Lucas College and Graduate School of Business
Why did you choose your major?
Like many students, I had a tough time deciding what to major in. Before I transferred to SJSU, I was aiming for a Bio-Chemistry Major. It was after taking an economics and accounting elective that I realized a science major was not for me. I decided to transfer to SJSU for a major in Business Administration. I have not regretted my decision to pursue this path for my educational goals. I truly do enjoy what I am learning, which many find surprising since my concentration is Accounting. I feel it is important to do what you enjoy and that is why I choose my major.
What does receiving this particular award mean to you?
This award is a reflection of all the hard work I have put in over the four years of my college education.
Who has been influential in your life and/or who has contributed to your academic success?
My wife, Jenny, has been the most influential in my life and in all the success I have and will have. Jenny has been my strongest supporter for as long as we have known each other. Finishing my education was just another goal I needed to achieve in order for us to move on with our lives. Because of my wife’s support, I was able to serve four years in the military, go back to college after my service, and graduate on time.
Also other than my family and friends, Professor Ginny Grace has been influential in my academic success. I was very fortunate to take an Accounting class with Professor Grace. When I first transferred to SJSU, I knew no one and had little direction when it came to my education other than graduating. As she would for all her students, Professor Grace helped me plan for my education and future career in public accounting. I can attribute much of my academic success to Professor Grace.
Did you overcome any hardships or adversities in your life that have helped shape who you are today? And if so, could you please briefly elaborate?
After high school, I enlisted as an Infantryman in the U.S. Army. My time in the Army was some of the lows and highs of my life. In the four short years I was in the military, I was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Infantry Division, spent 15 months deployed in Afghanistan, and attained the rank of Sergeant. Enlisting in the Army was a personal goal for myself, and I knew it was not going to be my career. I knew going back to college after serving in the military would not be easy, but my time in the military helped me achieve my educational goals.
My experience in the military has given me a different perspective in life. I have a new appreciation for the people in my life and the importance of valuing my time and freedom. I personally would not see my time in the Army as a hardship or adversity as some people would see it but serving has definitely shaped me into the person I am today.
What would you say to other students to encourage or inspire them to attain academic excellence?
Everyone has their own definition for academic success or any success. Your goals in life should be a reflection of what is important to you. It is also important to enjoy what you are doing. Find something you love doing and success will follow.
How do you envision yourself in 5-10 years?
Professionally, many things can happen to me in 5-10 years. After starting my career at EY after graduation, I most likely see myself with my CPA still working at EY as a manager. I would also like to begin and finish an MBA program in 5-10 years. Personally, I envision spending as much time as I can with my family. It really is hard for me to envision where I will be in the next 5-10 years. All I know is I will love whatever I am doing to get there so as long as I am surrounded by the people who matter most to me.
Nominated by Professor Ginny Grace