The breadth of senior speak finalist Emmali Corcoran’s involvement at Purchase is proof of her belief that hard work is the backbone of success.
She’s been involved with clubs, holding offices as both a president and secretary for one year each. She’s been an admissions ambassador for two and a half years, a summer admissions ambassador for two, and served as the head ambassador for a semester. She also volunteered once as an ambassador at Portfolio Review Day in Manhattan.
The Brooklyn native has been a TA, a peer advisor, an advising intern, and a stage manager. All while succeeding academically: She’s been on the Dean’s List for five consecutive semesters and received Merit Scholarships for each as well.
“I would like others to know that though I have done well at my time at Purchase, hard work is the backbone of all of my successes. It may seem like good grades and opportunities come naturally to many, but these opportunities are created through perseverance. Even those who seem like they have their life completely planned and prepped have doubts and insecurities about their ability to perform. I know individuals who have gone on to receive their Masters and Ph.D.’s who are practically experts in their field that still feel that they have a great deal to learn and work towards. So even if you feel unsteady or scared, know that those insecurities are only temporary,” she says.
PC: Describe a moment during your Purchase experience when you felt most challenged?
EC: I have felt the most challenged at Purchase during my first semester of senior year. I was halfway through with my literature review, and beginning to plan my final semester of classes. I worked for many hours each day finding resources for my project and planning with my adviser while also going to work, applying for internships, and completing work for other courses. I didn’t have much time to myself, but it gave me a sense of pride to work so diligently on something I have been preparing for the past three years. Through hard work and the support of the people closest to me, my senior project is now coming to an end!
PC: And most proud or triumphant?
EC: I felt the most triumphant during the last semester of my junior year. I spent the most time I’ve ever spent studying for my NeuroPsych class, and wrote a dense literature review for my Research Methods II class simultaneously. I was extremely nervous about my grades and was striving for perfection. I held study groups, made study guides, and reviewed previous materials from past classes so that I could ensure I would perform well as finals approached. I was completely overwhelmed with pride and satisfaction when I received my grades. I had a perfect GPA that semester, and learned a lot about organizing literature reviews as well as different brain regions and the technology used to understand them.
PC: If you had to predict, what is something from your time at Purchase that you think will leave a lasting impression?
EC: I think the relationships I have established at Purchase will be the most memorable. Though I have taken many incredibly interesting classes that have taught me much of what I know now, I have also met some incredible and talented people. I have met people from many different majors: History, Theatre Performance, Photography, and Biology, to name a few. Those that I have befriended and also many I have briefly met within the Purchase community have shaped who I am as well as my path in life. They are truly people who will leave a lasting impression on myself and many to come.
PC: If you had to name one, who is the professor who had the greatest impact on you? Why?
EC: The professor who has had the greatest impact on me is Dr. Lynne Winters. She is incredibly smart, and has guided me through my first statistics course, my first TA position, and my senior project. She has helped me incorporate the knowledge I’ve acquired in my previous three years into my senior project. I’m extremely greatful for the knowledge and experience she has shared with me. She has helped me strengthen my resolve as a student of Psychology and has shown me that there is always room to grow. I’m always in awe of her vast experience and accomplishments.
PC: What does Think Wide Open mean to you?
EC: To me, to Think Wide Open is to embrace new experiences and perspectives. I think that the key to happiness and growth is the acceptance of perspectives and ways of life that are different than one’s own. To Think Wide Open is to think deeply and critically, and to never be stagnant. I think challenging yourself daily is the best way to open yourself to things you have never experienced or felt. This openness can lead to people you’ve never met, places you’ve never been, and growth that you don’t expect.
PC: What do you hope to be doing a year from now?
EC: In one year and beyond, I hope to be applying my values and beliefs in everyday life. I hope to be building skills that with help me throughout my career. But more specifically, I hope to be working, considering graduate school, and continuing caring for my cat!
PC: What will you miss most about Purchase?
EC: I will miss the community at Purchase the most. Many students and faculty I have met are caring, selfless, creative, and driven. I love being surrounded by the passion that Purchase community has to offer. Sharing ideas, culture, and even food is core to my experiences at Purchase and while I don’t think I will stop having these experiences, the diversity in creativity and ways of life at Purchase is definitely unique and something worth missing.
PC: Any words of encouragement for your fellow graduates?
EC: I would advise my fellow graduate to have compassion, don’t be afraid to fail, and don’t rely too much on your expectations of life! Everyone’s experiences are unique. Life is what you make it!