Miguel Horta

Top SJSU Accounting Student and ISACA Officer Miguel Horta Overcomes Struggles during Youth

Miguel HortaAccounting Information System major Miguel Horta serves as the External Vice President of #ISACA, a conversational partner for visiting Japanese students through #SJSU’s International Gateways program, and a suicide prevention ambassador at the Bill Wilson Center. In his spare time, Miguel spends many hours training for weight lifting competitions, and somehow, he manages to maintain a 3.5 GPA. What is his secret to performing so well at school while being engaged on campus and involved with so many extracurricular activities?

“It comes down to hard work and perseverance,” Miguel emphasizes firmly. “I was never good at math in high school. The turning point came at DeAnza College. Figuring out an pre-algebra homework problem became a vendetta, but after investing 30 brutal minutes, I finally cracked the code and began liking math. With good time management and hard work, anything is possible.”

Top SJSU Accounting Student and ISACA Officer Miguel Horta Overcomes Struggles during Youth

Accounting Information Systems major Miguel Horta grew up in a single parent household and lacked any drive to succeed in school.

“I just did what I had to to get by. My high school GPA was pretty low, so I went to DeAnza because I didn’t know what I wanted to do in life,” Miguel explains. “I was never good at math, but the difficulty made it more interesting to me. One day, I decided to invest the time and figure out a really hard pre-algebra problem. It took me 30 minutes but when I finally figured it out, it felt really good.”

That math problem marked a turning point for Miguel as he declared accounting to be his field of study and joined  Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) first as a member before running for office the following year. Using LinkedIn, Miguel invited alums in industry that he met at ISACA meetings for coffee. Miguel found that SJSU alumni were very friendly and supportive.

“I didn’t know how to prepare for an interview or how long my tie should be,” admitted Miguel. “The alums I met through ISACA were more than willing to provide mentorship or career advice. They taught me general business etiquette and helped prepare me for the EY internship.”

Miguel was the only SJSU AIS student chosen for the Risk Advisory internship at Ernst & Young, so he felt a lot of pressure to perform and represent SJSU.

“The first project my manager assigned was complicated. I honestly didn’t know how to tackle it, but like that pre-algebra problem, I spent the time to figure it out bit by bit. Now solving problems is easy for me.”

Miguel has a veryMiguel Horta packed schedule. He holds part-time jobs at CASA and CIES, supports the suicide prevention hotline at the Bill Wilson Center, takes a full 15 unit load, is actively involved with ISACA, and trains as a weight lifter. How does Miguel maintain a high GPA with so many extra curricular activities?

“It comes down to hard work and perseverance,” Miguel emphasizes adamantly. “Good time management and hard work are keys to my ability to get things done. Anyone can do it. You just have to set your mind to it.”