My Journey as a Latina at SMU.
By Carolina Hernández Expected graduation date: May 2021.
Born in Brownsville, Texas, one of the southernmost points of the United States – Mexico border, I have always had a connection with my Mexican heritage. When I was only two years old, my parents moved from Brownsville to Dallas in order to pursue their snow cone business. Named after my brother’s and my initials, MC Snow Cones was the representation of hope for my family to find success in the unique opportunities that Dallas presented, and Brownsville lacked; the main goal for my parents was always to provide my brother and me with the best education in order to give us the tools to reach our own success.
Since I was a little girl, my parents have always instilled in me that the most important thing besides family, is education. I have always known that college was the next step after high school and that one of the most important decisions I would ever make would be choosing a university. As a senior in high school, it seemed almost impossible to choose a university because I could not narrow down a major and therefore could not choose the college with the best program for that major.
At first, I chose to attend Southern Methodist University because of its law school with the intention of becoming a lawyer. However, as first semester of freshman year passed by, along with my first experience with college classes, I realized that I was enjoying Calculus class more than Political Science, and abruptly decided to switch my major to Accounting and to add a Spanish minor. I added the Spanish minor in order to expand my vocabulary and perfect my Spanish overall, which ended up leading me to an internship at LATINA Style.
Here, I gained all the skills I hoped to acquire through a Spanish minor: a larger vocabulary, correct grammar, etc. Even further, I was able to obtain a great amount of professional experience through being in contact with numerous large and influential companies and through attending one of their many informational business conferences. One of the reasons I found it easy to make the most of this internship, was due to the Latin culture embedded in the office and staff, which allowed me to feel immensely comfortable in the office.
Still, I struggled with my decision to switch my major to Accounting. I thought this choice was based on information too superficial to be sure that it was the right decision because all I knew about Accounting, at that point, was that it was a math-based system that kept track of financial records. However, since then, I have joined Alpha Kappa Psi, SMU’s premier business fraternity, in which I have learned a great deal about the business world and Accounting in particular.
I am also currently taking my first Accounting class, which has greatly boosted my confidence in my major because the material comes quite naturally to me. The reason I highlight these experiences is because I came to SMU with a completely different plan (major) than the one I am currently pursuing. SMU was without a doubt the right choice for me; it seems as if fate brought me here considering I initially came for its great law school, but stayed for its even better business school.
My decision to attend Southern Methodist University was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. SMU has helped me grow in so many ways, including my ambition, knowledge, and self-discipline. As for my culture, I keep my Latin roots close through my family. Although they are not in college with me, our Spanish fueled phone calls, annual trips to Brownsville, and what seems like a lifetime supply of tamales always bring me back home.