University of Minnesota

Family Social Science Student Profile

Name: Samantha Zomok
Graduation Year:
Hometown: Wabasha, MN

Samantha Zomok

How and why did you choose your major?

Originally I came to the U of M looking to major in Microbiology. It took one semester and Chemistry 1015 to realize that was not the route for me. I ended up at CAPE where I took a look at my values, strengths and passions. At one point my CAPE advisor asked me what I didn’t want. The remainder of the list held three possibilities, Sociology, Psychology and Family Social Science. After taking Intimate Relationships I fell in love with my major and am now graduating in the spring of 2018.

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

A major in Family Social Science helped me learn how to look at families as a part of a greater system. I learned how to create, maintain and analyze relationships. One of my favorite classes was Family Policy. Here I was able to see how government and policy effects families. I got to look at policies and pick one to make an adaptive, long term, solution for. Another course was Global and Diverse Families, now called Family Systems and Diversity. This course was a challenge for me, as well as a success. I wasn’t very good at looking at the different perspectives of other cultures and really trying to understand them, given this is what the class taught I didn’t want to take it. However, the class changed my views in so many ways. I learned how to view other cultures’ similarities and accept their differences. It was truly inspiring in opening up and understanding others better. Counseling Skills Practicum is another favorite course of mine. I really get to apply the skills of counseling in class as I practice with classmates. It helps to know if I really want to be a counselor in the 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.)

Family Social Science has given me many opportunities outside the classroom. I work as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for the course FSOS 1301: Cash or Credit You Need to Know. This course gives me a chance to teach other college students about personal finances. I also am a Student Coordinator for the Family Social Science research/internship called PEER$. Here I get to lead a team of college students, under one graduate student and two faculty members, in teaching high school students’ finances and how to prepare for college. We are Financial Literacy Mentors. Another job I have through my major is being a Peer Mentor for Family Social Science students. It’s a brand new position bringing the peer to peer model to helping our students get the most out of their four years. The last experience I have through this major is a study abroad trip to Thailand this past May. It was amazing to going out and getting to personally experience a different culture. The instructor on the trip was really great. She had to problem challenging me to see a different perspective then my own. How to go in with eyes open and really try to open my mind to understand a way of life different from my own.

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

If you are looking into the Family Social Science be ready to be challenged. The professors in this major are passionate about the topics they teach. Their number one goal is to see that you understand the material and utilize real life scenarios they have worked with in their teachings. It is a theory based major that includes research, but isn’t all about the research. You really get to be hands on in working with people and building relationships. If this is what you are looking for in a career or even in a major you’ll find it here.

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