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Robert Morris University Role Models for Girls
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Candice Gopaul

Associate Actuarial Analyst
UnitedHealthcare Community & State

In the actuarial world you must think about things that might happen in the future. Does that mean you need to be a palm reader? Ha! Not quite…

iTwixie: When did you know you wanted to work in actuarial science?

Candice:  In high school. I was thrilled to discover a career in Mathematics.

iTwixie: Oh, so actuarial science is all about MATH! No way! Very cool.

So, did you ever have to overcome a challenge and how did you do it?

Candice: Deciding to leave the country in which I grew up to pursue a career with which very few people were familiar. It took a lot of strength but I reminded myself of my goal and I stuck to it.

iTwixie: When you look back at your years at RMU, what do you feel most proud about accomplishing?

CandiceMy biggest reward was knowing that I managed to balance a hectic academic life with a healthy social life.

iTwixie: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing girls today?

Candice: I believe the number one challenge for girls is finding the courage to do what inspires them. There are a lot of ideas of what girls should aspire to be, how they should look, how they should behave and what they should want.

iTwixie: What advice do you have for girls?

Candice: Pursue Your Dream. When you realize what your calling in life is, just go for it. It may seem difficult, even unattainable but you have to try. I admit that even now I look back and I can’t believe what I have accomplished, or where I found the drive.

iTwixie: Why are tennis balls fuzzy?

Candice: Tennis balls are fuzzy so that they can remove scuff marks from floors. The felt has the perfect texture for removing these blemishes, rough without being too abrasive, like the perfect actuarial exam.

Candice, you are so courageous! You have done things that even amaze you. That is fabulous. Love that. You rock!

Ok, iTwixie girls, what do you think of Candice’s advice? Ready to be courageous enough to do what you really want? Pretty inspirational, yes?  Why do YOU think tennis balls are fuzzy? Tell us right here, in the comments section below!

Robert-Morris-University-Image

Robert Morris University’s Department of Athletics provides opportunities for student-athletes to receive a quality experience both in the classroom and in intercollegiate athletic competition. Athletics enhances the intellectual, social, and personal development of our student-athletes, helping them to grow through their experience at the University and to prepare for meaningful careers and lives.

Find out more about how you can reach your dreams with RMU and visit rmu.edu for more information.

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RMU Role Models: Prove Yourself
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briana_smithBriana T. Smith

PNC Financial Services
Business Systems Analyst
Retail MIS Sales & Service

Briana works at PNC Bank in their Financial Services division. She says she helps people. PNC says she helps people use technology better. She sure sounds smart to us!

iTwixie: When did you know you wanted to work at PNC?

Briana:  I interned for PNC in college and learned that is was a great company. That’s when knew I wanted to get a job at PNC. And here I am.

iTwixie: Did you ever have to overcome a challenge and how did you do it?

Briana: I’ve always been a “prover.” I always want to prove myself to people. When I got to RMU, I started to realize that a lot of kids were a lot smarter than me. But my sister told me that college isn’t a test of who is smartest. College is a test of who arranges their priorities. And she was definitely right. I made sure studying stayed the number one priority. I needed to get good grades. So I went to the RMU tutoring center and got the help I needed to do my best. It worked.

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iTwixie:
 When you look back at your years at RMU, what do you feel most proud about accomplishing?

BrianaI made my mom cry during my acceptance speech. It’s true! I was given the Rising Star award from RMU. It’s the second highest award you can receive at RMU. I asked my parents to stand up as I accepted it. They had tears streaming down their faces. My mom asked me why I would do that when she was crying so hard. They were ecstatic.

iTwixie: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing girls today?

Briana: There are not enough positive role models.

iTwixie: What advice do you have for girls?

Briana: My first piece of advice would be, be yourself. You just want to fit in. You’re perfectly normal! Surround yourself with people who want to see you grow. Find people who want to see you do good. Do every thing you can to keep them in your corner. Take as many opportunities as you can. Never limit yourself. Just take those first steps and you’ll achieve those goals.

iTwixie: Why are tennis balls fuzzy?

Briana: So they don’t hurt you when they hit you.

Wow, Briana, you really are a prover! You proved to us that YOU are amazing. And that is great advice – always prove yourself. Love that. You rock!

