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Pictured is Ula Koczkodaj, senior SAEM major from Poland. | Photo by Victoria A. Mikula

Meet Ula Koczkodaj

Major: B.S., Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management
Expected graduation: 2016
Szczecin, Poland
High school: Liceum Ogolnoksztalcace #5
College activities: Point Park Women's Soccer Team
Scholarships: Transfer and athletic scholarships

Why did you decide to transfer to Point Park?

After making the decision to transfer from Lincoln University, I knew that I wanted to stay in Pennsylvania because of my strong ties to my American host family. They told me all about Pittsburgh and how great of a city it is. When I came on my recruit visit, I fell in love with the city and Point Park right away!

What is the biggest difference between Pittsburgh and your home city?

People! Polish people can be a little grumpy and very much to ourselves. Pittsburgh people, on the other hand, are incredibly open and friendly. You would think that because Downtown Pittsburgh is so fast paced and business oriented, people here would be hardheaded and really busy, but no! They all seem to be loving life, which is amazing.

Smiling at a stranger or having a conversation with a homeless person — that is not necessarily something you see every day on the streets of Szczecin, Poland. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my hometown. It’ a beautiful city (seventh largest in the country!) located near the Baltic Sea. As for my future goals and lifestyle though, Pittsburgh seems to be a better fit.

What makes going to Point Park for your major different from other colleges?

The best thing about the sports, arts and entertainment management program here at Point Park is that it doesn’t just focus on sports, arts or entertainment. Instead, we get to explore more fields of study which makes it much easier to decide which career field we want to pursue. 

Additionally, getting to meet sports agents, event planners, entertainers and such is a huge advantage Point Park offers to its students. Lastly, all of us SAEM majors know each other! Constantly working on group projects or driving shuttles to Stage AE makes it almost impossible not to get to know other students.     

What do you like most about going to school in the city?

The best thing about it is definitely the freedom to do anything you want. At Point Park, you aren’t stuck on a small campus in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do. Instead, you are in the middle of all the fun stuff Pittsburgh has to offer.

Who is your favorite professor?

My favorite professor, hands down, is Steve Tanzilli. He’s one of those professors who knows exactly how to talk to students and make every single lecture he gives extremely interesting. I genuinely enjoy sitting in his classes, even if they are at 8 a.m. Steve cares about his students and makes sure that we are all ready for the real world after graduation. Great guy!

What activities are you involved with at Point Park? 

As a student-athlete, my life here at Point Park revolves around soccer. My teammates are like my family and I can’t imagine not having them in my life. Also, I love hanging out in the Office of International Student Services and Enrollment with staff Rebecca Lee and Amanda Avampato. They do an amazing job organizing all the events for international students and I do my best to attend most of them.

What advice do you have for incoming students?  

Enjoy every minute of college life, make as many connections as possible, have an open mind and don’t limit yourself! Reach for the stars — nothing’s impossible.

Read more #PittsburghMe profiles

Photo by Victoria A. Mikula, junior mass communication major
Text by Jakob Como, senior multimedia major

More About: Rowland School of Business, sports, arts and entertainment management, Downtown Pittsburgh, international, student athletes, transfer