Transfer Profile: Tess Haadsma, '15

Hometown: Battle Creek, Mich.
Major: English - creative writing emphasis
Activities: Co-captain of the swim team, editor on The Pleiad, tour guide, First Year Experience mentor.

Transfer student Tess Haadsma

What made you pick Albion College?

I had looked into attending Albion right out of high school, but ultimately chose to attend a larger, public university because of a scholarship opportunity I had there. Right off the bat, I wasn't exactly happy there, and for the duration of my two years there, I just felt like it wasn't where I was supposed to be. When I finally talked with my parents and made the decision to transfer, Albion was without a doubt my first choice. I was instantly attracted to the liberal arts education approach Albion emphasizes.

I know it probably seems cheesy, but as soon as I stepped foot on Albion's campus, I knew it was where I belonged. I had always heard people talk about visiting a campus and just knowing that it was where they were meant to be, but I never really believed that people actually experienced that feeling until I felt it for myself at Albion College.

So far, how is Albion different from your previous school?

First, I noticed that Albion's campus has a cozier feel to it. Not only in terms of the size of campus, but in the way people interact with one another. Professors actually remember your name, students smile and say hello in passing.

And classes are much smaller and more discussion based. I'm taking an "Intro to Psychology" class this semester, and it's a class of 25 students. At my old school, all the intro psych classes were huge lectures with 150-plus students. Albion makes it so much less intimidating to ask questions and actually participate in class.

What are you studying? What are you involved in?

I'm majoring in Communication Studies with an emphasis on professional communication and production. The specific communication track I chose is really neat, because it requires classes from the both the English and communication departments, giving my communication studies degree a bit more of a concentration on writing, which is something that I found incredibly appealing.

As soon as I made the decision to become a student here at Albion, I knew instantly that I wanted to join the swim team. Swimming is a sport I've always loved, and one thing that's really exciting to me about transferring to a school like Albion is having the opportunity to be part of a team again, and represent my school by doing something I absolutely adore. I'm also planning to write for Albion's newspaper, The Pleiad.

What are your plans after graduating from Albion?

While my post-graduation plans are still up in the air, I hope to attend graduate school to earn my masters degree in either library/information science or journalism/mass communication. No matter whether I decide to attend graduate school right away or take a break from school to get some "real life" experience first, I know that my Albion College degree will give me the experience and ability necessary to succeed in whatever I choose to do.

What’s been the most pleasantly surprising thing you’ve seen at Albion?

How friendly everyone is! I know it probably sounds so ridiculous, but having come from a larger institution, it genuinely surprised me how friendly and connected everyone is here. The advisers and professors at Albion are so much more willing to sit down and talk with you, and work out an academic plan that's tailored specifically for you. On move-in day, a handful of students stopped by my room to introduce themselves, which was something I was definitely not expecting, but I was so happy that they did!

What was the transfer process like for you?

The process of transferring to Albion was a lot smoother of a process than I had been expecting! Before even submitting an application, I made contact with the transfer admissions counselor, Karen. She responded almost instantly, and really identified with my situation and understood where I was coming from, which made me feel so much more at ease. Since I had previously applied and been admitted to Albion right out of high school, all I had to do was reactivate my application from high school, which was really nice.

As a transfer student, the actual process of credit transferring from one institution to another can be nerve-wracking, but the way they did it here at Albion was fairly painless. I set up a meeting time with the registrar, and he sat down and explained to me how credits work at Albion, what the requirements for graduation are, and which of my credits from my previous institution had direct equivalencies here at Albion College.



Transfer Profile: Annie Ford, '17

Annie Ford

What made you pick Albion College?

I picked Albion because I felt comfortable here. I didn't want to go to a big school where I would just feel like a number. I loved the small class sizes and professor's interest in the students. The Institute for Healthcare Professionals was a deciding factor for me. The institute offers specialized help during all steps of the application process for medical and dental school.

So far, how is Albion different from your previous school?

I previously attended Lansing Community College (LCC) for one year. Albion is different from LCC because class sizes are smaller. LCC is a commuter college so I was not living at school or getting involved on campus like I do here at Albion. The classes I take at Albion have challenged me more which has taught me to learn things more in depth.

What are you studying? What are you involved in?

I am a pre-dental student with a major in biochemistry and a minor in cell and molecular biology. I take part in numerous clubs and organizations on campus. I am a member of the women's golf team. I am in Alpha Phi Omega, a national community service fraternity, and Alpha Chi Sigma, a professional chemistry fraternity. I host prospective students as a Briton Ambassador. I am involved with the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship group. I am also a tour guide.

What are you plans after graduating from Albion?

After graduating from Albion, I plan to further my education by attending dental school.

What was the transfer process like for you?