Ok, iTwixie girls, what do you think of Briana’s advice? Ready to prove yourself to the world? Pretty inspirational, yes?  Why do YOU think tennis balls are fuzzy? Tell us right here, in the comments section below!

Robert-Morris-University-Image

Robert Morris University’s Department of Athletics provides opportunities for student-athletes to receive a quality experience both in the classroom and in intercollegiate athletic competition. Athletics enhances the intellectual, social, and personal development of our student-athletes, helping them to grow through their experience at the University and to prepare for meaningful careers and lives.

Find out more about how you can reach your dreams with RMU and visit rmu.edu for more information.

Read More
RMU Role Models: Ask Questions
RMU Soccer
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Katie Kirkpatrick

Communications Consultant
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Katie learned a friendship lesson that changed her life. Check out how, right here:

iTwixie: What are the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome?

Katie: I remember being in 6th grade. I talked about my friend, behind her back, and said things that weren’t nice. And all of my other friends decided that I was out of the group. That was devastating. My mom told me that I had to learn that I couldn’t say something about anyone that I would not say to her face. That changed me.

I became known as the girl that did not talk about other girls. My friends asked me to be their friend again, but that experience changed me. I still don’t talk about friends behind their back.

I had to learn good time management skills at RMU. I was playing soccer, interning, babysitting AND taking a full class load. There are only so many hours in a day and I had to figure out how to get it all done.

iTwixie: What advice do you have for iTwixie girls?

Katie: Ask questions. Figure out what you want to do. Then find a role model who will help you. I have had a lot of great role models in my life, like my mom, my grandmother, babysitters, my advisors and now professors and administrators from RMU. RMU has become the cornerstone of my life.  

iTwixie: When did you know you wanted to work in communications?

KatieMy RMU advisor convinced me to get a dual major in English and Communications. She saw potential and skills that I didn’t know I had. I learned that I can take information and then communicate it to a number of different audiences, like the media, the government or just regular people and students. We still talk all of the time. I don’t know if I would be as happy as I am today without her guidance.

RMUiTwixie: What did you think of the other schools your friends attended?

Katie: One of my friends had to watch lectures on a TV! His professor never knew him. He was just a number. At RMU, every single teacher of mine knew my name and really knew me. I still talk to many of them and other professors and administrators at RMU. RMU has become a cornerstone in my life. 

iTwixie: Why are tennis balls fuzzy?

Katie: It gives them traction.

Thank you, Katie, for becoming a role model for many girls around the world. You rock!

Ok, iTwixie girls, what do you think of Katie’s story? Got any questions for her? Why do YOU think tennis balls are fuzzy? Tell us right here, in the comments section below!

Robert-Morris-University-Image

Robert Morris University’s Department of Athletics provides opportunities for student-athletes to receive a quality experience both in the classroom and in intercollegiate athletic competition. Athletics enhances the intellectual, social, and personal development of our student-athletes, helping them to grow through their experience at the University and to prepare for meaningful careers and lives.

Find out more about how you can reach your dreams with RMU and visit rmu.edu for more information.

 

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RMU Role Models: I Want to be Like Her
Sara Meier

Sara Meier

Graduate Assistant
Public Relations and Marketing Department

Robert Morris University

Sara rode her bike from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington, DC. It took her 5 days, riding 7 hours each day. Whew! But she did it! She says it’s the hardest thing she’s ever done. Great job, Sara! PLUS she has some great advice for iTwixie girls around the world:

iTwixie: If you could be anyone in the world, who would it be?

Sara: Nancy Pelosi, the first female Speaker of the House. I got to meet her. Or Madonna. She’s the coolest female performer of all time.

iTwixie: Why did you choose to go to RMU?

Sara: RMU felt like home. The personalized attention at RMU made me feel special.

iTwixie: Are you glad you chose RMU?

Sara: Yes. I played tennis all four years. RMU has a Center for Student Success that has a counselor that’s assigned to you. My advisor was good at keeping me on track. If I had a really challenging day, I would visit my counselor and she would help me. Balancing schoolwork, athletics and clubs was stressful but taught me good time management skills.

I represented RMU at a very cool leadership summit, called One Young World.  http://www.oneyoungworld.com/. Here’s a picture from the summit:

Sara and Kassie COLOR photo 3-1

iTwixie: What’s the biggest challenge for girls today?

