Meet Anna Taglioli, one of our graduating SMU CAPE Student Workers! Anna has been a student worker with us for all four years of her undergraduate career. This May, Anna will be graduating with bachelor’s degrees in international studies with an east Asian specialization, human rights on the public policy track, and world languages (Chinese and Italian) with a minor in piano. Hear more about what Anna has to say about her student experience at SMU:

What is it like to work at SMU CAPE?

It is a wonderful and supportive environment that has taught me so much about customer service and teamwork!

What is something you learned/discovered at work that surprised you?

I think something that surprised me is how much work goes into making a class run. As a student, I am able to enter a classroom at SMU with the privilege of not having to worry about the room being ready, whether or not the technology will work, if the curriculum has been approved, etc. But, on the other side of things working with CAPE, I see how much support from staff members goes into the process! It truly does take a village – we all work together to prepare an easy and enjoyable experience for our students.

Tell us about the task you did at work that truly challenged you and why?

I joined the CAPE team as a freshman, and I had limited previous work experience. I think one thing that was a challenge at first was making phone calls at the front desk. It sounds silly, but I did not have much customer service experience and I did not know what to expect. Luckily, our students were more than patient as I learned the ropes and eventually, I grew to look forward to the phone calls and conversations with students. At first, it definitely was a challenge for me though!

If you had to live by one quote, what would it be?

“La sapienza è figliola dell’esperienza,” written by Leonardo Da Vinci. It is one of my favorite Italian quotes and means that wisdom is the daughter of experience. The more I push myself towards new experiences, the more I learn about myself and the world around me.

What was your favorite class at SMU and why?

My favorite class was an International Political Economy class I took with Dr. Takeuchi in the political science department. I had taken a course with him before that was focused on specifically Chinese politics but being able to take a nuanced look at the relationship between politics and the economy internationally was extremely fascinating and rewarding.

If you had one piece of advice to give to someone starting their graduate/undergraduate studies at SMU, what would you share and why?

Trust yourself! There are so many avenues you can go down academically and so many opportunities to find your niche here at SMU, but the most important part about your journey is to maintain trust and confidence in yourself that fuels your studies. There were many times, especially as an underclassman, that I questioned my purpose or my academic choices; however, looking back, everything I did led me to where I am today. So, trust yourself and trust the process. You will learn so much about yourself along the way!

What is next for you?

In August, I will be moving to Taiwan for my gap year as a Fulbright Scholar with the intention to study the Taiwanese education system and teach English in a local secondary school.