What does earning your degree mean to you?
For me, earning this degree means opening doors for my family. I’m the first one to go to college in my family, and this will help motivate my siblings to go to college and finish. This degree will help me lift my family and help them financially. It is also a big accomplishment for my parents. My parents were only able to finish the third grade in school back in Guatemala, so they are both very proud of me, but my dad does the most bragging.
Why did you choose your major?
I came to Florida Poly because I was going to do mechanical engineering. It was more math than I expected, so I changed to business analytics. It was a great decision because I found that I was more interested in the business side of things, and not so much on the engineering side. I really like the process from the manufacturing – the point of production – to the point of sale. The logistics of how to make everything more efficient and implement better methods is something that fascinates me.
How well do you feel Florida Poly prepared you for life after graduation?
I feel like Florida Poly has definitely prepared me, because we have professors who have actually worked in industry, teaching us how things work in real life. We also had the opportunity to use in class some of the same software that is used in industry, so I think that has also prepared me to succeed.
What was your favorite course and why?
My favorite course was an entrepreneurship class. We learned all the tools we need to know to create our own business. We had to do a simulation about owning a bike shop, from how to start it to how to run it. I learned a lot from that class and really enjoyed it. It has inspired me to open up my own business, a gym back home someday.
Where did you complete your internship(s) and what did you gain from the experience?
For my internship, I joined the Phoenix Flight program. When COVID-19 hit, many places canceled their internships. But Phoenix Flight ended up being a great opportunity for me because I have the dream of opening my own business in the future, and our task was precisely to create a startup company. Our company was a new concept that combines pest control and landscaping into one lawn care company. I feel like I learned a lot.
What did you enjoy most about your time at Florida Poly?
I definitely enjoyed meeting and connecting with new people. In my freshman and sophomore years, I didn’t know many people and only had a handful of friends. But, in my junior year I started connecting more with others, and working at the gym in the SDC has been a great way to do that. It’s nice to meet people who have some of the same interests you have.
What was your greatest accomplishment at the University?
My greatest accomplishment is that I came in as a very reserved person, but I have been able to get out of my comfort zone. I feel like I have come out of my shell and now I am more outgoing. This will help me in my career because I am more confident now. Before, I mumbled, but now I speak with a louder voice. I speak with confidence now.
What are your long-term career goals?
First, I want to start working in the supply chain management industry and start my career there. Then I want to save some money so eventually, I get to open my own gym back home. My long-term goal is to become a business owner.
What advice would you give an incoming freshman?
Connect with people as soon as you come in. Try to make new friends by going places where social interaction is encouraged and by networking. Position yourself to meet people by joining a club or going to events on campus. That is helpful because if you ever feel bored or need help, you have people to talk to.
Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of Q&As with several Florida Poly Class of 2021 graduates.