Best Laid Plans

Julita Penido - Best Laid Plans

Julita Penido '12, Singer and Actor

Major: Astronomy and French

Internship: researcher, Pomona College Geology Department

Study Abroad: Sweet Briar, Paris

When I arrived at Mt. Holyoke, I prescribed to a certain way of thinking. I had spent 18 years following the rules and planning far into the future. But when I joined the Astronomy Department, that all changed.

Instead of being told which classes to take, I was asked which classes I’d like to take. I was allowed to explore the breadth of the discipline and find the subjects that most interested me. I pursued a study of physics, but was also exposed to geology through my friends and advisors.

I was introduced to research and discovered that I did not want to go to grad school.

After graduation, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. With everything I’d learned from the Astronomy Department, I was open to new possibilities, even if they didn’t follow the conventional path to success.

Now, I’m in an a cappella group called Hymns and Hers that records and makes music videos every month. This was not where I had planned for my career to go, but I’m so happy that I’m here.