"Home Away from Home"

Featured Alums 2015


Heli Shah WS’13

Heli Shah, William Smith graduate class of 2013, majored in Biochemistry with a minor in Asian Studies. While on campus Heli was involved in the South Asian Culture Club, was a Chemistry Teaching Assistant, Chemistry tutor, worked in the Intercultural Affairs Center and did Chemistry research.

Currently, Heli is a second year medical student at Upstate Medical University.

How did you get this current position?

“I applied to direct medical programs as a senior in high school and was accepted to HWS and Upstate at the same time.”

What prepared you for your current position?

“My undergrad science classes, especially my chemistry courses built my work ethic which is a must to survive medical school.”

What are your future plans career wise?

“At the moment I am thinking about pursuing a residency in pediatrics and then a fellowship in a specialty, potentially oncology.”

Any advice for current HWS students?

“If you are interested in attending medical school, I would suggest taking the hardest classes you can find at HWS. They will prepare you for the challenges of medical school. Shadow physicians as much as possible so that you are sure you want to become a doctor before you apply to medical school. Lastly, take time to do things that you enjoy doing. There is free time in medical school, but not as much as there is in undergrad. Most importantly, do not let people steer you away from medical school by telling you that you will be miserable. The past year and half has been the happiest time of my life. Medical school is stressful and extremely challenging, but if this is really what you want, you will find a way to enjoy school and be happy!”

Walter Cruz

Walter Cruz H’11

Walter Cruz, Hobart class of 2011 majored in Architectural Studies with a minor in Studio Art. While on campus, he was involved in the Latin American Organization, Rugby, H20, Chimera Society, Orange Key Society, Community Service, worked at IT, Library Frontdesk, BOOST! Afterschool program, worked as an IC Programming Assistant for the Monday Night Football program, was a Summer Institute PTA, was involved in the Commission for Inclusive Excellence, and helped coordinate an Instrument Drive and Backpack Drive. Currently, Walter is a Freelancer/Entrepreneur.

How did you get this current position?

“By chasing my dreams.”

What prepared you for your current position? 

“Life and its many challenges after graduating college. It’s the expected things like juggling your passions that may not pay well initially while keeping the lights on by working a 9-5. It has been challenging for me to figure out how to make what I love become a sustainable part of my life, where what I do for work and fun are the same thing. I’m still not there but these past few years have shown me to not give up, no matter how hard things get. I’m learning that life is never on schedule but always on time. What I mean by that is that so far, in my experience and I’m sure others can relate, my goals and accomplishments haven’t come exactly when I wanted them to but have appeared when I needed them the most. I say that to say, life’s challenges have taught me to be patient; to keep working hard and the fruits of my labors will appear in due time.”

What are your future plans career wise?

“Ideally, it would be great to become a creative director for my own creative firm that does both commercial and non-profit work. In the mean time, I’d like to continue learning and gaining a better understanding of what it takes to be successful while making a positive impact on the world around you.”

Any advice for current HWS students?

“My advice to current students at HWS is to chase your dreams by any means. The only way to accomplish your wildest goals is to put in the time and effort. Life isn’t about jumping over fictional “life hurdles” that are perpetuated to make us think that if we don’t own a home, get married and have children by age 30, we are failures. Instead understand that it’s about realizing that literally anything is possible if you put your mind to it, deadlines don’t exist. What does is the fact that believing in yourself pays off. I challenge you to start dreaming big and dedicate the time to make those dreams a reality. I challenge you to not only accomplish the goals you set for yourself but to also look around and help others achieve their dreams as well. Success is a team sport, we must help one another in order to achieve collective success. See the triumphant spirit in uplifting others rather than tearing them down. During these tumultuous times, loving one another is more important than ever. So I challenge you to show your gratitude often and pursue your passions always.”

~Inspire, Walter Cruz ’11

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