The Michael Graves College at Kean University is a school dedicated to promoting creativity, art and many different networking opportunities. For students such as senior Violeta Jaya, the school has provided many opportunities to work on projects that she is passionate about, to broaden her skills for her major, to get involved on campus and to add to her resume.
Jaya is an architectural studies major preparing to graduate in May 2020. She is a first-generation college student who has commuted to Kean for the past 4 years, and has always had a passion for architecture. Throughout her time in college, Jaya has managed to be very involved on campus, joining organizations such as the Outdoor Recreation Club, the Environmental Science Club, the National Organization of Minority Students (NOMAS) and the American Institute of Architectural Studies. Since Jaya dedicates time to her studies, she believes that having balanced work and social lives is the key to success throughout college and beyond.
"As a first-generation college student, coming to college was a whole new experience for me. Nobody really told me what to expect. This is not something you can just google on the internet. I feel that Kean was very helpful with my transition from high school and helping me [adjust to] the college lifestyle." said Jaya.
Through these organizations, Jaya has been given the chance to attend many different networking events, both on campus and off, allowing her to meet professionals from her field. She excels at these events and has learned a great deal in just a short time. Jaya thanks her professors and everybody else at the Michael Graves College where she says that they are more than just people doing their jobs. They treat one another like a family who want nothing but the best for students as they push them to be better individuals.
Jaya has worked on several design projects while attending college. She was also one of the main designers who helped construct the new learning plaza on the former site of Willis Hall, where students can study in the beautiful and vibrant atmosphere at Kean University. One of her most recent projects, which took between five and six months to create, is currently displayed at the Wenzhou Kean Campus in China.
"It was a research project I did with my professor, where I got to work with an interior designer and an industrial designer. We got to redesign the Fanwood Train Station. We redesigned both the interior and exterior, and the entire process took from summer to fall, 2019." said Jaya.
In light of the recent transition to remote education for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester, Jaya says her experience is going well. She is welcoming this change but says it is going to be an interesting rest of the semester since her major is an interactive experience. Jaya thinks, as long as the student has the right mindset, they will accomplish anything they set their mind too.
"Kean has provided me the tools both on-campus and off-campus. Through my on-campus job and the organizations I am a part of, they have been really assisting in helping me find so many great opportunities. Students should take advantage of the amazing opportunities Kean provides for them," said Jaya.
Jaya wants to make a difference in the world and says that institutions such as Kean helped her become the person she is today.