Alexandra Dufour came into the French program with 15 years of experience with the language. After demonstrating what she already knew on UL Lafayette’s Advanced Credit Exams, she jumped ahead in the curriculum.
“I have been taking French for so long and I never wanted to give it up,” she said. “I came in with so many credits in French that I was already almost halfway through my degree plan in French before I was even a freshman.”
Finding a New Passion
Alexandra found another passion as a student through her minor.
“I was originally supposed to do a Spanish minor since I thought I wanted to be an interpreter for the longest time,” she said. “I think that was just kind of my go-to since I didn’t really know what I wanted to do.
“Then when I found out that human resources is something that I do really want to do, I decided I wanted to do management,” she said. “It’s not just human resources, but it’s also leadership and being independent and taking on different parts of the business that you want to be in. So, there are many places that a language and a management minor can take you.”
Alexandra started interning in human resources at a construction company. She is currently looking forward to earning a graduate degree in human resource management and she “definitely want[s] to do grad school at UL Lafayette.”
“I want to start exploring different HR perspectives outside of a construction company,” she said. “I wanted to see how HR is different in either small businesses or larger businesses or fast food. That’s something that I want to look at when I get closer to grad school.”
A System of Support
UL Lafayette has been a source of support for Alexandra away from home.
“I didn’t think that being so far away from home was going to be beneficial. I didn’t think I was going to like it,” she said. “But I really like the Lafayette community and I really like the teachers that I’ve been surrounded by and I want to pursue another degree at the same college.
“I really like the French program because it’s very small,” she said. “Because it’s small, you get to grow these relationships with not only the students but with the teachers as well.”
Alexandra even found encouragement from smaller, unexpected places.
“One thing that I like the most is the ladies in the cafeteria. They’re just so sweet,” she said. “They will sit there and talk to you. I see so many students grow their relationships with the people here.
“They’ll ask you how your day is and if you’re not having a good day, they’ll talk to you about it,” she said. “That’s one thing that I really love the most is that no matter who you talk to on campus, they’re always going to be open-minded and wanting to talk to you and help you out.”
Independence & Supporting Other Students
This support system has built Alexandra up and helped her grow independently.
“I wanted to be more independent when I was home, but since I had that stability, it was hard to do that,” she said. “Because I’m so far away from home, I’m able to join these different programs and keep track of my time and have a sense of time management of what needs to be done.
“And I’ve been able to create a schedule that helps me not only be a part of all these different organizations but also be very successful with school,” she said.
Alexandra is returning the favor by helping other students as a math tutor and peer mentor.
“Being a peer mentor was an eye-opener to how many people would really look up to you and how lost some kids are,” she said. “It’s kind of scary going into their first year and being able to be that leader to them and being able to just be there for them is nice.
“I have stayed in contact with a lot of them,” she said. “I have a lot of friends within the peer mentor program and I have helped people with their contracts to become a peer mentor.
“I hope that these different opportunities help me be more open-minded about certain situations and help me step back and reflect about what am I going to do and how am I going to do it better,” she said.