Ever since childhood, I knew that it was my dream to leave the state of New Mexico upon college attendance. My grandparents have lived in Mesa, Arizona since I was a small child, and visiting them was nirvana. There was something unexplainable about the way Arizona made me feel; the warmth, sunshine, scenery, and to sum it up in one word for me, authenticity. Looking back, I now know that the reason I viewed Arizona as such a utopia was because both of my grandparents lived there, whom I love with all my heart.
Upon graduation, I will apply to graduate school at the University of Arizona and continue my professional career in the field of Finance in the Chandler area due to tremendous working opportunities. Tucson is my Arizona hometown. I appreciate it fully due to my background, and by noting Tucson’s ambiance, location, university, and culture that are unrivaled by many parts of the world.
When applying to colleges my junior year of high school, I absolutely knew I would end up at Arizona. I received the biggest scholarship at the school I wanted to attend most, the University of Arizona. Although I am on academic scholarship, I do not have the financial luxuries as some of my friends have of parents that can afford to send their child to an out-of-state university. My father is a fifth grade teacher, and my mother is a speech therapist. These loving parents unfortunately divorced when I was a child, and I have been forced to become more independent and mature. I am extremely proud of myself that I received an out-of-state tuition waiver for my academic accomplishments in high school. As a high school student, I was involved with sports (volleyball, tennis, swimming, basketball) and extra-curricular activities (NHS, MESA, Spanish NHS), however I felt that scholastics was my best opportunity for receiving financial assistance from a university and focused on schooling.
While walking to classes each morning at the University of Arizona, I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to attend such a prestigious school. When I first started attendance as a freshman, I lived on-campus in the dorms and it was there that I made the greatest friends a person could ask for. I am continually surprised with the new information I learn about Tucson. For example, the boar-like animal named the javalina that feast on garbage in the Foothills area! My freshman year, as with many individuals, was a learning experience. By having to maintain a cumulative 3.5 grade point average each year for my scholarship, I have become determined and driven like never before.
My career focus and major is in the field of Finance. As a student in the Eller College of Management, I am learning what the business environment will encompass and the difficulties I will face in the professional environment. I have always been fascinated by languages, and my ultimate goal is to become bilingual. My minor is Spanish, and I am hoping to study abroad or work in a Spanish-speaking country in order to pursue my dream of becoming bilingual. The area of the Southwest, especially Albuquerque and Tucson, have many Spanish natives and I feel the comprehension and communication skills of Spanish will provide useful benefits in my future profession.
I have become acquainted with the Tucson area quite well, and constantly debate with Phoenix veterans about its beauty and charm. The desert climate was hard to become accustomed to in the beginning of my schooling, however now the temperature is more of a conversational piece to outsiders of Arizona. Some of my favorite outdoor activities to do in Tucson are hiking to Seven Falls, or visiting the Mud Caves and Sonoran Desert Museum. Once a year, Tucson hosts the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, which is a melting pot of art, jewelry, music, and food.
One of the ways I have been able to become more acquainted with Tucson outside of the university is through volunteering opportunities. The Tucson Centers for Women and Children have a thrift store that I regularly volunteer at, in which the proceeds help women and children suffering from domestic violence. Tucson Clean and Beautiful has hosts the Tucson Recycles and Earth Day celebrations. Also, Casa de los Niños has a giving tree annually at Macy’s around the holiday Christmas season. This fund-raiser helps the children at Casa receive gifts for Christmas. Mall shoppers purchase a gift from a listed wish list on a Christmas tree ornament for a child, and Macy’s wraps the present for the child. Volunteering has given me a positive feeling, and the rewards from which are immeasurable.
For over a year now, I have been employed on-campus at the University of Arizona in the School of Natural Resources department. I assist the Director, CPA and Business Manager in accounting and financial activities for the college. Some of my duties include bi-weekly calculations and entering hours of work for faculty and graduate students in the School of Natural Resources for payroll. I also analyze the purchasing card transactions, in which professors and other faculty use and accordingly provide receipts for transactions. From this position, I have learned the importance of employing an honest and friendly staff to provide a positive working environment. It has also provided me with beneficial knowledge in the business environment regarding accounting, management, computer applications and finance that I can further employ in future professions.
Another way to further enjoy the college experience is by getting involved in clubs and extra-curricular activities. I am a member of the Professional Women in Business Association, as well as the Financial Management Association. These clubs offer philanthropy, speakers, networking opportunities, and friendships that will continually benefit me throughout my education. I am extremely active in sports and have been ever since I was a small child. I played Varsity volleyball, basketball and tennis in high school, but decided to pursue academics instead of sports for college. Last weekend, I participated in the Regional tournament with my tennis team, and our win provided our team with $500 and the chance to play in the National tournament in Austin, TX in April. I am also an avid fan of athletics at the UofA, and watch basketball, track and field, and tennis matches. My school spirit for the Wildcats never ceases, and I am amazed at our long-standing rivalry with the Arizona State Sun Devils!
The past three years spent at the University of Arizona have helped me realize my values, goals, strengths and weaknesses like never before. I have never regretted attending this school for a second, and look forward to pursuing a Master’s Degree in Finance upon graduation in May 2007. Tucson was an excellent fit for my college aspirations, and I am intrigued with the culture of the town, its people, and beautiful environment. When people ask me if I like my school and town, my answer is simply “I love it.” Tucson cannot be explained any other way, and my heart will lay in its warm yet brisk winters, love for the University of Arizona, and life-long friends I have gathered throughout my educational experience.