Inspiration Gain Through Connection

I am going to be completely honest, I did not fully realize what The Futures Initiative’s Leadership and Peer Mentoring Program was going to be about until the Summer Institute happened. I have left the CUNY Graduate Center building full of inspiration and ideas that I can surely and confidently share with my peers and faculty. The Institute really did make me realize it was the right choice for me to apply to this program and that I am fortunate to be chosen.

Five minutes after walking into the Skylight room, I was warmly welcomed by Cathy N. Davidson and my future peers. The interesting thing is that I frequently hesitate when I speak to faculty members or doctorate students, but the Graduate Center’s faculty and those doctorate students made it very clear that networking with them is necessary not only in this program but also in life. It was specifically relevant to me since I strongly consider pursuing a doctorate degree in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences. They were also increasingly happy to answer my questions about the program and the website that we are going to use to connect. And this fact leads me to the next point. Even though I was not able to connect with all of my fellows yet, I am sure I will have time and will definitely seize every opportunity to do so. I am always happy to meet individuals that are not just going to college, but also strive for more and take advantage of numerous opportunities the colleges provide, even though we are not always aware of them.

It was incredibly useful to me to listen to the speech about how personal accounts on social media should be managed with regard to professionalism. No jokes, I literally came home right after the meeting and started setting up my Linkedin account and connecting with my academic faculty, fellow students and co-workers. I was also particularly inspired by Mike Rifino’s speech about his journey from a Community College to the Graduate Center. He brought some very interesting points about current education experience, specifically about the issue of sometimes missing an adequate connection between the professor and the student. Resolving such an issue would not only make the education experience better but will also increase the likelihood of success, which is essentially why we all go to college and get our education.

As I mentioned before, I left the Graduate Center full of inspiration and will to take as much as I can from this program. I will also try my best to bring something in, because as we were told: “Every idea matters”. I am very excited to work with my peers and faculty, and I will hopefully see as many of you guys on September 6th, during our first Fall meeting!


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  1. Hi Viktor,
    I am so pleased to hear the institute was a rewarding experience for you! I am also glad to hear you are looking at your social media platform and networking with faculty and your peers from a different lens after the institute. Good luck with your classes this semester and hope to see you at the meet-up on Sept. 6th! -L

  2. Dear Viktor,

    I have read your blog at least twice. As short as your blog is–which isn’t a bad thing–it hits on the goals of the program and reminds me of why I am with F.I. Long story short, the UGL is intended to be a warm and supportive community with a variety of students striving for their goals, who will learn from and respect each other. And as Lauren says, you get what you put in it! Welcome Viktor, happy to have you.

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