Share your words of wisdom

We know you left Wayne State with much more than a degree — this is your chance to share campus tips and academic insight with today's students. 

Offer advice

Take inspiration from what your fellow Warriors (and Tartars!) are saying in their Alumni Advice submissions.

Julia Matthews-Manor '97 Stick with it. Don't give up. Your degree is something you will never regret. I got my Ph.D. and you can too!
April Ewing-Miles '94, '14 Your professors are there to make sure you succeed. Ask, ask, ask lots of questions!
Bruce Schelden '62 Stay connected! I attended my first alumni event the same year I graduated, 3,000 miles away, and continue to attend.

Dhananjeyan Thiruthalinathan '11 It's good to have goals but never be fixated on just one opportunity. When you get fixated on one, you lose all the others you've shot down.

This time in your life comes around only once. Make friends, be involved, enjoy this incredible journey!

1. Be yourself — people will always vouch for those with good character. You can't fake it.
2. Be helpful without a hidden agenda. It will be appreciated, remembered and rewarded. 
3. All money is not good money especially when seeking opportunities to advance your career.
4. Self-awareness is a life skill. Be aware of what you do well and develop your opportunities for improvement.
5. Continue to water your skills, talents and abilities. A desert is dry and a rough place to live.
6. Learn one, do one, teach one: The art of having experience and being a good coach. 
7. Life is not fair. Learn to continue learning in a defeat. All champions lose one day.
Plus: Don't wait until your junior or senior year to find an internship or job. Start early. Even if it's a job in a different field. You gain valuable experience and discipline of professionalism and hard work. Every employer can provide you with something you can learn from and add to your resume. Every person you meet along the way is a brick in your professional network.

Don't burn yourself out. Take a breather between assignments, but don't slack off.

This university will give you wings and teach you to fly. Make the most of your experience here, and take advantage of the opportunities that come your way.

Embrace Detroit! It was, and is, a wonderful environment to learn the value and opportunity of a great urban experience. I arrived at WSU in 1967, post the unrest and ready to forge a new path for me and hopefully for my new home. I was fortunate to be part of Monteith College, a precursor for the Honors College. Our environment made us keenly aware of our responsibilities to ourselves and our world. Yes, there have been many trials, but as we mine the surface we can often unearth special gems and opportunities. Detroit and Wayne State fortify us all for life!

Always remember in retail pharmacy that the customer pays your wages. Treat all as if they are family. If you are having a bad day, you have to remember they might be having a worse day. I always try to help anyone who seems down and out. I carry small pocket angels with me and pass them on to anyone who seems in a bad place due to health or family problems. Also remember your coworkers, techs or clerks. They have lives outside the store. Keep abreast of their lives and treat them like family. And, if possible, have a little fun each day at work. I am still doing these things after 56 years of retail.

Always follow your goals and dreams. Never stop driving for success. your determination will pay off one day when you walk and receive your degree. Never let any obstacles stop you from following your path to your dream.

Enjoy your time at Wayne State University. You will make lifelong friends here. Know that you are part of a university that is helping to build community in Michigan and throughout the world!

Never settle! If someone tells you that you cannot do something, look for someone else who will support your goals and your educational vision. Do not allow anyone to put out your flame. Stay passionate about what you want and go after it.

I went to a lot of fancy colleges before coming back to Detroit and graduating from Wayne. I got a solid education at Wayne and must say: The Motor City in the '60s was a happening place. Just remember: After Detroit, everything else is easy.

Trust your instincts. Find a symbol and post it around to remind yourself of what you are meant to become. Have fun and don't take everything so seriously.

Make your health a priority. Eat the right foods 90 percent of the time and exercise daily. Study and schedule your classes around your health. Be active and read articles that will enhance your health.

Everything you want in life is just a relationship away. Value the moments spent with each professor, classmate and advisor. Making connections with the diverse people of Wayne State, learning from their personal and professional experiences, can support you in mapping out your life's pathways.

Be assertive as you pursue college scholarships and avoid student loans. Connect with a mentor or coach to gain support and insight about yourself and your career goals. Build a grant-writing skill set, explore volunteer options and consider business a startup. 

