Nini Larkin

BA in Human Relations

Class of 2022

Nini Larkin
"I hope to participate in CUNY SPS events as a proud alumna. I already see how quickly our School is evolving and can't wait to see its impact in the next five years!"

What were some of the most defining aspects of your time at CUNY SPS?

The most defining aspect of my time at CUNY SPS was the pivot from in-person classes to fully online learning due to the COVID-19 global health pandemic. It forced me to really take charge of my learning as I had to study alone and didn’t have much interaction with my professors and classmates. Doing so brought out qualities of adaptability and resiliency that I never had to tap into before. Taking the capstone course was also a defining moment during my time at CUNY SPS not only because it meant that I was near the end of my course of study but because we explored how to be agents of change and reviewed lessons from previous HRL courses. So, pulling it all together really showed me how impactful my studies were and how those lessons will aid me in both my professional and personal lives.

What is the best piece of advice, or most important thing you learned at CUNY SPS?

The best piece of advice I could give my fellow CUNY SPS students is always to ask questions and get clarification from your professors when you’re unsure about something pertaining to an assignment or the coursework in general. I’d also stress that if you can set at least 1 hour aside a day to read, it will be much more helpful than trying to read a large text before an assignment is due. All of the teachers I took courses with at CUNY SPS were really helpful and cared about our learning so they were happy to explain things in a way that helped us understand. Asking questions and reading as much as you can will always serve you well!

Who influenced you the most? Please feel free to include anyone from the CUNY SPS community including faculty, staff, or fellow classmates.

All of my professors and the HRL administrators were super helpful during my matriculation and influenced me to put forth the best efforts in my courses. But, I will say, that my fellow classmates were most inspiring! We came from different backgrounds and walks of life. Some of us were parents, some younger, some older, and almost all of us were employed full-time. With all of their respective life responsibilities, they stayed committed to completing coursework and finally finishing the requirements for their bachelor’s degree. I learned so much from and about them while we interacted in person during the 2019-20 academic year and kept in touch virtually during the pandemic. It felt great to be able to share our common goal of degree attainment with other students who had also fallen off their educational path at some point but made the decision to finish what they started.

How has your CUNY SPS influenced your current job, and your career overall?

Studying Human Relations at CUNY SPS definitely helped strengthen my communication skills at my job and gave me solid tips for executing conflict resolution in the workplace. I’m also more confident in employing research methods to find solutions to workplace problems as well as to compare data from competitors in our industry. The virtual presentations from the career services office and various CUNY SPS clubs have also been helpful as I’ve learned tips and perspectives on how to better market myself and how to address issues of diversity in the workplace.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The most rewarding aspect of my job is helping people! I’ve always been a people-oriented, team player in my work roles. I enjoy interacting with others while helping them solve problems or simply collaborating with them to get projects done. I love learning about my coworkers and their cultures, which sometimes differ from mine, and how we are more alike than we realize. I thoroughly enjoyed serving as a peer mentor for the ACE program during my time at CUNY SPS and would love to take on a role that involves mentorship in the future.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I aspire to have completed my master’s degree program and see myself continuing to work in the higher education industry. It is my hope that I’ll be well prepared to take on a more advanced role within a higher education administration setting (especially concerning student affairs and advisement). I’ve picked up a wealth of resources along my educational journey and would love to support students who are starting or continuing their own educational paths. I also hope to still participate in CUNY SPS events as a proud alumna as I already see how quickly our school is evolving and I can’t wait to see its impact in the next five years!

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