Victor Mena ’18
Language arts teacher, Akron-Westfield High School, Akron, Iowa
Victor Mena

Growth mindset

Victor transferred to Northwestern as a junior because he was drawn to the opportunity to pursue a degree in English teaching and play college baseball. He found great camaraderie with his Raider teammates and great preparation for fulfilling his dream to be an educator.


What does your job as a language arts teacher involve?

I teach a variety of courses, including sophomore and junior English, business English, creative writing, British and world literature, and literature and film.

How did Northwestern prepare you for your job?

I’ve always known I wanted to be a teacher, and Northwestern prepared me well for my career. As a student, I had to complete 200 hours of practicum experience in a classroom setting. Those experiences were invaluable. The day-in and day-out processes of being in the classroom enabled me to delve deep into the teaching profession. My Northwestern professors challenged me to have a growth mindset, and I encourage my students to have that mindset too.

What do you appreciate most about your education from Northwestern?

I appreciated the relationships I developed with my professors. They never made me feel inferior; rather, they recognized me as more of a colleague than a student. I appreciated that each of them brought their personal experiences and expertise to the table.

How did studying English help you grow in your faith?

I was challenged to dive deep into the texts I read. No matter the genre, I could always connect the content to my faith.  

Do you have a favorite memory from your time at NWC?

Each year, Northwestern takes English teaching majors to a conference in Des Moines, Iowa. It was on my first trip to the conference that I met a fellow Raider English major, Nicole, who’s now my wife! She’s also a high school English teacher.

What would you say to encourage prospective students to choose Northwestern?

Northwestern will challenge you to think critically about all aspects of life, and I believe students thrive in the setting the college provides. You’ll meet great people and you’ll be pushed to be the best person you can be.


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