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Zoe Rayner AC ’22

Meet the Majors


What do you see as a potential future dream job or career?
My dream is to work for myself creatively in a way that allows me to travel and collaborate with other creatives.

Looking ahead to a decade (or two) from now, what’s something you’d like to have achieved?
I have always loved films, but I never thought I could make one myself until recently. A decade from now I want to look back on at least one completed film that I am proud of!

Where has been your favorite spot on campus to relax? What spot will you miss the most?
This is a tie between the Lyman Plant House and the new Neilson Library. Going to Lyman feels like traveling to different continents, and each time I go there I notice a new detail that I hadn't seen before. And the library is just an incredibly designed space, I'm sorry I only had one semester to use it!

The Italian department feels like a family and I felt very connected to my professors and fellow students.

If another student was considering your major, what would you tell them?
I'd tell them to take advantage of the broad range of expertise offered by the faculty. The professors are really passionate about what they teach, and I didn't take a single course in that major that didn't further fuel my love of art history.

Why did you pick your minor? What drew you to it?
I’m an Ada and I completed my first two years of college in Italy. The experience changed my life, and I fell in love with the country and the language. When I started at Smith, I knew I wanted to take the opportunity to reconnect with Italy and further improve my language skills.

What was your favorite or most notable part of Italian studies?
The sense of community! The Italian department feels like a family, and I felt very connected to my professors and fellow students in all of my Italian Studies courses. Studying another language and culture was also a fun way to be able to “travel” virtually during the pandemic.

What is a particularly notable Italian phrase or one with hidden significance for you?
I wrote this down for myself recently: “È tutto un viaggio,” which means, “It’s all a journey.” I am trying to think less about end results and more about the experiences that lead to them. I think it sounds nice in Italian!

What’s one piece of advice you’d like to share about your time at Smith?
My one piece of advice for life in general: don’t hesitate! If you meet a fellow Smithie that you click with, get their number – they might end up becoming your best friend. If you see a class in a subject area that you’ve never considered before, take it – it might end up topping the list of your favorite courses at Smith. Always be open to new and unexpected opportunities, and your time at Smith will be rewarding.


About Zoe

Hometown: Northampton, Massachusetts

House: Off campus

Pronouns: she/her

Art History

Minor: Italian Studies