An Interview with alumna Ursula Mullen

B.B.A. Class of 2016
Agent, Dobi Real Estate
Birmingham, Michigan
 
In this interview, Ursula recalls her UM-Flint experience.
 
What influenced your decision to attend UM-Flint?
The class sizes and the International Center staff who recruited me from Fenton High School.
 
What campus activities/events did you find most rewarding and why?
I really enjoyed having access to the Rec Center and the sporting events, which was the first time I started working out and that was a huge part of my experience at school, meeting new people, and staying healthy.
 
Also, being a part of Student Government was a great learning experience in many ways, from speaking in a formal setting, preparing for meetings, and critically thinking about solutions to current problems.
 
How did UM-Flint impact/shape your career?
My leadership skills from being a part of student organizations played a huge role in my confidence and ability to work in group settings. Class projects in group settings were also very helpful, as I stepped into an office setting after school and had to work in identical settings within the organization. Understanding how to put together an agenda, understanding your role, and most importantly delivering on time.
 
The experience of socializing with other students and faculty was the most valuable experience to me. Learning how to communicate with people and how to establish genuine relationships was the most impactful skill to my career, and I believe it to be for all careers.
 
My job as a realtor is 100% based on my relationships with people, and that skill was built by having the intimate setting UM-Flint provides with smaller class sizes and involvement in student organizations.
 
Do you have a favorite memory from your time on campus?
Probably my Brazilian movie night! I thought it was the greatest idea ever at the time to have a Brazilian Student Organization, without realizing I was certainly the only Brazilian student on campus. Still, I managed to have over 100 members sign up and 50 people show up to a Brazilian movie night. Working out on campus was also the one thing I looked forward to every morning.
 
Did you have a mentor at UM-Flint (faculty or staff)? In what ways did this individual motivate and/or guide you?
Yes, a few people actually. I had a good relationship with the majority of my professors, and that was so important to not only raise the bar for my work in class, but also to ask questions about ideas I had and what steps I needed to take to make them reality.The faculty at UM-Flint is the one thing I constantly brag about when asked about my experience in Flint.
 
What advice would you give someone thinking about enrolling at UM-Flint?
I would say: live on campus at least for your freshman year - the dorms are better than any school I have seen, and it makes your life THAT much easier as you adapt to being a college student.
 
Join one or two student organizations right away to meet people and start practicing real life skills.
Be bold, start your own organization or step up to being a leader in an existing one - you will learn so much from planning, to strategizing, recruiting members, and being a leader.
Introduce yourself to your professors, tell them to pick on you, and push you. Life will do that to you the moment you graduate, might as well be prepared.
 
If there is a topic you’d like to address outside of the above, please feel free to do so. 
I would recommend to students that you plan on visiting the Ann Arbor campus a few times during your four years at Flint. The one thing I regret was not exploring and experiencing the larger campus, such as going to football games and other events, while I was a student and had a student ID card.