Fourth time’s the charm, especially for Victor Ficarra.
Victor was always interested in attending Penn State, but it wasn’t until he received his final decisions and a few visits to Brandywine later –four in the span of two months– that he finalized his decision.
“I always found myself enjoying my visits to Penn State the most. With Penn State’s many connections, strong Engineering department, and very enjoyable college atmosphere, Penn State has definitely felt like the right place for me.”
Victor got involved from the get-go: he plays on the varsity tennis team, is a member of the Schreyer’s honors program, and has traveled to Sicily and Malta with Penn State’s Study Abroad program. These are just some of the things he likes about Brandywine. Along with being close to home for his first two years, he is making valuable connections with the faculty and staff on campus.
“The faculty members have been extremely helpful to me, whether it be for support for their course, helping me with my Schreyer application, helping me select courses, or even aiding me as outlets to vent out frustration at times,” he said.
The summer before his senior year of high school, Victor shadowed at Sikorsky Helicopters, cementing his interest in Aerospace Engineering. He initially applied to Penn State as a finance major, but after finding out how highly ranked Penn State’s Aerospace Engineering program is, he changed it, along with declaring business and international studies minors (it didn’t hurt that Penn State is the only university in Pennsylvania that offers an Aerospace Engineering major, either).
Joining Schreyer’s was a no-brainer for Victor, and he shows no signs of regretting it any time soon. In just his first two years at Brandywine, he earned a travel grant to film a promotional video for Brandywine Global Programs and has spoken at the fall honors symposium about a research paper he completed for one of his honors classes. Not being content to just go along for the ride, though, he co-created the Honors Student Association, a club on campus that gives honors students the chance to form even stronger connections outside of class by planning events and fundraisers.
At the end of his second year at Brandywine, he’ll be heading up to University Park to finish his degree. That doesn’t mean he’ll leave all of Brandywine behind, though: along with completing his Schreyer’s thesis, he hopes to join the tennis and volleyball teams.
When asked if he had any advice for incoming freshmen who might be considering the honors program, he couldn’t have phrased it any better:
“Don’t be afraid to get involved early on at Brandywine. Penn State is an exciting place with lots of opportunities available so it’s important that everyone makes the most of it!”