According to one standout senior, “it’s never too late.” Sociology student Ramona Saviss entered UCLA as a transfer student from UCSD, thrown onto a new campus with new people. Though some in her position may have believed it too late to get involved in a school that is sometimes criticized for making numbers out of students, Saviss was undaunted by the challenge. She immediately immersed herself in life at UCLA, sought involvement, and earned achievement. As Saviss poetically expressed and as her story proves, with enough determination and drive it is possible to “shine among a myriad of stars.”
Saviss recognized quickly the import-ance of getting involved. “A Bruin is not just a student but a member of a larger society that cares about its surroundings,” Saviss stated, explaining her motivation to volunteer at UCLA. Saviss participated in numerous volunteer activities with her sorority Pi Beta Phi, helping to raise funds to support breast cancer research with various programs and awareness walks.
However, her desire to support her community did not stop there. After a rigorous interview process, Saviss was appointed Marketing Manager of Promotional Items for the UCLA Student Giving Committee. The Committee, the student component of the UCLA Fund, aided in seeking the donations, participation, and awareness of the student body, encouraging students to give back to the university that had given them so much. Commenting on her experience, Saviss explained, “giving back to a community and an institute who gives its students a plethora of life-long skills and experiences is key to maintaining the prestige of our school.” In her role, she was challenged to design effective gifts in order to attract students and promote the tradition of giving back.
Ramona also excelled in academics. Saviss earned all A’s in her classes at UCLA, obtaining a combined GPA of 3.468. Saviss also attained a valuable global perspective, traveling to France for an intensive four month program on French, culture, language, fashion, and history. There, she became certified in French wine tasting, and achieved a GPA of 4.00.
Employing her education to pursue her passion, Saviss secured an editorial internship at Angelino Magazine, a luxury lifestyle publication. In this role, she pitched ideas for stories and wrote, fact checked, and researched articles for the publication. “Writing is one of my passions,” Saviss related, “I love the fast-paced environment, the race to finish a story.” In the future, Saviss stated she hoped to continue in the field, and aspired to someday be an editor.
In her advice to other Bruins, she impart-ed, “find something you are passionate about and dive right in–get involved.” Saviss took advantage of all the opportunities UCLA had to offer, and though she spent fewer years here than most, she made something of every minute.
Even in shorter tenure at UCLA, Saviss certainly came to shine.