Getting involved your first year

Two experienced 'Canes share their insight and advice on how to find your people and thrive in your first year at the University of Miami.
Clubs and orgs at UM

To help you settle in as a first-year student, we turned to Christine Sanchez, a senior from Miami majoring in biomedical engineering and minoring in English, and Ana Colicchio, a recent graduate from Pembroke Pines, Florida, who majored in marketing and minored in Italian. This duo of South Florida natives shares advice from their time on campus about how to thrive here at the U.

As a UM student, there are a wide range of diverse opportunities to allow you to pursue your passions and build a strong community during your academic career. Christine knew she wanted to join as many clubs as possible, which helped her find, establish, and grow with their ’Cane family. Her advice?

“Step outside of your comfort zone and join plenty of organizations, especially ones that don’t have anything to do with your major! You never know where you’ll meet your family.”

Christine found her sense of passion, purpose, and belonging in an organization she joined her first year called the Federación de Estudiantes Cubanos (FEC). “The people I met in this organization opened my eyes to so many opportunities on campus. Because of the relationships I formed in that club, I can’t imagine my college experience happening anywhere else!”

Beyond academics, she’s also an avid sports fan—both at the intramural and varsity level. Seeing sports at the U “is an exciting experience, especially for first-year students, because it brings everyone together and makes you fall in love with the culture on campus.” Some of her favorite memories include cheering with friends at football games, going to baseball games at Mark Light Field, or cheering on the women’s basketball team at the Watsco center here on campus.

Ana knew from day one that she wanted to immerse herself in several organizations in order to find lifelong friends, develop her network, and leave a lasting impact at the U. Ana's advce? 

“Jump into the unknown your first year and push yourself to try new things. Create opportunities for yourself."

As a business student, Ana was heavily involved in two Miami Herbert Business School organizations that positively impacted her both personally and professionally. She was able to discover her passion for marketing by joining the American Marketing Association (AMA) on campus, where she learned what it’s actually like to pursue a career in marketing by being surrounded by like-minded and hardworking individuals and also meeting marketing professionals from a variety of top companies.

To expand beyond marketing, she also joined Delta Sigma Pi (DSP), an on-campus business fraternity. “If I hadn’t pushed myself to join clubs and go out of my comfort zone by taking on leadership opportunities, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. As a member of DSP, I was able to meet other driven and exceptional business students, work on my professional development, and most importantly, it’s where I found my best friends.”

Where will you begin your newest chapter here at the U? Attending CaneFest during ‘Cane Kickoff Orientation is a great place to start! There you can explore and talk to representatives from some of the 300+ clubs and organizations on campus.

From finding and following your passions to embracing your newfound community here on campus, the University of Miami promises plenty of opportunities to learn, thrive, and grow.