My most worthwhile experience at LAS

Members of the class of 2024 reflect on what they've learned as alumni of the college of LAS

With graduation earlier this month, we asked LAS students from the Class of 2024 to reflect on their most worthwhile experience at LAS. From involvement in RSOs to internship experience, Frank Cui and Payton Jarzyna give us their insights into what made their LAS experiences unique and how they’re prepared for the future as they enter postgraduate life.

Frank Cui earned his B.A. in economics and political science. During his time at the University of Illinois, Frank served as president of the University of Illinois Pre-Law Honors Society, president of the Overseas China Education Foundation, and as the co-founder and president of the Asian Pre-Law Association.
LAS Brand Ambassador Frank Cui in graduation regalia

“One of the most enriching experiences I've had at LAS lies in my involvement with different RSOs. LAS has such a vibrant and diverse student community that offers an array of avenues for personal and professional development. By immersing myself in various pre-professional organizations, I've not only gained invaluable skills but also met some of my closest friends who share similar aspirations and ambitions. These RSOs have also provided a robust platform for networking and mentorship, propelling me towards success beyond the confines of academia. As I prepare to graduate, I am profoundly grateful for the opportunities afforded to me through my involvements, and for LAS's commitment to providing an environment where such a dynamic student community is not only encouraged but also nurtured.”


LAS marketing intern Payton Jarzyna in graduation regaliaPayton Jarzyna earned her B.A. in creative writing and advertising. During her time at the University of Illinois, Payton worked as a marketing intern for the College of LAS and as a waitress. Payton began her internship the summer before her senior year and continued through the 2023-2024 academic year.

“During my four years as a student in the College of LAS, the classes I’ve taken have taught me so many useful skills. Gen eds gave me a solid foundation for learning, and my creative writing classes have vastly improved my writing skills. Now, I can write anything from essays to poems because of the knowledge I gained in the College of LAS. But, despite the enlightening classes I’ve taken, my most worthwhile experience in LAS was the marketing internship that I completed. In June 2023, I started working as an LAS marketing intern, and I continued into May. This experience gave me lots of awesome opportunities and has taught me a lot about marketing and communications. 

One of my favorite responsibilities was regularly posting on Instagram. I had a lot of creative freedom, and I could post anything that was appropriate and LAS related. For example, during October, I ran an Instagram story about Halloween costume inspiration that was based on the syllabus for GER 250: Grimms’ Fairy Tales. It was super cool to reach out to professors and learn about their classes and also create engaging content for students.

I also had a lot of fun posting interactive polls and trivia content on social media. To brainstorm ideas, I thought about the type of content students want to engage with, and I posted things related to that. I used the skills I learned in the psychology classes I’ve taken, as well as communication skills I learned in my English and creative writing classes. It helped me become a better communicator digitally, and I’m excited to use those skills after I graduate!

Another opportunity I had a lot of fun with was creating video content. After the 2023 year ended, I looked through all the photos and videos the Department of LAS had gathered over the year. After that, I combined some of the best content into a video recap for the social media accounts. It was super interesting to look back at all the things we did, and I gained a lot of valuable knowledge about video creation. Entering the workforce, I feel a lot more confident in my ability to create promotional content because of my experience creating videos with the College of LAS.

I also had a lot of fun creating student takeovers. About once a week, I reached out to various students in the College of LAS. I asked them about their favorite parts about campus, a day in their life, fun facts, or anything else they wanted to share. Then, I laid out their answers in posts, and featured them on social media. It was super fun to connect with students I had never met before and learn about their lives. I also enjoyed making aesthetically pleasing posts on Adobe Illustrator. Working on student takeovers helped me advance my graphic design skills, and also allowed me to express myself creatively.

My experience as a student in LAS has provided me with never ending learning opportunities, but my favorite was working as a Marketing Intern for the College of LAS. I learned so many skills in marketing, digital communications, and professionalism. I know that these skills will help in my future careers, and I’m excited to put them to use!"


With a diverse set of over 70 majors, the College of LAS has plenty of opportunities for students to thrive and find their passions like Payton and Frank. Whether you’re majoring in political science and joining a pre-law club, or majoring in English and interning at a publishing company, LAS will present you with a wealth of opportunities to connect the things you learn in the classroom to your life beyond it.

Congrats grads! We wish you all the best in your future endeavors!

Blog Source

Angelica Mennella, Frank Cui, and Payton Jarzyna