The transfer process for me was surprisingly easy. As a freshmen at Lansing Community College I knew I wanted to transfer to Albion, so I took classes that I knew would transfer. I talked a lot with the registrar and my admissions counselor thought out the transfer process so that I knew what to expect. Everyone was very helpful and answered all of my many questions.

What's been the most pleasantly surprising thing you've seen at Albion?

I have been most pleasantly surprised by how friendly and welcoming everyone on campus is, from students, to staff, and even the president. I felt like since I was coming in as a transfer student I would have a hard time meeting people in my class, but that wasn't the case. Everyone is willing to help each other, and I wasn't expecting college to be one big community.

Transfer Profile: Marcus Olah

Marcus Olah

What made you choose Albion College?

Albion reached out to my while I was attending Henry Ford College in Dearborn, MI. On a tour, I spoke with English professor Nels Christensen who was able to answer my questions in a sincere way that didn't feel like a sales pitch. I was attracted to the small classroom size and the liberal arts approach to studying. I am someone who is interested in many different, seemingly disconnected subjects and the variety of classes we are encouraged to take fits what I like most about learning: making connections.

What was the transfer process like for you?

The transfer process was quick, there was maybe a month in the '16 summer between making the decision and being moved in. I visited Albion once, to see the campus for the first time; a second time, to schedule my classes; and the third visit, my car was packed and ready to move in.

What have you found to be the biggest difference at Albion from your previous experience?

I think that because of the teacher to student ratio, I am able to receive more attention from the professors on my weaknesses in a subject, or if there is something comes easy to me, I feel that I am pushed more to improve further. Rather than having a minimum to achieve, my education here feels much more tailored to making me better than myself. Ultimately, I get out of classes what I put into them.

What has Albion done for you?

Albion has given me an opportunity to explore my interests in a focused and challenging way. In the past year I have been able to narrow my interests further and have developed a clearer understanding of the work expected in my various fields of interest. It has also given me the chance to lay down roots in a campus and a town.

Transfer Profile: Emily Espinosa, '16

Emily Espinosa

What made you pick Albion College?

I applied and auditioned for several different schools, including some very large ones, but when I visited these bigger schools I felt so insignificant. Even from just campus visits I felt like I did not matter and would never be heard. I knew that I needed something more personal where I could make an impact and contribute.

When I visited Albion College, I immediately felt the emphasis on the individual students. Each one mattered. I knew that I would matter. Everyone was really friendly and made me feel so welcome. It was such a wonderful experience I had not received anywhere else that my mind was made up. This was the school for me.

So far, how is Albion different from your previous school?

Albion is very different from my last school. One of the things that immediately struck me upon arriving was how everyone here really wants to be here and wants to learn. Here the teachers hold high expectations that really motivate us students to do our best and truly invest ourselves in learning.

Also, at Albion I have noticed how the college is connected as a community. Because of the small classes, students get to know their classmates and teachers well. Chances are, while walking through the quad, you will see many friendly faces you can greet as friends. Albion is a college that really fosters relationships and values each and every student.

What are you studying? What are you involved in?

I am an Elementary English Language Arts major with a minor in Spanish. Initially I came in as a music major, but after taking an education class, I realized that my new dream was to be an elementary school teacher. The education program here at Albion is phenomenal and I am enjoying every second of it! One of my favorite parts about the program is that for every education class, we are placed in a public school classroom where we get field experience and get to interact with students and teachers around the community.

Even though I switched from my music major, I am still very involved in music on campus. I am also very involved with Christian life on campus and participate in Chapel and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Through these groups I have met incredible people and made lasting friendships that have truly changed me and helped me grow.

What are you plans after graduating from Albion?

After graduating from Albion I plan to continue my education and get a masters degree. Perhaps I will teach for a few years before doing that, or do some traveling. I want to see more of the world. My classes here at Albion have really inspired a thirst in me to learn more than just what can be taught in a classroom. They have opened my eyes to the incredible wealth of knowledge and opportunities that are out there and made me eager to pursue them.

What was the transfer process like for you?

Transferring schools is a daunting process and I did not know where to start. Thanks to the wonderful help and guidance from the Admission Office it turned out to be a much smoother transition than I had anticipated. She made everything very clear and easy for me to do and before I knew it, I was a Brit. It did not stop there though. Even once I got here I was surrounded by a plethora of resources and helping hands. People were so eager and willing to help me with everything that the fear that I had felt going into the process completely vanished and I transitioned to my new life with confidence.

What's been the most pleasantly surprising thing you've seen at Albion?

The most pleasantly surprising thing that I have experienced at Albion is how at home I feel here. I feel like this is where I belong. It surprised me because, as a transfer student, I was coming in not knowing a single other person and was rather worried about finding that feeling of inclusion and acceptance. It has been incredible, though. I have never felt so much a part of something and that is very empowering and encouraging.

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