Jordyn Sanico ’21 | Majors: Human Resources & Marketing

Current student and President of the Pacific Islander Club (PIC), Jordyn Sanico, has been adapting and strengthening her soft skills as she wraps up her virtual learning experience this semester. In a recent interview, she wrote about her initial hesitations, adjusting to the changes, and how the PIC is restrategizing for Menlo’s 29th annual lūʻau this spring!

Jordyn shares, “In the beginning, I was nervous and a little worried about what the transition to virtual classes would be like, but as time went on I found that my professors were just as supportive now as before, if not more so. Being online has not been without its challenges, but I’m very glad and grateful that I still have the opportunity to continue learning and working towards getting my degree.”

How have you adapted to virtual learning? 

In the beginning I was nervous and a little worried about what the transition to virtual classes would be like, but as time went on I found that my professors were just as supportive now as before, if not more so. They’ve gone above and beyond to help us in any way that they can, and they do their best to be understanding and accommodating.  The reality is that we’re all learning how to adapt during this time. Being online has not been without its challenges, but I’m very glad and grateful that I still have the opportunity to continue learning and working towards getting my degree. 

What are some challenges you’ve had to overcome?

One of the biggest changes for me has been getting accustomed to connecting with everyone through a screen. It’s odd to see your friends and professors in tiny boxes when you’re so used to seeing them in person, but it’s pushed me to be a better communicator and to be creative when it comes to how I network. The time difference between Hawaii and California has also been a major change for me because I have to get up a little earlier and be more aware of due dates. Now more than ever I have to be really organized and stay focused. In addition to school and work, I am currently searching for an internship and at times it has been difficult to balance it all. The Internships & Career Services (ICS) team along with the various resources Menlo has to offer, has been extremely helpful in making the process as smooth as possible. 

How has your student experience been this semester? 

The faculty and staff continue to provide their best efforts to ensure that as students we’re getting the best learning experience possible. My professors offer individualized office hours, various supplemental materials, and still have group discussions and projects so that we can get to know one another. Menlo has done a great job of holding ongoing events that allow students to interact and have fun, as well as events that allow students to develop professionally.  For example,  a virtual club fair that gave students the chance to explore their interests, and our annual OAKtoberFest where people from all over the world could join in the festivities.  

What has it been like planning for the lūʻau during  a pandemic? 

Covid has made planning for our event slightly more complicated this year because we have to organize for two possible scenarios: an in-person event and a virtual one. We must prepare for the unexpected and do our best to keep lūʻau as authentic as we can. Pre-covid, our club had around eight months to find decor and costumes, fundraise and learn and practice our dances. 

This year lūʻau has to come together fairly quickly, and we’ve had to push ourselves to be creative with our ideas. Luckily we have amazing support from past officers and alumni, and staff like our club advisor Jaagriti Sharma and President Steven Weiner to help us along the way. Our club wants to have a lūʻau no matter what form it takes (virtual or in-person) because we want to show that despite the pandemic, we can still make the best of the opportunities we have.