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Pittsburgh Parenting Blog by Sewickley Academy

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Alumni Reflections: Stepping Outside Her Comfort Zone - Melina George ’14

Alumni Reflections- Stepping Outside Her Comfort Zone - Melina George ’14“I’ve made it a huge point to make myself comfortable with being uncomfortable, something that I think is very important both in my work life and personal life,” Melina George ’14 said, reflecting on her journey at Miami University and beyond.

Like many other college freshmen, Melina was intimidated by selecting a major at such a young age and was thankful that Miami University allowed her the opportunity to try different classes before deciding on a major at the end of sophomore year. “As I’ve gotten older, I think it’s super easy to get into a routine without switching it up from time to time and to do things in your everyday life because ‘you’re supposed to do them.’ I’m always looking for something new and interesting to do or new opportunities to step outside of my comfort zone.”

She chose a double major in finance and supply chain and operations management, subjects that honed in on her love of math. “Finance is super straight forward and not too much of a gray area, which I enjoy. On the other hand, supply chain and operations management forces you to think outside the box and see things from a holistic view as well as a microscopic view which I also found interesting,” Melina explained. “For me, they seemed like the perfect match. I wanted to make sure my majors were extremely practical in the working world but also something that I enjoy.”

Melina also found her home at Miami by joining clubs and participating in activities she is passionate about. “The best thing I ever did was go to the club fair and join everything that I was interested in. I met friends that way, and it helped me get involved on campus," she said. "I ultimately joined a political club, a sports club, and an Orthodox club, all of which I still participate in today, three years later.”

However, trying new things is what really keeps Melina on her toes, remembering how Sewickley Academy encouraged her to “think outside of the box” and become her own person from a young age. “I never realized how great of an education I was getting until I went to college and was exposed to others my age from all over the country in a very different academic setting,” Melina said, noting that her classes in Senior School had a very similar work load to her general education courses freshman year.  

Thanks to the ease of studying abroad at Miami, a trait that originally attracted her to the University, Melina has been able to step out of her comfort zone twice by traveling to London and Barcelona. “If you asked me on June 8, 2014, if I thought I would travel to 18 countries before June 8, 2017, I wouldn’t have believed you," she stated. "My parents have always supported me in everything that I do and they have always encouraged me to try new things. Studying abroad has challenged me and pushed me to become a better person and see the world in a different way than I had before.”

Melina’s advice to younger students is to “take risks, try new things, and challenge yourself. Knowing what you don’t want to do is almost as important, if not more important, than knowing what you do want to do.” She encourages students to have an open mind in the classroom and beyond, recalling her job search experience. Melina attended a career fair with a list of employers that she was interested in applying to, but had a few extra resumes to hand out to other companies towards the end of the event. Melina was lucky enough to land an internship at one of the Big Four accounting firms, a company she never even placed on her original list. “It’s funny how things work,” she reflected.

Currently a business advisory intern at Ernst & Young’s Financial Services Office in Manhattan, Melina hopes to return to New York City and continue working at the same company after graduation. “I had the time of my life both living and working in NYC and I can't wait to move back full-time in a year!” 

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Topics: Alumni