Kaila '25

Kaila '25 photo
College of Arts & Sciences

Major: Political Philosophy
Minor: Psychology

Describe your Syracuse experience in a couple of sentences.
My Syracuse experience thus far has been greater than I could have ever imagined. From experiencing a true winter for the first time to screaming at the top of my lungs on game day in the Dome, and even witnessing amazing alumni speak at events on campus throughout the school year. Syracuse has presented me with opportunities no other school could have and I am forever indebted.

How is your school/college preparing you for your future career?
The College of Arts and Sciences is preparing me for my future career by offering a plethora of courses that I am able to take so I can explore all paths that interest me. Luckily, I have an amazing advisor who shows interest in me beyond academics, truly wanting to know about me as a person. She knows I plan on graduating early and makes sure I am taking all the classes I need, but also throws in fun Arts and Sciences classes too because it is all about balance. There is not one Arts and Sciences class I have taken that I didn’t absolutely love. The classes being easy to engage in is also what sets the College of Arts and Sciences apart. Everything is set up so my future self has no choice but to succeed. By making sure I have a basic understanding of the things I want to pursue, it feels like they are invested in me and my future.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan on graduating a semester early, in December of 2024. After graduation, I have hopes of pursuing my academic career by attending law school the following fall. Between graduation and law school, I would like to teach English to children abroad. Syracuse has one of the best study abroad options.

How has your involvement with any organizations/extracurriculars impacted you?
Being a Global Ambassador, I am able to meet students who want to go abroad but are scared, and also talk to students who are going abroad and are eager for stories from previous students. The best part of being a Global Ambassador is meeting Discovery students (first-semester study abroad). As a Discovery student myself, it is amazing to make the connection with other Discovery students to ease nerves and to ensure that their time at Syracuse will be just as amazing as their time abroad!

I also had the great pleasure of being an orientation leader this past fall, and I will never forget that experience. Getting to show first-year students how amazing our campus is, as well as making sure they feel they have a spot here was the greatest feeling. Being an orientation leader impacted my life in all the right ways and was an amazing outlet to connect with all kinds of people. I am an introverted person by nature, but being an orientation leader changed that. From being nervous to speak in front of a small group to presenting in front of 500 Goon Squad students, I learned to let go of my fears of being judged and to simply have fun – all thanks to my time as an orientation leader.

Finally, being in the National Black Law Student Association has helped me be in an environment with people who not only want to pursue the same career path but people of my background as well. It is very uplifting to be in an organization with people who understand what I am going through and want to see me succeed just as much as them because we need more representation (not just in law but in many higher education spaces). It has also been the organization that most connects my extracurricular activities to my major and what I want to do in the future.

Tell me about your study abroad experience.
I had the amazing opportunity of being a Discovery student in the fall of 2021. In my first semester, I was not on the Syracuse University campus but at a Syracuse center in Madrid, Spain. Getting accustomed to a whole new continent while also getting accustomed to college presented me with many new experiences and opportunities. Being abroad helped me decide what I wanted to do post-undergraduate and truthfully made me realize who I was. I was exploring different parts of an entirely new country while also exploring new things about what I love. Studying abroad my first semester showed me that if I could make it in a whole new environment by myself, moving across the country for college wouldn’t be so bad!

I also completed a six-week summer abroad program in Florence, Italy, and I’m incredibly grateful for that opportunity. When I was in Spain, I fell in love with art from my art history course. That was the sole reason I chose Florence. I knew this city was extremely rich with art history and spending a summer in Italy sounded like a dream. This experience was vastly different from my Madrid experience but in all the right ways. I did not know much about Italian culture or the language before coming, so the entire thought of simply being there was terrifying. However, I loved every single second. I made incredible friends who I know will be in my life forever, I saw architecture that has made me audibly gasp, and I went on weekend trips I’d only ever dreamt of.

What has been your favorite Syracuse experience so far?
My favorite Syracuse experience so far has been Welcome Week of Fall 2022. I do not think I’ve ever laughed that much in my life. Being an orientation leader during Welcome Week was filled with smiles and overwhelming amounts of love for Syracuse. Getting to put on events each night for incoming students to make sure their transition to Syracuse University was seamless made me realize that there is no community like this one. The friendliness I encountered here during that week was unbelievable. While welcoming incoming students was amazing on its own, I also had the opportunity to speak to alumni who were dropping off their child for their first year here. Hearing stories from people of all walks of life while also telling them why I love Syracuse, created this heartwarming environment that I will never forget.

Why do you think giving is important?
Giving is important because there are those that are not as fortunate as others. When you give, you also receive. You receive happiness, fulfillment and gratification knowing that you were able to help someone. Even if it is the smallest thing you gave, you made a difference by contributing.

What does it mean to you to be Orange?
Being Orange to me means planting a seed for those who come after you. Making sure that the students who follow in our footsteps do more than we did throughout our years here. I want future students to look up to the people in the year above them and say “I’m going to do more, and I will also make an impact.” Being orange also means being a family. Even though I will graduate from Syracuse and move on, the relationships and connections I’ve made will forever go with me wherever I go. I will forever bleed Orange. 

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