Scroll down to watch video interview with Lauren
Tell us a bit about yourself and where you are from.
I'm about to be starting my second year in the MACP program. I was born and raised in Southern California. I love Starbucks, Taylor Swift and reality television, haha!
What made you choose Forest Institute over other institutions?
I really liked the fact it was a small school. Coming from a small high school and small college, it was an easy transition for me. I also felt the community was very family-like. Everyone is eager to help you and the resources available are great.
How does this program compare to your expectations?
I really didn’t know what to expect coming into the program. I didn’t expect, but love, how small my classes are. I love that my classes are set up in a way where I can dedicate my focus on one at a time. It’s a great way for me to really learn the material.
What surprised you the most about Forest?
I knew it was a small school, but I was surprised by how small it actually is.
Are there any particular challenges you’ve encountered?
Luckily, I really haven’t had any challenges. My time here at Forest has been very positive, especially with the help I get from faculty and staff.
Do you have any academic moments that you are proud of?
I can't say there's a particular moment that stands out to me, but every time I finish a class (which is once a month) it's a cool feeling to know I'm that much closer to getting my Master's degree.
Do you recall a funny story about your experience at Forest?
It doesn’t really relate to Forest directly, but it does have to do with Springfield. I was flying home to California for spring break and my flight details said I was flying out of the Springfield/Branson airport. I had been to the airport in Branson twice, so I just assumed that was where I was going. When I got to the airport in Branson, I got a little concerned when I didn’t see my airline anywhere for check in. Come to find out, the Springfield/Branson airport is actually in Springfield. I had about an hour to drive back to the right airport, which was about an hour away. I didn’t think it was funny at the time, but I made it in time and I can laugh about it now!
Do you have any "words of wisdom” for individuals considering graduate school (oryour chosen concentration)?
I would tell people who are thinking about applying to the MACP program that it’s really great for people in all types of situations. It’s a flexible program for parents and those who work full time. I think the MACP program is also great for people who aren’t quite sure what they want to do in the field. The varied experiences of the professors offer an opportunity to explore career options.
What do you like most about living in Springfield, Missouri?
The people here in the Midwest are really friendly. I also like the proximity to other big cities. Some people might think 8 hours is a long drive, but coming from California, to be able to easily drive to Chicago, Austin, and Nashville is really neat!
What is your favorite Springfield restaurant?
Springfield actually has some great cuisine options. I would say my favorite would be Ohana, a Japanese steakhouse.
What is the one thing everyone should do when they visit Springfield?
I would say everyone should visit Branson since it's only about 45 minutes away. There's restaurants, shopping, theme parks and all sorts of live shows.
What is the best place to go on a first date in Springfield?
The Palace Theater has fairly recent movies showing for a fraction of the price at a regular movie theater, so that's always a good option.Also,on thefirst Friday of every month, there's an Art Walk downtown, which is great also!