ana colicchio

Keeping Up With Ana Colicchio

Photo by Mariabe Maiello
By Ana Colicchio

Photo by Mariabe Maiello

Keeping Up With Ana Colicchio

By Ana Colicchio
During her time at UM, Ana held leadership positions in several clubs, took advantage of campus resources to secure multiple internships, and did a semester abroad.

Q: Did you live on campus? What was that experience like?

I lived on campus my first year of college. I remember having such an amazing experience living in the Stanford Residential College. I was able to meet new people and make so many friends that made every day such an adventure! Being so close to my classes, the on-campus events, and going to the dining hall with my roommate are memories I will always cherish.

Q: What’s your fondest UM tradition?

My favorite UM tradition is the annual Homecoming celebration! Sitting on the edge of Lake Osceola year after year with my best friends truly is the best feeling.

Fireworks fill the sky as we watch the band play and wait for the result of the boat burning to predict who will win the homecoming game.

Q: What was the most difficult obstacle/challenge you faced while you were here? What was the result?

The biggest challenge I faced was accepting that success in college is determined by how much work you are willing to put in. For me, that meant using my free time to take advantage of all of the career resources UM has to offer like the Toppel Career Center, the on-campus business organizations like the American Marketing Association, and the professional business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. After taking on leadership roles in these organizations and learning from professionals throughout the years, my hard work paid off and I landed some amazing internships at top companies.

Q: What is your favorite spot on campus?

My favorite spot has always been the farmer’s market on Wednesdays! It introduced me to so many new types of flavors with vendors specializing in cuisines from Korea, India, Greece, China, Japan, Peru, Venezuela, and more. Market Wednesdays with friends was always the best time of the week on campus.

Q: How did you choose your major and minor?

I always knew I wanted to pursue a business degree because of my entrepreneurial family but was not 100 percent sure which area of business I was interested in when I started college. During my first year, the business school set the curriculum, so I was taking classes across all subjects. That, combined with joining many business school organizations, allowed me to get a sense of what I was most passionate about, and I fell in love with marketing! I decided to minor in Italian because of my family heritage. Because of UM’s flexible course structure, I was able to incorporate my minor into my business degree. My minor helped me connect with my roots by studying the language and culture as well as gave me an avenue to participate in a study abroad program in Rome my junior year.

Q: What surprised you most about your college experience?

The biggest surprise to me was the fact that during college, even though it might not seem like it in the beginning, you find a family – a group of lifelong friends that have similar interests and passions that helps one another grow. There is a sense of maturity and comfort that you end up finding within your community during college. I really loved that!

Q: What academic resources did you use most while you were here?

I definitely used the Toppel Career Center the most during my time at UM. They help with your resume, offer career advice, hold mock interviews, host networking events with business professionals, and more. I especially loved that the team at Toppel really takes the time to understand your specific needs, goals, and passions then tailors their advice provide you with exactly what you need to help you succeed.

Q: Looking back, how would you describe how you have changed over the last four years and the role that UM had in that transformation.

The biggest change for me during the past few years has been my confidence. When I started out college, I was very shy and scared of public speaking.

This began to change as I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and got involved in organizations.  In class, I got daily practice because public speaking was incorporated into most of the curricula. I gained confidence by practicing with my peers, taking on leadership roles, and speaking in front of business professionals. Those opportunities paved the way for my transformation over the last four years.

Q: What was your favorite class?

My first class ever at UM! My Intro to Marketing class, taught by Professor Kulkarni. This course sparked my passion for marketing. Professor Kulkarni always kept the class exciting with a combination of lecture and discussion-based learning. She also used relevant real-world examples that helped us better understand the course material.

Q: What will you miss most after graduation?

I will definitely miss the energy of the campus the most. It’s always vibrant, full of students and events at every corner. I loved walking around campus and stumbling across a pop-up event at the Lakeside Patio or seeing a student group performing at the Rock. That energy always made me feel excited about being a part of the UM community and campus will always feel like home.

Q: Any advice for high school students in the process of applying to schools? 

The key to being admitted into your dream school is not just about having the grades or doing “the right things” – it’s making sure that you can actually picture yourself at the school. By being true to yourself as you complete the application, your passion and commitment will come through and you will land at the school you are destined to attend!

Ana graduated in December 2020 and she will be missed! She earned her degree in marketing with a minor in Italian. She is pursuing a post-grad marketing certificate in Rome before starting at Venture for America as a 2021 Fellow.