TA Success Stories

Interested in becoming a First-Year Experience Teaching Assistant (TA)? Hear from some of our past and current TAs talk about their personal experiences and the benefits they have gained.

Taylor Monteiro

SBS TA Coordinator
Big Data and Analytics Major, Marketing Minor
BSBA, Class of 2022

Profile picture of Taylor Monteiro

Becoming a TA has allowed me to believe that potential is endless, and that a small amount of progress each day and in each and every class adds up to substantial progress in student’s lives. I decided to work as a TA because I believe my life is greatly enriched by education and giving back to others.

Throughout my experience, I have created meaningful and lasting relationships with my students, professors and peers. In my classroom, I work strictly with international students. My favorite part is learning something new about each student and where they come from. I know the transition to college can be difficult to manage at first, so my job is to let students know they have a mentor to guide them through the progress and to remind them that they are not alone. I want my students to know they can achieve anything they want. I remind my students each class that they can have an amazing experience as long as they use the right tools offered at Suffolk University.

Abigail West

CAS TA Coordinator
Public Relations Major, Arts Administration Minor
BS, Class of 2022

Portrait of Abigial West.

I decided to become a TA after having a great experience in my own CAS-101 class. My TA really helped equip me and my fellow classmates with the tools to integrate into the Suffolk community as well as being there for us as a friend. Coming from a small town in Missouri, all the way to the big city of Boston, having an environment like CAS-101 gave me a community feeling right away and gave me the resources to be a successful Suffolk student. I wanted nothing more than to be that person and create that feeling for a new set of incoming students, and now I have been a TA for two years and counting! My favorite part about being a TA so far is seeing my students thrive post CAS-101. Many of my former students have gone on to be TAs themselves, hold e-board positions in Suffolk clubs, get great internships, and more! If I had an impact on helping my students become happy and comfortable at Suffolk, then I am ecstatic, and that’s why the FYE program is so great.

As mentioned, the FYE program allows for first-year students to successfully integrate into Suffolk, but it also gives students the opportunity to be TAs themselves and build applicable, professional skills. The program gives you the opportunity to collaborate and make connections with a wide variety of people, from new students all the way to faculty and deans. Being a TA also provides a place to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Personally, I have learned how to juggle many projects at once, how to better speak in front of an audience, and build my self-confidence! I wouldn’t trade being involved in the FYE program for the world.

Adrianne Downey

Law Major, Spanish Minor
BA, Class of 2021

Profile picture of Adrianne smiling

When I first became a TA, I was hesitant to fully put myself out there and take charge on my own. After working with three different sections of CAS 101, I find that it is significantly easier for me to get up in front of a crowd and feel comfortable giving a lengthy presentation. While I could give the presentation decently beforehand, I consistently lacked the confidence required to completely sell my idea and remain firm on my stance. I also found that through one-on-one meetings with my students, I was able to build more confidence in fostering and continuing small talk. Thankfully, this position helped me build faith in myself while public speaking and trusting the ideas that I share.

One of my favorite things about being a TA is seeing the transition of shy, new students to outgoing and active members of the Suffolk University community. When my instructor and I began each course, we stressed the importance of being involved on campus in one way or another. Since I am involved on campus in various places, my students were inspired to become involved as well. After co-teaching these three sections, some of my favorite emails to receive became ones from clubs like the Student Government Association and the CAS Honors Council announcing their newest representatives, since many of them have been my students. Seeing this transition fills my heart with joy because they have found their own calling on this vast campus.

Starr Isacson

Marketing Major, Art Administration Minor
BSBA, Class of 2020

Profile picture of Starr Isacson

I began my journey as a First-Year Experience SBS 100 Teaching Assistant in the fall of my sophomore year at Suffolk University. I had worries and doubts around fitting into a role on the other side of the classroom. Thoughts of public speaking, lesson planning, and working with students only a grade younger than me was very anxiety provoking. After training and working one-on-one with a Sawyer Business School professor, I felt much more prepared for the position. While having a TA and student-mentor is rewarding for first-year students, it has been just as rewarding for myself as well. I have learned so much about myself through my now three semesters as a TA. Along with enhancing my public speaking, I have bettered my communication and management skills. I now know how to convey information to a group more efficiently and can easily assist struggling students. The program has given me greater confidence and skills that will help me when I begin my career.

Now in my senior year, not only as a TA but as the SBS TA Coordinator, I can see how great of an impact this program has on others who join the team. We strive to make the college transition easier for incoming first-year students. Along with giving these students access and knowledge to all the opportunities Suffolk has to offer, we can effortlessly connect with students since we were in their shoes not long ago. Students who are required to take an FYE class learn pivotal leadership, professionalism, and hard skills that will assist them in their years at Suffolk.

Kevin Ventura Cruz

CAS Honors TA
Law Major, Spanish Minor
BA, Class of 2021

Profile picture of Kevin Ventura

My experiences as a TA have brought to new horizons, ones in which I did not think were achievable. I have been able to learn that being a TA is the opportunity to make a change in the life of a student no matter if they are traditional or non-traditional students. The most important thing that I have been able to learn from being a TA is a lesson learned is a lesson shared. From the years  that I have been a TA, I have encountered experiences where the students have asked for help and guidance in situations where I once found myself in as well. I have answered their questions and provided them guidance based off situations that have occurred in my own life. I have been able to learn that the TA becomes the student’s role model and a person who they can look up to and aspire to be. Every group of students is different and that is what makes the FYE program so successful. As semesters go week by week, the professor, TA, and students eventually become a community, where everyone counts on one another. The trust that is created between everyone is truly amazing.

I think the mission of the FYE program is to help the first-year students adapt and transition into a new environment that is new to them. That responsibility is given to the TA and I think I have been able to help students expand their perspectives and see the true colors that represent everyone. I am proud to see the progress and work that my students have been able to achieve and that is the highlight of being a TA. I see this as a blessing because to work with students who perhaps are struggling in one area and helping them week by week eventually seeing a transformed student is the representation of a successful TA. As I enter every class and look at my students, my mission is to teach them something new that will help them in the long run. I can proudly say that applying to become a TA is a decision that I have certainly not regretted. I encourage everyone to be individuals who are willing to serve and not be served, for it is better in giving than receiving.

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