Counselors

Samantha Franco

Samantha Franco

Freshman Admissions Counselor

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Direct: 612-626-7054
Toll Free: 1-800-752-1000
Email: samfran@umn.edu

Hometown: Fresno, Calif.

Major(s): Biology, B.S.

Why she chose the University of Minnesota Twin Cities: I never thought I wanted to stay in Minnesota for college and voiced this thought to my driving instructor one lesson. She then proceeded to have me drive around the University for two hours and told me everything about the opportunities and resources available. I went home and immediately booked a tour. Once I visited, I fell in love with the campus. It was very easy to visualize myself taking classes, going to football games, and getting involved within the community. I felt more comfortable with my transition to college since I already felt like I was home.

Favorite University of Minnesota Class: Social Challenges in Genetics. This course is taught by three professors with different specialties within the field of genetics. The class was heavily focused on group discussions, debates, and challenging perceived thoughts about the growing field. This was one of the first courses that pushed me to think from others’ perspectives and to be critical of my own.

Favorite Student Organization: Pre-Genetic Counseling Club. I am actually one of the founders of this organization, and like other pre-professional organizations, we were dedicated to providing information about the graduate program and career paths available. We often had speakers come and network with us to give personal testimonies about their experience in the field.

Favorite U of M Memory: Commencement. As a first generation student, it was a really special day not only for me, but also my family. They traveled to Minnesota to support and celebrate my accomplishments. Although very bittersweet, it was extremely moving to see my friends and classmates walk across the stage. Knowing that we had gone through four years of classes, study sessions, and countless coffee runs together, it made me appreciate my time as a student.

Most Inspirational U of M Alum: Santino Fontana, a graduate from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA program. He was a student that really utilized the resources and networking opportunities available. I think he is an excellent example of the success that comes from hard work and a supportive community.

Favorite Random Fact about the University: The University of Minnesota was founded in 1851, seven years before Minnesota became a state

Best Place to Study on Campus: The Weisman Art Museum. It has a very quiet and serene atmosphere that allowed me to really focus on whatever I was studying. The added bonus was that whenever I needed a break I could take a walk through the different galleries and enjoy the art displayed. There’s also a balcony upstairs with the prettiest view of the Minneapolis skyline!

The One Experience Students Shouldn’t Miss: Studying Abroad! I spent three weeks in London studying the history, art, and culture of the city. It was the summer of the London Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, so there was a lot of excitement and celebrations throughout the city. I spent most of the time in museums and attended plays/musicals. I also got to meet students from different areas of study, which led to really rewarding and interesting discussions about the exhibits we were visiting.

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