Sara: I still don’t think that they get get the recognition they deserve. I work with MBA Women International. It’s an organization for women or professionals with Master Degrees. Their mission is to get more women at executive levels around the world. We know that in order to do this, we need to build self confidence in girls. We need to give girls more opportunities to learn the value of working hard, making goals, getting what you want and taking the steps that you need to get there.

iTwixie: What advice do you have for iTwixie girls?

Sara: Be yourself no matter what. Don’t care about what other people think. It’s so hard for a middle schooler to take this advice. But it’s so important. Find something that you’re passionate about and focus on it. And always follow your gut instinct. It’s probably right.

iTwixie: Why are tennis balls fuzzy?

Sara: Ha! Um, I’d say to put a better spin on a player’s forehand.

Great answer, Sara! Ok, girls, is Sara right? Why do you think tennis balls fuzzy? Give her the most ridiculous answer YOU can come up with!

Sara, you are inspiring girls around the world to set goals and achieve them. You rock! Thank you so much. You are amazing!

Robert-Morris-University-Image

Robert Morris University’s Department of Athletics provides opportunities for student-athletes to receive a quality experience both in the classroom and in intercollegiate athletic competition. Athletics enhances the intellectual, social, and personal development of our student-athletes, helping them to grow through their experience at the University and to prepare for meaningful careers and lives.

Find out more about how you can reach your dreams with RMU and visit rmu.edu for more information.

Read More
RMU Role Models: Meet an Olympian
Brianne McLaughlin

Brianne the Olympic Hockey Goalie

Brianne McLaughlin

Assistant Coach Women’s Hockey, Robert Morris University
2010 Winter Olympics Medalist
2008 Robert Morris University Graduate, Nursing

Brianne’s decision to play hockey at RMU helped her make it to the 2010 Olympics. Let her story inspire you. Hey, maybe you could be an Olympian, too! Check it out: 

 

Brianne McLaughlin - RMU
Brianne McLaughlin - RMU
Brianne McLaughlin - RMU

iTwixie: What was it like, going to the Olympics?

Brianne: My favorite part was when we were entering the stadium. There was this big 240- person huddle. They had us all chant USA and it was the coolest feeling in the world. I was next to a snowboarder, an ice skater; a skier — Shawn White — we were all representing the USA. It was amazing. Couldn’t be prouder. Try outs are the middle of June (for the 2014 team) and I’m training for that now.


iTwixie: 
What do you think is the most important challenge facing girls today?

Brianne: Distractions. There are decisions you have to make — friends, lifestyle choices.


iTwixie:
What advice do you have for iTwixie girls?

Brianne: Whatever it is you want to do, define the path you need to follow to get there. Friends play a huge part. You can go down a lot of paths. My friends in high school started going in one direction and the others went another. By sophomore year I had a totally different set of friends. Athletes. They are still my friends. Their lives are on track. You have to choose friends who have your kind of values in mind.

 

iTwixie: What was the best part of your college experience? 

Brianne: Hockey. Learning time management. Every year I had to make a decision. It wasn’t always what I would want to do but it was what I had to do in order to achieve my goal. I wanted to play Division 1 Women’s Hockey.


iTwixie: 
Tell me about a challenging situation you had to overcome.

Brianne: I was recruited at Mercyhurst first. I loved the school but I would probably never play hockey. Then I heard from RMU. They said I’d be the starting goalie. I had to decide between two scholarships! If I had I gone to Mercyhurst, I never would have played.

 

iTwixie: Why are tennis balls fuzzy?

Brianne: I wish I was more creative. One of my teammates would have given you the most ridiculous answers in the world. She’s so smart. I’m sure it has a purpose. It has something to do with grip or something.

Ok, girls, help Brianne out! Why are tennis balls fuzzy? Give her the most ridiculous answer YOU can come up with!

AND since Brianne’s training right now to make the 2014 Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, give her a shout out, right here!

Thanks, Brianne, for sharing your story and inspiring us all. You are amazing!

Robert-Morris-University-Image

Robert Morris University’s Department of Athletics provides opportunities for student-athletes to receive a quality experience both in the classroom and in intercollegiate athletic competition. Athletics enhances the intellectual, social, and personal development of our student-athletes, helping them to grow through their experience at the University and to prepare for meaningful careers and lives.

Find out more about how you can reach your dreams with RMU and visit rmu.edu for more information.

Read More

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