R. ALEXANDER '03, '12
This is the beginning of something beautiful. Make every dream that you envisioned a reality.

Get involved in your school and community, and get an intern position as soon as possible!

Students, I suggest you consider long-term careers and opportunities. Consider the military JAG programs and serve 20 years for full retirement benefits at age 44, U.S. Attorney General offices, or D.C. government jobs for longevity and career. You will end up with a great pension and medical at a young age. Wishing all of you the best.

Be gentle with yourself. This is not an easy task but when you walk across the stage and receive your diploma in the mail, you will possibly feel like the journey was well worth it! Remember you can accomplish anything you put your time, dedication and perseverance into! Best of wishes to you as you take on WSU!

Keep all your doors open because you never know what unexpected twists life will bring! Network, make connections, and make good impressions at all times — pharmacy is a small world!

Congrats — your goal is to WIN! W: Welcome other ideas. I: Invest in yourself. N: Nourish your growth.

Welcome to Pharmacy! Take a moment to soak it all in, then get ready to learn! Be an active participant in your own learning, and advocate for your needs and others. Don't be afraid to ask that question! You will make mistakes; learn from them. Holler for help when you need it!

Don't be afraid to ask for help! Take advantage of office hours, the math resource center, and any other study/help sessions offered across campus. It really does help and the professors see that you are putting forth effort, which has a huge chance of helping your grade in the end.

Congratulations on entering the College of Pharmacy. If you're like me, you'll find that you'll get an excellent education and create lifelong relationships and a network that will benefit you throughout your career. Take advantage of the alumni in order to investigate all of the potential avenues within the profession to find a path that will be most satisfying for you. While there are always challenges in any profession, I've never seen more opportunities within pharmacy than today.

I have been a licensed pharmacist for 43 years and will be retiring December 2019. I have been a part of a profession that has greatly transitioned from back in 1976. I was a retail pharmacist for the first eight years of my career changed to hospital pharmacy practice for the past 35 years. Thank you for choosing pharmacy as a way of serving others. Always care about the people you serve. These people are your patients, physicians, nurses, and fellow pharmacists and technicians. Use your skills to make a better world!


Sign up for things, try new activities, meet new people and put yourself out there. There are so many opportunities on campus that are available to you — try to fill your schedule!

Consider civil service, including as civilian pharmacists working for the Army and other branches of the military. You can travel, but I spent 39 happy years at Fort Knox. 

Just take your time; it's a marathon not a sprint. It's okay if you have to stop and restart — all that matters is that you finish. Keep your head up!

My advice is to be willing to take risks and build a personal brand. These two things will help you to become gainfully employed.

Look into starting your own business. Be the change you want to see!

Get involved on and off campus through service. Get a study schedule. Connect with faculty and staff.

Attend office hours at least twice per professor per semester. It makes a difference. Best wishes!

Study daily. Read at least one hour of each book for each class per day.

DENISE REID '88, '19
Networking with students, advisors and tutoring groups is helpful. Being involved with the Black Alumni Organization and the Alumni Association is a plus during your college journey.

Seek out tutoring and connect with organizations like the TRIO office because these are groups that usually have people who are going through the same things as you or they have already surpassed them. These people can and will help you succeed!

DARRYL GARDNER '04, '07, '19
Avoid parking tickets! Get connected! Ask for help! Apply for scholarships! Join a student org! Seek out internships!

Get involved. Make friends in spite of everything that draws on your energy.

Keep an open mind, as what you start with might not be what you end with. I got a teaching degree in secondary education and would have preferred elementary ed, but I discovered this my junior year. Should have gone back for one year to get elementary student teaching accomplished. 

Do not take the opportunity for granted; education is important and necessary. Study and never stop learning. Work toward becoming your best self.

If things seem tough, keep striving. It is so worth it!

Study, study, study! But enjoy your time here. It goes fast!

Keep doing what you have been doing. I consider myself very fortunate to have graduated from Wayne State.

