Monday, December 21, 2020
Melissa Mullen '21, analytics and data science major at UNH Manchester

We know incoming freshmen and their families have a lot of questions about the academic, cultural and social climate at UNH Manchester. That's why we're introducing you to the Peer Assistant Leaders (PALs) who help first-year students adjust to campus life. This week's PAL is Goffstown High School alumna Melissa Mullen '21, an analytics and data science major and psychology minor.

What do you like best about being a PAL?

This will be my third year being a PAL, and I love that I am able to help first year students with their transition into college. The first semester of college is an extremely stressful time for every new student, so I love that I can help these students have an easier adjustment, whether it’s providing resources, teaching content, or just being a friendly face.

What advice do you have for new students?

Definitely get involved on campus! With all the clubs and activities going on at UNH Manchester, every student can find something that they’re passionate about on campus. Getting involved on campus is also a great way to make friends and find people who have similar interests as you, which is always a fantastic thing!

What brought you to UNH Manchester?

I was originally interested in UNH Manchester because of the wide variety of majors that the university offers, and it was so close to home. I enrolled as undeclared, so I found it really comforting to know that I had a lot of options available. Also, I really liked how small the class sizes are, as well as how tight-knit the student population is.

Favorite UNH Manchester memory?

My favorite UNH Manchester memory is working at all the orientations. I really enjoyed getting to know new students and helping them become familiar with the campus. Plus, my fellow orientation leaders were such a great group of enthusiastic, helpful people!

What’s your favorite class and why?

Besides my major-specific courses, I really enjoyed Introduction to 3D Printing with Dr. Plante. This class allowed me to be really creative, but also allowed me to become familiar with various manufacturing techniques, computer software applications, and of course 3D printing technologies. Introduction to 3D Printing was both really fun and really informative, and I’d recommend it to anybody and everybody!

What do you hope to be doing in 10 years? 

In ten years, I hope to be working as a Data Analyst somewhere in New Hampshire. I also hope that I have a lot of dogs, just because I love them.

Tell us your favorite:

  • Manchester restaurant: The Puritan Backroom. I am a huge fan of their chicken tenders.
  • New Hampshire destination: Anywhere along the Kancamagus Highway. It’s so beautiful up north, and I love to camp and hike up there throughout the summer.
  • Vacation destination: Anywhere with mountains and a really good view.
  • Movie: "The Blind Side"
  • Book: "Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? 

I would love to travel to Ireland. My family is Irish, and I would love to experience Ireland’s history and beautiful landscape firsthand.

As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?

When I was in elementary school, I really wanted to become an ice cream woman, so I could drive around in an ice cream truck and sell people ice cream every day.

We’d be surprised to know that…

I enrolled at UNH Manchester intending on studying history, but I ended up declaring analytics and data science after my first semester!

If you could try anything and not fail, what dream would you attempt? 

I would start a wildlife rehabilitation center. I love animals and nature, but I wasn’t interested enough in science to pursue anything animal related as a career. However, if I knew I wouldn’t fail, I would love to help animals and rehabilitate them.

If you could go on a road trip with anyone (from the past or present), who would you choose and where would you go? 

I never met my paternal grandparents, so I would love to go on a road trip with them. I don’t have any particular destinations in mind, it could be a spontaneous adventure type of thing.


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Kassidy Taylor | Marketing & Communications, UNH Manchester |