I have many friends who are often afraid to speak because they have a different point of view. But you must speak, because otherwise, no one will ever hear your perspective. Try to overcome your shyness.
What advice would you give to a student who is not sure if he or she wants to attend an American University as opposed to an Italian one?
Transitioning from an Italian high school to an American university can be challenging. I wanted to study in English and did not care that it was not my first language because I wanted to challenge myself. My time in Houston helped me a lot, because I was not that confident speaking English. If you believe that you want to study in English, then you can do it. After a couple of weeks, you start to process it and before you know it, you realize you are speaking in a foreign language. JCU offers the English Language for University Studies Program to prepare students for university classes.
What do you think is your biggest accomplishment so far as an active student at JCU?
I have high expectations for myself and my academics. Personally, my biggest accomplishment is that I was able to surround myself with so many people from everywhere. I am always looking for new things to do and I always want to push myself further. Another activity I love in addition to the Business Club and Student Government is doing community service on Saturdays.
What are your plans after graduating?
I am looking for an internship and then I would like to get a Master’s degree in Healthcare and Hospital Management.