Alexa Zamora '19 Headshot

Undergraduate Program

Alexa Zamora '19

English, Diversity Studies

A Home away from Home

Alexa Zamora `19 is looking forward to pursuing a graduate degree abroad in the coming months. She has fond memories of her time at Mount Mercy, where she stayed involved inside and outside of the classroom.

MMU: What attracted you to Mount Mercy’s English program?

AZ: Before attending Mount Mercy, I spontaneously decided to study to become an English teacher. The program at Mount Mercy helped me grow as an individual and as a learner. For instance, I had the most supportive professors that helped me evolve as a reader, writer, and critical thinker. I just want to give a shout out to Dr. Chris DeVault because he encouraged me every step of the way. He really helped me gain the confidence I needed, especially during the times I doubted myself.

The program at Mount Mercy helped me grow as an individual and as a learner. I had the most supportive professors that helped me evolve as a reader, writer, and critical thinker.

Alexa Zamora '19
English, Diversity Studies

MMU: Did you know from the beginning that you wanted to pursue a double major, or was that a choice you made once you started college?

AZ: It was a spontaneous decision to be a double major. I was initially a teaching major with an English endorsement, but after my third year I decided not to pursue teaching. This was a confusing time for me because I trained myself into thinking I would be perfect in high school classrooms, but it was not for me. My senior year I decided to continue with English and pursue the diversity studies minor, which was the best decision I made. I was able to work with Dr. Eden Wales Freedman and I loved every moment. Professors like her bring authenticity and enthusiasm towards the course as well as their students, which made me enjoy my studies to the fullest.

MMU: What does a Mount Mercy education mean to you?

AZ: A Mount Mercy education means community. I left my hometown in California at the age of 17 to attend Mount Mercy and at the time everything felt so unfamiliar. At first, I feared that I would find difficulty in adapting to the college life, but I gained so much from the supportive community Mount Mercy provides! Over the years I took part in cross country and track, on campus jobs such as dining and campus ministry, and then in my last two years I became an on-campus resident assistant. Because of these opportunities, I was able to adapt quickly and make lifelong friends. This made my transition from high school to college a lot easier.

At first, I feared that I would find difficulty in adapting to the college life, but I gained so much from the supportive community Mount Mercy provides!

Alexa Zamora '19
English, Diversity Studies

MMU: You’re currently taking a gap year before you begin your master’s program abroad in Germany. Did you always know you wanted to pursue a graduate degree in Germany?

AZ: No, I did not always know I would end up studying in Germany. My freshman year at Mount Mercy I met an international soccer player from Germany named Felix. Our friendship turned into a long-term relationship and although, none of this was certain, I had an idea I would move to Germany after graduating. During the early stages of my gap year I made the decision to further my education and make my big move to Germany. It was mostly spontaneous because I moved to Germany before I even applied to graduate school. However, I took the chance and waited it out in hopes to receive good news! Then three months later, when I returned from volunteering in Tanzania with Felix, I found out I was accepted into grad school! It was crazy how everything worked out!

MMU: What are you studying in graduate school? What are your goals for after you complete your master’s program?

AZ: I am studying English and American literary studies. People think it is an odd choice since I’m an American studying English and American studies in Germany, but I am intrigued to see how another part of the world perceives and teaches American-focused studies. After my completion, I plan to apply for jobs in Germany to see if I can work for nonprofits in either a writing field or teaching one-on-one. Although I did not enjoy teaching English in a large high school setting, I found an appreciation for teaching students one-on-one through my internship at the Catherine McAuley Center. I was able to teach immigrants and refugees English as a second language, which was wonderful. I would be thrilled to find a similar job in Germany!

Although I did not enjoy teaching English in a large high school setting, I found an appreciation for teaching students one-on-one through my internship at the Catherine McAuley Center.

Alexa Zamora '19
English, Diversity Studies

MMU: Do you have any advice for current double majors at Mount Mercy? How did you balance your classes with everything else you had going on while in college?

"Make a list of your top priorities and really focus on giving those 100%, but don’t forget to enjoy yourself by doing things you love and appreciating life outside of the campus community!"

AZ: My advice is to manage your time well and stay focused on what is most important to you. It is easy to get distracted and lose track of your goals, so try to keep a positive mindset and stay determined! Also, try not to lose yourself in the process. At times, I felt like I dedicated my time to too many things outside of my studies to make others happy. This created unwanted stress and unhappiness for me. So, make a list of your top priorities and really focus on giving those 100%, but don’t forget to enjoy yourself by doing things you love like hanging out with friends and appreciating life outside of the campus community! Four years go by too fast, so don’t worry too much and live your college experience to the fullest.

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