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Transfer Kaitlyn Veliz C’22, G’23 Found the Professor Mentorship She Wanted at Drew University

“I wouldn’t be just another student to my professors. They’d know exactly who I was.”

May 2022 – When Kaitlyn Veliz C’22, G’23 was looking to transfer from Union County College (UCC) four years ago, she felt an immediate draw to Drew University.

She joined Drew a year later and hasn’t looked back.

“From the moment I expressed interest in attending Drew, the faculty and staff demonstrated a genuine desire to help me get there,” she said. “I knew the class sizes would be small and that I wouldn’t be just another student to my professors. They’d know exactly who I was.”

Veliz, a business major and Spanish and psychology double minor, felt “connected” and “at home with the community” at Drew and was supported throughout the transfer enrollment process, something she knew would transfer to the classroom.

“Sunita [Bhargava, director of transfer and continuing education] heard I was looking to transfer from a speech I gave, and one day later she found me in the student commons at UCC,” remembers Veliz.

“Since then, she’s been with me every step of the way. She’s guided, mentored, and motivated me to keep chasing my goals regardless of the hardships along the way. I still remember her checking in on me on my first day of classes. All those details that might seem small to others made a huge impact on me and my journey here at Drew.”

Veliz had such a positive undergraduate experience at Drew that she decided to stick around The Forest for another year. She has enrolled in Drew’s 4+1 Dual-Degree program in finance where she will earn her Master of Science in Finance (MFin) at the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies.

“Professor [Steve] Firestone [Assistant teaching professor of finance and director of the MFin program] is someone who has consistently gone above and beyond to ensure I’m successful in any path I choose,” said Veliz.

“If there’s anyone who has managed to push me out of my comfort zone, it has been him. He is relentless in his pursuit of aiding his students and I’m so grateful to be one of them. I’ve had the privilege of having his support not only in the classroom but in networking opportunities as well. He’s done a wonderful job at throwing not only internships but full-time positions in the field my way.”

Drew turned out to be exactly as advertised—a community that offered dedicated mentors, interesting opportunities, and countless encouragement.

“Being a transfer student, one might think you don’t have as much time to accomplish your goals in two years, but in the three years that I’ve been here I’ve been able to partake in so many different things,” she said.

“Drew has been the perfect fit since the moment I decided to transfer. I’ve had just as many opportunities come my way as a four-year student would have had.”

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