Be open to every opportunity that comes your way, and always remember that chance favors those in motion.

Take your education seriously. Study and share your knowledge with others. Remember that you can learn something every day. You're never too old to learn.

You never know when and where you will meet the person who helps you get your career going and helps you succeed! Networking is key!

You can't do well in the life of abundance just because you have good grades in school. Ensure that the work you are doing every semester was serving some kind of real world purpose. You will graduate with flying colors. You are far more competent than you think you are. No matter what type of circumstances you have experienced, you always have the ability to find the way out and create success.

The recipe for success in college is simple: Go to class regularly, take notes in class, keep up with the assigned readings, listen to questions from other students, participate in class, and keep in mind that the professor has office hours and is available for help. Warrior Strong is more than a slogan — it's a mindset and a lifestyle.

Internships! Especially if you're in communications and your network is your network! Network!

Know what you want. Have a clear path.

Networking is key.

Take advantage of all the resources available to you!

Wayne State is a great learning community. Please indulge in deep learning and volunteer in your department and graduate school as well.

Enjoy being in college (you will miss it). Find out what you don't like (it will save time and money). Join an organization. Travel as often as possible.

Stay positive and seek your goals.

Time is life. Don't waste it!

Use Bureau of Labor Statistics to find out the job projections for your major; actively look for careers while in school. Really ask yourself if you need a degree to go into the industry you want. Ask yourself if a Wayne State degree will get you where you want to go. Question your professors. Make connections with the professors who are good. They can help you with internships down the line. Focus on the value a class gives you, not the grade.

Networking is incredibly important. Get involved with Michigan Pharmacists Association and other pharmacist groups; get to know other people in the profession. Use your rotations as an opportunity to get to know your preceptors, and stay in touch with them after graduation. Be very conscious of your professional reputation, starting in school — it will follow you wherever you go. Volunteer, pick up extra skills, make your resume stand out from the crowd.

Never give up! Never, ever give up. Keep going to class. Do the reading. Take the next step. Train your inner voice to say, I can do it! Never give up. Never, ever. 

Never underestimate the power of your Wayne State degree. It's powerful yet practical and you are always ready for what's ahead!

Start to build your network. Attend events for the industries that you want to target for employment. Get to know experts in your field. Take advantage of competitive opportunities.

Take good care of your patients and the pharmacy profession.

Take every opportunity to engage with working professionals in your field. There's a big difference, especially in applied sciences, between the classroom and professional practice. Your classes will prepare you best if you understand their real-world context, plus you'll make connections to lean on when the time comes for internships and first entry-level positions.

Explore! Explore what the school has to offer. There are so many programs that are inclusive of all interests. Explore the campus. Get involved with different groups and activities. Explore the city of Detroit. The people are wonderful, the history right in our backyard is amazing, and learn something about every place you visit. Most of all, appreciate your time at WSU. I loved it and miss it every day. The years may seem long but this time is short. Enjoy every minute!

Try to learn versatile skills during your graduate years. Avoid focusing on a small specific area of study. Equip yourself with skills that can be easily transferred to different fields, such as computational programming, project management and scientific communications. Try to take classes from different departments to gain those skills. If possible, also find internships among study years to build your connections and to try opportunities, not only in academia but also in other sectors. Learn broad knowledge; from there you will be able to lead others. Also grow deep knowledge in one field; from there you will be able to build your reputation as expert in that field.

Enter Wayne State University to learn, go forth and serve. Believe in yourself, commit to academic hard work, and develop your special talents to become a uniquely qualified professional upon graduation. As an undergraduate or graduate student, seek and apply yourself to internship opportunities in your chosen field of professional studies. Experienced professionals in all career fields often take pride in giving back while serving as mentors to upcoming, dedicated students. Find a mentor and benefit from their educational and career guidance. Every successful professional can identify at least one mentor or inspirational personality that led to their career success.

Build a strong rapport with your professors and take advantage of the real-world application of your assignments in class.

Embrace the changes, which will come as years go by. Listen and consider all points of view and never, never, never stop learning.

