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More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Mia Lambert

Graduation year: 2020

High school: Macomb Senior High School

Hometown: Macomb, Ill.

Majors: Pre-medicine, Classical studies

Minor: Biochemistry

Activities: Varsity basketball, Mortar Board, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Sigma Pi Delta sorority, Be The Match, Phi Beta Kappa

Internships: Cardiovascular medicine internship with CVM; research assistant at Keck Graduate Institute

Post-grad plans: Attend Southern Illinois University School of Medicine!

Why Augustana?

I chose Augustana because I knew it would prepare me for medical school. From a young age, I have always dreamed of becoming a doctor, so this school was a perfect fit for me academically. After my senior season of high school basketball ended, I knew I wasn’t quite ready to give up the sport. Augustana gave me the opportunity to continue playing basketball competitively and learn from the best of the best. It was a no-brainer!

Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?

Yes and no. When I first got to campus, playing basketball and getting into medical school were the only things on my mind. I pictured myself playing all four years and studying a lot to get good grades, but I didn’t expect to be a double major in Classical studies. That was never in the game plan, but I’d say it worked out pretty well.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

To my family - thank you for making me the person I am today. I truly appreciate all you have done for me. From coming to my games to encouraging me each and every day, I can’t thank you enough for all that you have done to get me here.

To my friends - thanks for making my college experience amazing. You kept me sane, always knew when to make me laugh, and gave me countless memories that I will cherish forever.

To my professors - thanks for making me smarter! In all seriousness, I know I still have a lot more to learn, but you have helped me to create a solid foundation to build from. I’ll forever be a lifelong learner, just like you all.

To my teammates - thanks for always bringing joy to my life. You constantly challenged me to be a better player and person. I will forever be thankful to you guys.

To my coaches - thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me continue playing. I have grown so much as a person throughout our four years together.

Peak experience?

I have two. Getting into medical school was by far the best feeling. I have to attribute a lot of that success to the education I got at Augie. I’ve always been a little shy and reserved, but I found my voice at Augie. A voice I was confident in and proud to promote to medical schools.

The second peak of my college career was setting the Most Three-Pointers Made in a Season record for the women’s basketball team. It was such a surreal experience.

What surprised you?

Augie helped me to realize my potential and groomed me to have faith in my abilities. I have a confidence in myself that I didn’t have before, and I believe full heartedly that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. I’m surprised by how much confidence and faith I have in myself, but I think it’s all a result of the environment and community Augie promotes.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I went to Greece! During spring term of sophomore year, I learned about Ancient Greek culture and art during a learning community. After classes ended, we traveled to Greece to see all the sites. The food was great, the people were friendly and the sites were breathtaking. 10/10 recommend.

What will you miss the most?

Easy, the people. It may sound cliché, but it’s the truth. I gained friends that will one day be my bridesmaids, professors that will be lifelong mentors, and a team that I can always count on to support me. Augie is such a special place, and I’m so thankful my path led here.

Advice for the Class of 2024?

Use CORE. If I could change one thing about my experience, it would be to use CORE more often. I had a 20-minute mock interview with a career coach to practice my skills for interview day and crushed those interviews because of the helpful feedback. You won’t regret using CORE’s resources.

"Mia is a bright, young woman who understands the value of studying Classics alongside her pre-med major. She has drunk deep of what a small liberal arts college has to offer, becoming a standout in basketball, participating in study abroad and excelling in both her majors and a biochemistry minor to boot. Her well-rounded education has helped her develop a sophisticated, nuanced and compassionate disposition that will serve her well in medical school and beyond."

– Dr. Kirsten Day, associate professor and chair, Classics