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Transfer Workshop with former students

20 Nov, 2020
Transfer Workshop with former students

On Wednesday 11th November, Kings Wisconsin hosted an online workshop with a number of Kings alumni who have recently transferred to top universities in the US.

It was a great way for current Kings students to learn more about what it’s like to be a transfer student from people who were in the same position as them just a year or two earlier.

Progression Advisor, Kayla, began the session by asking the participating Kings alumni to introduce themselves.

In attendance were:

  • Kamila Khojalakova, from Kazakhstan, who transferred to UC-Boulder, in Colorado. She is double majoring in Psychology and Neuroscience and minoring in Philosophy. Kamila is currently in the US, living in Boulder.
  • Bingrui Xu, who transferred to University of Michigan-Ann Arbor to major in Computer Science and is currently studying remotely from China.
  • YooJin Oh, who is studying at University of Wisconsin-Madison and majoring in Computer Science. He currently studying online from home in Korea.
  • Victor Falcon, from Panama, who is a transfer student at University of Wisconsin-Madison and is double-majoring in Supply Chain Management and Marketing. He is living in the US and studying from Madison, WI.

Below is an overview of the topics covered in the session, and what our alumni had to say.

Transfering universities in the US: What is it like to be a transfer student?

Kamila highlighted that being a transfer student and being a transfer student during times of COVID-19 are two different things. She says that she has struggled with the lack of social engagement and being able to meet people in Colorado due to the additional restrictions that are currently in place. However, she was still very positive about her experience of studying so far this semester, saying “I feel really motivated. I love every class and I love all my professors.”

Victor commented that the transition has been challenging, which he thinks would be the same with or without COVID. He advised that all students should get involved as much as possible – and try to stand out. He thinks that time management is the number one skill that you need to have, saying: “At Kings, it’s great because you have Kayle, Chihae and Tirtha and they become like your best friends that you can ask questions to every minute. When you transfer, it’s a big school and you will need to be more independent.”

Kayla asked Victor about what extra-curricular life at Madison has been like for him so far this semester. He said,

“I found a Business organization called Alpha Kappa Phi which is a Business Fraternity and I’m currently a pledge member. This organization has helped me a lot in terms of building professionalism, and I’ve been entering competitions. It’s been a really good semester, even with COVID and all that stuff!”

YooJin said “For me the most difficult part of transitioning has been the time difference between Korea and the US. I have lectures at 2am in Korea so I have had to change my life pattern around.”

Wisconsin Fox-Cities: What was your experience at Kings and what is your advice for other students?

Bingrui commented that his two years at Fox Cities were great and that getting involved is very important. He said “If you get involved in the clubs and extra classes, you can know a lot of people and they are very friendly. You will learn a lot from it and enjoy being busy.”

During his time at Kings, Bingrui was involved in the Computer Science and Engineering Club, Soccer Team, Business Club, Video Editing Club, and more!

Kamila said:

If I could come back, I think I would try to become better friends with all my professors and be more engaged and active during classes and lectures.

"It’s important that you know your Professors as they will be the ones who write your recommendation letters for things like joining clubs, transfer applications and applying for internships.”

Victor’s advice was as follows:

“Go to the Kings workshops! When I transferred, the first thing I was asked for as a Business student was my Resume, and I was already ahead of other students because of the workshops. They are great for learning and self-growth.”

Advice on transfer applications: what are your top tips?

Bingrui applied to 9 schools in total and worked very hard on all his applications. His hard work paid off and he was accepted to a number of different universities, so then he was able to choose which school he liked the most. His main advice was:

“Go find Kayla! If you have any questions or problems, she will able to help you with it. They are there for you to help you.”

Kamila said, “Try to focus on writing a couple of really good quality essays. Pick somewhere you really want to go to and then focus on getting there.” Whilst she was at Kings, Kamila decided to come back to Wisconsin early from her Winter vacation so that she could have a couple of weeks to really focus on her transfer applications. This paid off and she had some great offers.

YooJin said:

“If your grades are not safe, you should apply to more schools so that you have different options. Otherwise, if you do not get the offers you want, you will have to wait one more semester until you can try again.”

Kayla agreed and said something that we really emphasise at Kings is the importance of strategizing your applications and including a safety school in your university choices. However, she also stressed that you should not be afraid to push yourself and apply for higher level schools: “You never know, unless you try!”

Questions from students

The webinar panellists then took questions from other current students who were attending the session. Students asked about the technicalities of the transfer process and the documents that need to be submitted to your chosen schools, as well whether it was essential to do internships for certain courses.

Victor said:

“I don’t think it’s a requirement to take an internship, but it is a plus and it helps you stand-out. But I would say that for transfer applications, it’s more about your grades and what you get involved with on-campus that’s important.”

When Victor was a freshman at Fox Cities, he took on an Athletics Events Staff internship where he was in charge of organising basketball games. An internship is not usually a formal requirement, but it’s a good way to develop your profile and fill up your resume, particularly if you’re applying for Business schools.

Another question that came up, from current student from Yejin Kim, was about which classes at Fox Cities that our alumni would recommend taking Kings.

Bingrui said that once you have completed the classes you need to meet your transfer requirement; you should then focus on taking classes that you enjoy or will be helpful for your future studies.

Victor drew the attendees’ attention to a tool called ‘Transferology', which allows students who are applying to UW-Madison or other schools within the UW system to look up how your courses will transfer.

After a few more questions, Kayla wrapped up the session, thanked all the panellists for attending and asked them all to keep in touch and keep Kings updated with their future progress. The workshop provided a unique opportunity for our current students to ask questions directly to our Kings alumni, and was very useful to all those involved.

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