Meet an SPU Transfer Student: Nathan Samayo
Thinking about transferring to Seattle Pacific? Nathan Samayo shares about his experience as an SPU transfer student, and how he's gotten connected to friends and community.
Major: Apparel Design/Merchandising
Minor: Business Administration
Transferred from: Trinity Lutheran College
Hometown: Tacoma, Wash.
What was the hardest part of transferring?
I came from a semester school and transferred to a quarter school, so the credits looked very different. But SPU answered all my questions. They’ll help you figure out how your classes from your major at your old school translate to your major here. They’ll also help make sure you graduate on time. SPU does a great job of figuring out a path for all your credits to transfer.
How are you paying for college?
I've been working two jobs since my junior year of high school. I had a full ride at Trinity Lutheran College, but we all found out last January that our school was shutting down, and we’d have to transfer. SPU did their best to make sure I could come here.
If you’re concerned about costs, ask for support. Talk to your financial aid counselor. Look for scholarships, both inside and outside of SPU. Look for all opportunities that can help you pay for school.
What resources helped you get support during the process?
The admissions counselors are your go-tos. They can answer any questions about your application, financial aid, what needs to be submitted when, anything you need to know for housing.
For more specific questions, you also have an academic counselor. They're assigned by the first letter of your last name. They're the ones you send your transcripts. They can also help make sure you fill education requirements to make sure you're on track to graduate on time.
You also have a financial aid counselor, to make sure that you get all the scholarships and aid that you qualify for. They'll also help you figure out making tuition payments while you're in school.
How did you make friends and get connected on campus?
If I could emphasize anything, it's — find your people. Find the people you connect with, and who you can be vulnerable with. Find people you can be frustrated with, and who you can come to when school is hard, or when life gets challenging. Find mentors and other people who will continue to push you and stretch you into what they know you can achieve.
SPU encourages diversity and encourages people to hold each other high and lift each other, through all the experiences that we've been through. Comparing SPU to other places, I have never experienced being at a place that's so joyful, exciting, and supportive, all at the same time.
Reach out to people who can support you. I talk with my adviser in my major, making sure that she knows what I'm looking for in my career. Being a student of color, I'm involved in Multi-Ethnic Programs. Off-campus, I'm involved in a life coaching group in downtown Seattle. On campus, I'm involved in clubs like the fashion club. We get to put on the SPU Fashion Show at the end of the school year. Students do everything, from music, to art, to creating the garments. Every quarter, the Ames Scholars meet up to see how everyone is doing. If you're looking to connect on campus, reach out.
What’s your advice for anyone considering SPU, but not sure if it’s the right fit?
Come on a group visit! Eat in the dining hall. I got to pick two classes to visit — "Fashion Merchandising" and "Clothing Construction." I met professors in my major. Stepping on campus gives you plenty of ways to understand the SPU experience before you make your college decision.
How are you preparing for life after college?
Whatever major you're in, our Mentor Program team will find someone who is an expert in that industry. I got to pick from a list of notable people in the fashion industry who are located in Seattle. After graduation, I want to work for American Eagle's corporate office, as part of their design team. I've been working at American Eagle since my junior year of high school. My professors and mentors can help me get there. Professors also really encourage us to get internships. Nordstrom's corporate office, REI, and Tommy Bahama are all just downtown.
SPU has supported me in discovering my identity and finding my vocation. They continuously help me find career opportunities, which is a big part of what college is all about.