Junqi Wang, 20, & Kristin Wannemo, 22
Pictured with Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery
Transfer Aspiration: UC Berkeley
Desired Degree: Undecided
Hometown: Sodertalje, Sweden
Transfer Aspiration: Undecided
Desired Degree: Master’s degree
SMCF: Tell us about your role as a leader at SMC.
JW: As a President’s ambassador and as an international student, my role is to help students get rid of their difficulties from their academic and normal life, especially international students who suffer culture differences and try to make their American dreams come true. Also, I try my best to help develop SMC to be a better campus.
KW: Being a President's Ambassador means being a leader for the student body as well as representing the school in the community. My role as a leader allows me to interact with students and faculty as well as members of the community. Through each interaction, my goal is to make sure that the other person feels like they matter and that what they can contribute to our college is important. We President's Ambassadors aim to serve as promoters of our amazing college and its diverse student population. We are all very Proud to be SMC!
SMCF: Why did you choose to attend SMC?
JW: As Santa Monica College is the No. 1 Transfer School, I can have the chance to transfer to universities such as UC Berkeley and UCLA. At SMC, there are also lots of programs such as STEM and the Scholars Program. I can get a really good education here and as SMC has a large number of international students, I can make lots of friends with different cultures from all around the world. Thus, SMC is the perfect choice for me.
KW: I chose to attend SMC after living in the United States for 2 years, first in Chicago and later in Atlanta. I wasn't sure what field I wanted to go into but I wanted to go back to school and when I found SMC, I knew right away that this was the place for me. To me it was the combination of a diverse student body, the climate and the many opportunities to get involved on campus that made me chose SMC over other colleges and universities.
SMCF: What about the SMC environment motivates you as a student?
JW: SMC does not have a huge campus, but we have everything at our campus. There is an AMAZING library at the main campus which is the best place for a student to study. SMC also has a really good academic atmosphere that motivates me to study and keep working hard. I’ve also met lots of nice people, who have helped me to become a better person.
KW: What motivates me the most here at SMC are the people. Everyone I meet on a daily basis, my professors, classmates and my fellow President's Ambassadors, inspire me in some way. Seeing others succeed, and sometimes fail, teaches me how to be a better person. If it wasn't for previous professors and helpful classmates, I wouldn't have tried as hard to be the best version of me that I could be.
SMCF: “PROUD TO BE SMC” is the alumni chant. What are you, as an individual, most proud of?
JW: Personally, I feel really proud of myself as a part of SMC. As an international student, I had lots of difficulties when I first came here. But SMC really helped me to develop myself and I have learned a lot through lecturers and different people. After spending one year of study at SMC, the campus makes me feel really proud of myself.
KW: As an individual I am very proud to be an International Student. Being able to move across the world to follow your dreams is no easy thing to do, but it shapes us into who we are and forces us to grow up faster. I am very proud of my fellow International Students here at SMC and all over the world. We struggle with the language and the culture sometimes but we get through it and come out as stronger individuals because of it.
SMCF: What three (3) words best describe your experience as an SMC student?
JW: Happiness, Positive-motivation, Open-minded.
KW: Life-Changing, Fun & Rewarding: After my first year here I changed my major from business to biology which has changed the direction that my life is going in. Just getting accepted to the college and moving here from Sweden was also completely life-changing. I'm always very excited for the new school year to start after each break. My classes have all been great and the people here make me happy to come to school every day. [SMC] is where I get high quality education and where I've met most of the people that I now call friends. Being able to come to school every day and learn is the most rewarding thing for me and having people I love around me is a huge plus.
SMCF: Final question: What words of inspiration would you share with a new student starting at SMC?
JW: SMC is your right choice. You will get everything here and become a great person. Just stay positive and try your best – your life is going to be amazing at SMC.
KW: Being a new student at SMC can be very scary and it might take you a while to figure out where you belong in this huge crowd of people, and that's ok. This is the perfect place to be lost and confused about what you want to do and who you want to be. All the tools you need to succeed are right here, don't be afraid to ask for help and you will eventually figure it all out!