From left, Brigette Suerig, '18, Kristin Silvi, '18, Sam Ryan, '18, Ally Kornberger, '18, and Alexis Jackson, '18, are all graduating from Lehigh this December. They will be pursuing master's degrees, studying for certification exams or traveling during this time. (Courtesy of Brigette Suerig, Kristin Silvi, Sam Ryan, Ally Kornberger and Alexis Jackson)

Winter graduates share their second-semester plans


While many Lehigh students earn their degrees in eight semesters or more, some are able to graduate early by planning their schedules ahead of time to begin master’s programs early, study for certification exams or travel abroad.

The Brown and White spoke to several seniors who will graduate in December about their plans after they receive their undergraduate degrees.

Ally Kornberger, ’18

Kornberger is planning to graduate early. She will graduate with an English major and a minor in sustainable development. She will begin a master’s in environmental policy design at Lehigh next semester.

“I think it will be hard leaving the English program just because the professors are amazing,” Kornberger said. “Every professor I had is so supportive and they are so willing to help you pursue your goals and help you succeed at Lehigh.”

Coming to Lehigh, Kornberger said she did not plan to graduate early. When planning her schedule during her junior year, her advisers realized she would be able to begin a master’s program a semester early. Kornberger said she will be able to graduate early because she did not go abroad her junior year.

Brigette Suerig, ’18

Similar to Kornberger, Suerig will begin a master’s degree next semester. Suerig is a behavioral neuroscience major and will enter the health care systems engineering master’s program at Lehigh next semester.

“I planned my schedule to take everything I could as early as possible,” Suerig said. “I got my prerequisites out of the way early, which is what I think led to me being able to graduate early.”

Alexis Jackson, ’18

Jackson will graduate in December as well, however, she will not continue to take classes at Lehigh. Instead, she will spend next semester studying for an accounting certification exam.

Jackson is an accounting major and a Jewish studies minor.

“I’m working at PricewaterhouseCoopers starting this summer,” Jackson said. “Next semester I’m going to be studying for the (Certified Public Accountant) exam.” 

She realized she would be able to graduate early after sitting down with one of her accounting professors and making a semester-by-semester plan that would allow her to graduate in three-and-a-half years.

Jackson also completed the Lehigh summer program in Prague, where she took an accounting class and had an internship. She suggested the Lehigh in Prague program for those who would have trouble spending a full semester abroad.

Sam Ryan, ’18

Ryan, is an IBE finance student. She is going to stay in the area next semester, living off campus. 

“I’m starting at Citigroup in the Investment Banking division in June,” Ryan said. “It’s nice (that) I will have more time off before I start work.”

Like Jackson, she will spend next semester studying for a the Chartered Financial Analyst Exam, which she will take in June. 

Kristen Silvi, ’18

Silvi, plans to travel before starting her job at Goldman Sachs in July.

Silvi is going to Honduras with her dad. She is then planning to visit Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore, finally ending her travels in Italy. 

Silvi has some mixed feelings toward saying goodbye to Lehigh early.

“It’s definitely bittersweet,” Silvi said. “Coming into this year, I was excited to be able to graduate early and travel because you don’t always get the opportunity to have four or five months to just travel and see everything, but being a senior, it definitely is bittersweet because you are going to miss out on some things (during) the second semester.” 

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