University of Minnesota

Family Social Science Student Profile

Name: Lauren Kraft
Graduation Year:
Hometown: Grand Forks, ND

How and why did you choose your major?

I started college as a Kinesiology major an after a summer working at a summer camp for mostly children, but also working with adults with intellectual disabilities, I knew that I wanted to change my focus to children and families. As soon as I saw the Family Social Science major and explored the classes that were offered, I knew that it would be a perfect fit for my interests and that there are a number of directions I can go in the future.

Please give a description (in your words) of your major including the things you learn, favorite classes, and any challenges you have faced.

The things that you learn in this major really encompass anything around children and families as well as certain types of classes that would appeal to your future career. The great thing about this major is that after taking these classes, you have an umbrella knowledge about children and families, which you can apply more specifically in the future. My favorite class was Parent-Child Relationships because, for me, this class was the basis of my understanding of how/why some children, due to their interactions with their parents and their environments at an early on age, determine the course of their future.

What types of experiences outside of the classroom have you had relating to your major? (i.e. clubs, jobs, internships, volunteering, study abroad etc.)

I recently returned from a study abroad program called MSID Thailand, where I took classes for two months focused on Social Services in Thailand followed by two months of an internship in rural northern Thailand working at an orphanage and learning more about the prevalence of human trafficking in this area. Additionally, I spent the last two summers working on an Indian Reservation in Montana where my Family Social Science classes were directly applied.

In your opinion, what is one thing, or one piece of advice that other students pursuing your major should know?

Take advantage of the professors that you have, as they all come from a variety of backgrounds and will have a lot of knowledge and connections to share with you. Additionally, enjoy the variety of classes that you will be taking and work towards finding the commonality between them.

Center for Academic Planning and Exploration

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