Claudia May

Claudia MayJust hearing the senior class president describe one of her typical days is exhausting. The fashion merchandising major has a double minor in business and entrepreneurship. She serves as Resident Assistant (RA), has a work-study position with University Communications and is publicist for The Fashion Group, a student organization.

“My freshman year,” said the Highland Park, NJ, resident who learned about Immaculata from her school guidance counselor, “I mainly focused on school and my classes, but gradually I got more involved.” She became an RA during her junior year, she said, because “I like to make people happy and smile. I really love being an RA. At first I was nervous about it, and I used to be a procrastinator. But being an RA has helped me become who I am now — I’m much more organized and together.”

That first year as an RA, May chose to work solely with freshmen, but this year finds her with mixed grade levels. “I really am having fun at Immaculata,” she said, “and as an RA, I want my students to have the same great experiences I’m having.”

When she was younger, May became “completely obsessed” with models and modeling, reading and studying all of the magazines related to fashion she could get her hands on. She credits her varied interests to her New Jersey hometown, which she described as “a mile-long, versatile place with many ethnicities living there, a town where people are open to a lot and you can be creative.

“I love every aspect of fashion now—merchandising, sales and design,” she said, even though she admitted, “I know I’m not the greatest designer.” Her plan after graduation is to get a master’s in communications, an interest that grew, she said, after she began working at Immaculata in communications. In addition, May said, “Having my second internship at ‘BWTV’—Beauty With TV, which is a beauty and lifestyle program that was on the Time Warner cable network—and getting the opportunity to interview designers and models at African Fashion Week and writing articles for the ‘BWTV’ website, I know for a fact that communications is what I want to go to grad school for.”

While interning at the program last summer, she also worked at Lisa Curran Swim in Hoboken, NJ, where she learned about business ownership.

“I was on the sales and marketing side,” May said, “but basically I did a little of everything at Lisa Curran Swim, even helping with prep work for trunk shows.” She set out wanting to do merchandising, but has learned, she said, that she really likes the public relations and marketing side of the garment industry.

Back on campus, much of May’s time lately is spent as president of the Class of 2013, whose motto is, “Teamwork makes the dream work.”

While holding that office is a “huge” commitment, May said, “Overall, I consider my student council members as part of my presidency. I don’t feel like I’m president alone.” Her responsibilities include planning, developing and overseeing events ranging from Arbor Day activities and the Senior Ball to getting freshmen elections up and running.

“Because they’re all new to campus,” she said of first-year students, “it’s my job as senior class president to assist and motivate the underclassmen.” One task included creating ballots, May noted, with the help of Erin Ebersole, director of Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness, and Eliza Costoso, graduate assistant in the office of Institutional Research.

Her overall goal as president, she said, is to foster a sense of teamwork among her fellow seniors.

“We are a bunch of great people,” she said, “but I feel like we haven’t really united as a class. This year we are calling ourselves the ‘Dream Team Class of ’13,’ and our goal is to bring back unity as a class. I know we can do it, because we’re really motivated. We’ve had our ups and downs so far, but they just make us stronger.”

In describing how she balances work, school work and a myriad of activities, May said, “I pray and I follow my faith, and that helps a lot. I think I can handle it all. Actually, I know I can.”

In her spare time, May said, she decided she also wanted to take part in the Miss Immaculata event. She described the pageant as “a great school tradition,” and that night, she told those assembled at the event that she believes her purpose in life “is to spread love and to motivate and empower others.”

And, of course, world peace.

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