Looking Back on Leadership: Amanda Cvitko Quinteiro

Amanda is a recent UI graduate originally from Porto Alegre, Brazil. In the spring of 2019, she received her degree in psychology and wrapped up her term the president of Transfers Leading Change. 

Tell us about your involvement with Transfers Leading Change (TLC)?

It’s a student organization focused on the transition of incoming transfer students. We help them with academic resources on campus as well as socializing. I’m currently their president, and I’ve also served as the public relations director, so I’ve been pretty involved with this.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I really want to go into the world of higher education. Right now, I’m actually applying for admissions counselor positions. I actually also applied for a position here at the University of Iowa. I don’t know how that will go but I’m applying to other institutions as well. My leadership role has really helped me because beforehand, I was sure I wanted to be a forensic psychologist, but after coming to campus and working in various different higher education roles such as in admissions and orientation, I found my love for recruiting and for helping retain students on campus which is why I really want to go into this role.

How has your leadership position in TLC prepared you for your future?

My leadership position has been extremely helpful because it gave me a really good sense of transferable skills, which are really important. So learning how to manage budgets, learning how to run a meeting, working in a group setting and working with different people and relying on different people for different things. Student organizations — especially TLC — have been really helpful in giving me skills that will help me in any role I’m in.

How has your time at the University of Iowa prepared you for your future?

My time at Iowa has prepared me really well, actually. I took the time to take different classes, not just focus on my psychology classes. I really love writing, so I’m pursuing a literature minor. Just being able to do other activities here, being able to join other student organizations or just going to different events has helped me step out of my comfort zone. Even though I am from a different country, it’s still essential to make sure you are making friends with different people and learning different cultures. I really like the cultural hub that the University has, especially with the different cultural student organizations on campus. I made sure I utilized every resource the university had to offer so I could be prepared when I graduate.

Favorite memory from TLC?

My favorite memory was when I first started as president, which was kind of nerve-wracking because I’ve never been in that leadership role before. It was coming together and planning our donut social, which is an event we have at the beginning of each semester. A lot of things went wrong, but the best part about it was that I could rely on my team to make sure that the orders were re-ordered, that everything was planned to the minute and that people knew what they were doing. Just helping me through that mess before we actually had the final product was one of my favorite parts.

What do you love most about Iowa? What are you going to miss the most after you graduate?

What I love most about Iowa is the community. It’s one of the biggest reasons why I decided to transfer to the university. Everyone is always smiling at you and I know that I can stop literally anyone on campus for any kind of help and I know they’ll either be willing to help me or direct me to someone that can help me. I think that’s one of the biggest things I’ll miss because the friends that I made here really do feel like a family. A lot of them are younger than me and I think if I ever leave campus that’s what I’ll miss the most. My friends who will still be here at the University and that community family feel.

Do you have any advice for juniors entering their last year of school?

Really take the time to space out your classes so that you’re also having fun. The last semester for me [has been] really nerve-wracking and I wish I had a little more time to go out and enjoy my friends and not be so serious about classes. Take the time to make some really cool and different memories. Do something that you haven’t done before that the University offers. There’s a lot of different services that I wish I utilized before and I regret not using, so make sure you are doing everything you can to set yourself up for when you graduate.

What long term goals do you hope to accomplish in the future?

My long-term goals are to just really get into the world of higher education. I’m still not sure if I want to be on the recruiting side or the administrative side. But I just want to help different institutions bring more diversity and globalize. I think that’s the biggest thing in the future. With my background being from a different country and speaking other languages, I just want help with diversity. The more different minds you have on campus, the more creative and different things are going to happen.