Do all of your homework on time or early. Put in your best effort. Ask for help from your professors. Most are very willing to review early drafts and provide feedback. Stick with it. It will eventually pay off.

Never give up. You can do it! I was a student from 1971 to 2004. Wayne State was a magical place. Many opportunities to complete that degree! I don't recommend the outrageous number of years as I endured, however, the possibilities at Wayne State are endless. You can do it! Never give up!

ENID CYRUS '92, '97
Sometimes you just have to push through.

Embrace being uncomfortable. Do things right once and be accountable for your actions.

Stay focused on your studies. The three main strategies to use to stay focused: 1. Is the current issue more important than my next assignment? 2. Can I tackle this issue after class? 3. Balance your time between homework and research.

DR. DONNA SMITH '78, '91, '95, '99
Ask questions: You're paying for the privilege. Don't be afraid to appear moronic. Pay off all student loans before you make any significant purchases, such as a house.

Search out and surround yourself with individuals who will inspire, motivate, and encourage you to do your best and support you in your efforts to graduate. These individuals may include family, friends, colleagues, peers and even professors. Your success will not only benefit you but you will become an inspiration to others to show what is possible through hard work, sacrifice and dedication.

Hello to my fellow Warriors! My experience there on campus was wonderful! There was always the buzz and vibe in the air from the electricity of the many brainwave activities of the student body. My advice to you as my fellow Warriors is to savor the moment and get the most out of this wonderful time and opportunity, and strive to be the best at what you aim to become. Stay ahead of the game and plan for your future. Visualize yourself in your dream career. Lastly, take care of yourself because without good health, there will be no career. Go Warriors!

SARAH COBB '82, '84
My advice to future students of WSU is to prioritize your learning experience and put forth all efforts to achieve your educational goals, especially the future social workers. Only apply to this group if you are not looking to be rich because of your degree, but have a genuine commitment to helping others be the best that they can be in their lives!

It's going to be a long journey. There will be good days and there will also be bad. If you really want to aim for your goals, whatever they may be, go for it! Do not limit yourself based off age, time frames, or what is and is not already completed. Pace yourself, self-evaluate and set goals!

When it comes to your career interests, it is often difficult to say which jobs or responsibilities you like or dislike if you've never tried them. Be courageous and try new things even if you think you lack the skills!

Take advantage of every opportunity. Study abroad and do an internship.

Keep the faith while working toward your goals. See the finish line before you get there. Repeat positive affirmations day and night. Thank God for your blessings each day. This will keep you motivated when you are discouraged. Always know you will make it happen.

Wayne State University was, is and will always be a great urban university. When I was a student there in the 1960s and 1970s, I received a great education at a very affordable price. And in my case, it was sort of a family affair. My father also attended WSU, class of — would you believe it — 1939 and 1941! So I am definitely from a Warrior family.

Establish positive relationships with your peers and professors. Having a support system will lighten your load. Get involved with campus organizations. They are the foundation for training future leaders. Give back by volunteering your time and talents to the less privileged because you can make a difference and inspire someone.

Determination is the key to your success. Time management allows you to accomplish anything in life. WSU is a wonderful school with great staff and dedicated, competent and caring professors. Study, ask questions, obtain a mentor, join an organization, and most importantly, do your best.

Get your required reading material. Be familiar with your syllabus and read the information before class. It should help with following your professors and so the lecture doesn't sound so foreign.

Keep it positive! Positive attitude combined with effort is an extraordinary formula. Wherever you are, whatever you're doing and whomever your dealing with: The power of positiveness in all regards will help carry you through life.

Take it all in because it will be over before you know it.

Party only after your homework is done.

Join a club that is out of your comfort zone. Broaden your horizons and meet new people. Have fun.

Stay disciplined. Stay committed. Stay dedicated. #WarriorStrong

When you are able, seek out intern opportunities to get an experience in the area that you are studying. This will serve you well when applying for jobs in your field of study after graduation. Also, stay connected to Wayne State by becoming an active member of the alumni community.

Take a holistic approach to your studies and life. Undergrad is the first leg of your journey to independence. Do what brings you joy with honor and integrity; prosperity, success and love will follow.

