Ashley Dihye, a senior majoring in Education Sciences and Economics, is an assistant in the School's Student Affairs Office and a peer advisor at UCI's Study Abroad Center. Below, she shares her thoughts about her experiences and her desire to pursue education as a career.
Being originally born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, I considered coming to school in Southern California an exciting opportunity in general.
I have been passionate about teaching and working with kids since I can remember. All of my past jobs and volunteering opportunities have been working with kids, starting in middle school when I volunteered at the local YMCA’s special needs gymnastic classes, to currently being a teaching assistant for the past two summers at Northwestern University for gifted 4th-6th grade students.
I was drawn to UC Irvine. Coming in as a first year Education Sciences major in 2015, I understood that the major would be a smaller major as it was the second year it was ever offered as a major. With that being said, all my education classrooms and lectures were very intimate and fostered great classroom discussions that other classes could not because of high teacher to student ratio. I truly value this part of my experience at UCI because it helped me grow as an individual. Being someone who rarely participated in discussions for fear of being judged or being incorrect, I found that the classes helped curate the confidence I now have in discussions. Using that confidence, I decided to go study abroad in Barcelona, Spain for six months of my third year of college.
When people think of education majors studying abroad, many just assume that they are going to teach abroad. However, an education major can benefit from studying abroad without formally teaching in a foreign country. I participated in a six month study abroad program in Barcelona, and while there, I enjoyed cultural, professional, and independent development that will prepare my future career path as an educator.
As a senior, I am currently employed at the School of Education Student Affairs Office, and serve as a Peer Advisor at the Study Abroad Center, while being on track to graduate by Winter Quarter 2019 with a double major in Education Sciences and Economics.
These past four years at UC Irvine flew by and now, as I face the reality of the post graduate life soon, I am very excited yet terrified. I hope to stay in SoCal and work with school districts in this area versus going back home to the Midwest. My plan is to teach for a couple years, then continue on the education path by pursuing a career in education administration.