Victoria Marie Ortiz is a junior pursuing a double degree in psychology and sociology. The Texas native asserts that she is happy with her choice in the University of Maryland for her studies. She states, “My dad works at the Pentagon, so even though I had been in Texas all my life, I knew the DMV would still in some ways feel like home.” In this short interview, she offers how sociology impacts her and why graduate school matters for her future career plans.
Check after the jump to learn about her goals, her influences, and her advice for future sociologists.
I chose sociology because to me, it goes hand-in-hand with psychology. Double majoring in both gives me a whole picture of human activity in our society. So, not only am I able to understand why an individual makes a certain choice and acts on it, but I also understand how that choice impacts their role in the wider society. Sociology also helped me realize how our society functions, which was enlightening for me and allowed me to really re-evaluate my previous beliefs about how people live their lives. Overall, the most interesting thing sociology has taught me is that there are many things that shape our entire life experiences that we typically don’t think about
Are you going to graduate school? If so, what type of program do you hope to be in?
Currently I have not made a final decision about graduate school plans, but I am looking in to programs and I will start prepping for the GRE soon. Most likely I will pursue more education, whether it be my master’s degree or doctorate, I have yet to decide. Right now I think graduate school would be important for a potential career as a counselor to either domestic abuse survivors or military veterans.
What organizations are you involved in and why are they important to you?
I am the Director of Scholarship for the UMd chapter of Delta Gamma. It is important to me because it’s a value based organization. So we all view similar things such as community service and scholarship as important factors in our lives. In addition, since I am an only child, this sorority allowed me to have the sisters I never had. Aside from my sorority, I am also involved with the Dean’s Student Advisory Council for the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences. Being on this council is important to me because it allows me to have a greater impact on this campus that I love so much. I get to learn more about the consideration taken into providing for the student body and I also help give feedback from the perspective of the students.
What type of tips do you recommend for students who want to major in sociology?
Don’t limit your field of study. Take a sociology class covering multiple topics, such as race relations or family demography. There are so many great aspects of sociology that can sometimes be over looked. Also, take advantage of the prestigious professors we have here at the UMd sociology department. For instance, I really enjoyed the class I took with Dr. Rashawn Ray. His lectures were eye-opening and also made me comfortable discussing topics that I previously shied away from. However, not only should you take one of their classes or reach out, but you should also see if they have any opportunities for under grads to get involved with their research.
What do you like to do with your free time?
I enjoy eating Oreos while watching Scandal or Criminal Minds. I also enjoy volunteering in the community with my Delta Gamma sisters and attending sporting events on campus. Go Terps!
Who’s the most influential person in your life and why?
My mother. She is the most influential person in my life because she believes I can do absolutely anything I want to do. So disappointing her is not an option.
If you had a million dollars, what would you buy and why?
With a million dollars I would pay for the repayment of the College Park sidewalk and streets. They are quite hazardous for women in heels.
Melissa is a 1st Year Graduate Student