Getting the most out of your college experience is a belief that resonates with many undergraduates, in particular Honors students. For Dana Rossi ’97, it was the activities outside of the classroom that helped him experience all that University of Massachusetts Amherst has to offer.
Graduating valedictorian of his high school class, Rossi chose to attend UMass originally for its modest price tag and distinguished academic reputation. Once enrolled at the university, Rossi entered into the Commonwealth Honors College—then referred to as the Honors Program. The small class sizes and interesting topics drew him in, but it was his ability to still find the time to take part in campus clubs and organizations that was most worthwhile: “The most rewarding thing to me was that I was able to balance a full class load, work part time, and still be involved in campus activities.”
Central to his extracurricular activities was his participation in theater. Rossi has fond memories of performing in productions including “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Escape from Happiness.” He also performed with the popular improv comedy group Mission: Improvable, which he served as the group’s director for a semester.
Upon Graduating UMass with a chemical engineering degree, Rossi later continued his education at New York University, and earned his MBA in finance from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He worked briefly as a chemical engineer at both GE Plastics and the Englehard Corporation. Rossi made a career change, and for the last ten years has worked in product development at the financial software company FactSet Research Systems.
Rossi attributes his success in both careers to his diverse experiences—academic and extracurricular—while at UMass. As part of the Honors Program, he was not only exposed to classes in his major, but also classes in humanities. This multitude of courses later enabled him to confidently tackle problems from different perspectives. Rossi stressed the importance of a far-reaching academic experience, and advises current Honors students to “take advantage of this great opportunity and make your mark on the UMass campus by pursuing your interests to the fullest.”