Don't be afraid to ask for help. You're not going to have all of the answers, so connect with people who can provide you with the tools you need to be successful.

Of interest to students desiring to enter medical dietetics (undergraduate) or physician assistant studies (graduate): Embrace the sciences and seek to enjoy the process. You will be well rewarded!

BETTY ONG '71, '74, '97
Building collaborative friendships during your class time will help with future networking. Take the time to make connections yourself instead of waiting for class requirements to participate in group work.

RACHELLE WARREN '01, '03, '16
Work hard. Finish your degree program. Then take what you have learned into the world and make a positive difference. You will be proud of yourself. That is very important.

Explore as many of your interests as you can! Challenge your professors to get at the truth. Value your degree from Wayne State. It is a valuable asset that can take you far!

Take advantage of everything Wayne State University has to offer! When you are done, start giving back right away so you can help other students and your alma mater thrive. Go Warriors!

Follow your passion. Give back. Volunteer.

Push past your fears! Dream big!

Travel, be open to other countries and ideas. Never stop learning.

Go with the flow!

GORDON DRAPER '56, '64, '68
College is different from high school in that you don't usually have daily assignments — you have long-term deadlines. Don't fall in the trap of leaving it all until the last minute. Set your own short-term goals. You're not always going to make them but you will make some progress. Take some classes just because you like the area. I was an education major but took a geography course almost every semester.

Embrace the perks of not living in a "college town" and learn from the regular adults around you in addition to the student body. Ann Arbor, Lansing, etc., are too singular-focused on school, but Wayne State's biggest asset is being integrated into a thriving, tough, savvy city.

Network, network, network!

Do what you love and you won't want to retire.

Make as many friends and connections as you can. Friends will support you for life and you never know when a school connection will be invaluable to you.

Persevere. Don't stop even if discouraged. There is wonderful support here and getting a degree is more important than ever! Great profs, too, by the way.

Being in the heart of the city, WSU is the perfect place to be near businesses and companies where you can get internships. And that hands-on experience is invaluable!

Follow your heart and your dreams no matter what people say to try to discourage you! The money and success will come as long as you do what you love. 

RON SHELL '66, '72
1. As a first semester freshman, don't overload your class schedule. Your need some time to adjust to college life. 2. Use your summers to gain work experience. Ideally in or close to your desired field. This will help you to plan or reinforce your field of study, prep for the real world and give you a break. 3. After graduation, take some time to travel abroad before you start your career or advanced degree. Don't wait too long, you need that first job for your resume or before you lose your study habits. 4. Years later, you will realize that your college experience was one of the best experiences in your entire life. Don't rush through this time of freedom, growth and fun!

Take the time to actually shadow the people and positions you are considering getting a career in. Know what you're pursuing before you blindly decide to go for it. Do not, I repeat, do not, do something just because your parents want you to. If a career is not something that you want for yourself, then you will be miserable doing it. It is a very scary road to become your own person, but once you figure it out, you will be glad you did it. I started out studying biology and hated what I was learning — but was only doing it to become a doctor (which my parents wanted for me). When I decided I wanted to become an entrepreneur, I studied courses online and couldn't stop loving what I was learning. That's how I figured out what I was truly passionate to study and do with my life.

A few things to keep in your cap as you go through the undergrad college experience: Finish the things you start, even if it takes you longer than you anticipated to complete it. You are on one of the most diverse campuses in the state. It's an incredible opportunity to learn about other people and cultures and still be able to sleep in your own bed at night. My first two jobs out of college resulted from relationships I established during undergrad. Cultivate a network now and you will watch the rewards years down the line. Know your counselor and consult with them often.

Search your heart and make sure that you are capable of loving, caring and being willing to teach every child who enters your classroom as if they were your own child. Get to know the culture of children from various backgrounds and respect their practices whether you agree or not. Finally, remember that no two children learn exactly the same way. Differentiated Instruction is inevitable, will ensure learning success for every child and will enhance your skills as an educator. Take your studies seriously and commit to excellence. Shortcuts are not an option when you are preparing to stand before your students and impart wisdom, knowledge and best practices. Enjoy the process of teaching and the miracle of watching children learn. Very rewarding experience!

Have a racially diverse group of friends and study buddies. I have learned so much about so many cultures at WSU. Keeping in touch with your professors is priceless. Give your money and time after you graduate. Network always.

ERICA DEAN '00, '04
I am a proud two-time graduate of the College of Education. As the first of my immediate family to attend college, I encourage you to feel good about attending Wayne State. Don't be tempted to compare it to other local institutions. Instead, focus your energies on learning all you can from your professors and classmates. Then go forth and be great so you, too, can give advice to the next group of Warriors.

Get involved as much as possible with activities and organizations that aid with your personal and educational development.

Take every class you can possibly take to learn as many versatile skills as possible. It's okay if you don't land that dream job right after graduation. Keep networking. When the time is right, opportunities will fall into place.

Network in order to identify a mentor. Whether it be a business professional or professor, their work ethic and dedication to a mutual cause can inspire you. The person should be modeling what you envision yourself becoming upon graduation. An ideal mentor will make the time to invest in you to ensure your success and manifest your Warrior pride!

RON WOOD '75, '80
For students pursuing studies in mathematics or any of the numerical programs — it is essential that you supplement your learning with classes in business writing and oral presentations. The ability to translate complex numerical analysis, both written and oral, to decision makers who are not mathematicians or data scientists is critical to your growth and the value of the contribution you bring to your place of business

When it seems impossible or you're feeling a bit frustrated, remember the impact in the world you have been called to make. Warriors for life!

Hang in there! You can do this! Wayne State teachers are great at helping you succeed!

Don't be afraid to fail. The lessons learned from failing are tools needed for success.

Put your best foot forward now because you never know what doors it will open later on in life.

Take your real work problems to class. There is an abundance of experience in your fellow classmates and instructors. Take advantage of this wellspring of knowledge. Seek out free seminars that are happening daily across campus that line up with your career goals. And always, remember to pay it forward by helping another student with your time, talent and/or treasure.

Apply for a job you don't necessarily qualify for. Companies put out standard job descriptions for positions and they are often willing to hire someone outside of the qualifications listed for the position. A lot of positions will require two to four years of experience, and that generally scares away a person who is educated with no experience. Take the risk and apply for the positions you want. Companies want to see passion for the business. Skills can be taught.

Look for any and all opportunities to get involved. WSU alums are everywhere and are ready and willing to be of assistance. Take the risk. Do the thing. Be willing to try.

MARK S. BUSH '90, '92
Be (and learn to be) an excellent communicator — write well and be able to do public speaking! That is what makes you stand out and succeed in your career. It's not just about being an excellent engineer.

Have a resume first semester. Get an internship after freshman year and every subsequent summer. Have fun and enjoy the college experience.

Don't rush through. Enjoy the learning experience.

Enjoy your experience! Whether you're an undergrad with four years or a grad student with two to three, relax and dwell in the moment. Get involved and give back!

Don't be deterred or set back by failure. Pick up your [butt], put it in a bag and continue on.

Enjoy every episode of your journey. Each season makes a difference.

Travel: Go overseas. Go to Europe. Enlarge your horizons. See and experience the world.

Make the most of your college experience. Attend the events on campus, go to office hours, utilize the services Wayne State has to offer. It's the best time of your life! Enjoy it!

Use the placement office. My current employer interviewed and I received an offer 18 years ago. Best thing that happened ... promoted many times … now in LA but still kept up with what is going on in metro Detroit.

DR. YOUNGKEY CHUNG '10, '11, '15
Be kind and make friends everywhere you go! You never know when your paths will cross in the future!

Follow your passion and don't let anyone or anything stop you! You'll be glad you did.

Meet and collaborate with as many faculty members and fellow classmates as possible!

Enjoy life. Intern. Spend time abroad. Volunteer. Explore the city. Have fun!

Never go with the flow!

Identify your goals and pursue them relentlessly!