Alumni Spotlight: Gabrielle Vargas
Posted on April 1, 2019 by
Originally Colombia, South America, Gabriela Vargas, grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. With family scattered throughout different countries, Vargas developed a love of traveling and learning about different cultures. Her passion is, “ to help students like myself achieve things that they never thought were in their reach. I enjoy pushing myself to be better in all aspects of life.” She graduated from the Mitchell College of Business in the spring of 2017 with a degree in marketing a concentration in international business.
Vargas chose South Alabama because of the vast degree programs offered. “I always wanted to study international business and South had so much to offer. I fell in love with the campus, the atmosphere, the student morale, the opportunities and resources available, and the close-knit community.” She knew it promised a well-rounded education at an affordable price.
South stood out to her because it is centrally located in a hub of transportation, which allows students studying international business to get a full experience and access to multiple internships and resources. “Mobile is constantly growing and changing with new companies and offers a variety of employment options. It is the true home of Mardi Gras which gives the city life in a way that other schools will never have the privilege to experience.” She wanted to be away from home while still being close enough to go home if needed. She also wanted to know her school on a personal level unlike larger state schools where the opportunities to grow are more competitive.
“South means more to me than most people will ever truly understand. It was the place that taught me how to be my own person. I made lifelong friendships, learned about myself, and I gained valuable knowledge of the business world.” South gave Vargas opportunities that she never thought possible with the help of faculty members, scholarships, mentors, and staff members. She can truly say South pushed her to be the best version of herself.
As a student, she had the opportunity to get involved. She was a Resident Assistant for two years, had the opportunity to study abroad in Germany through MCOB, got involved in S.G.A. to represent MCOB, was a Mitchell Ambassador, and was voted the Sophomore Maid during homecoming week to represent her class. She was also the event chair for Jaguar Productions. “I immersed myself in all the opportunities available which led me to continue my career path at a higher education institution. I had such a wonderful experience at South that I chose a career helping others do the same.”
The best thing about the MCOB program for her were the small class sizes, which allowed her to get to know the professors one on one. The professors were pivotal in her learning experience as they made themselves available to clarify class assignments and even offered great advice on future ventures and career paths.
Right after graduation, she moved to Jacksonville, Florida to explore employment opportunities. She is currently a full-time employee as the the Welcome Center Coordinator at a university in Jacksonville, Florida. She works as a part of the Enrollment Services Department and help manages over thirty student employee tour guides. “I assist with the day-to-day operations of the front desk and am responsible for the continual training of the students which is an integral part of the office. I also facilitate in prospective student recruitment events.” As a full-time employee, she is also pursuing her masters in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in International Programs. Her hope is to one day become the director of an International Center at an institution.
Some advice she would give to students would be to “Take advantage of all the leadership positions available. Make connections while you are in school as they can often lead to job offers or recommendation letters (a recommendation from the Dean of MCOB can easily help your chances of getting into Graduate school *hint hint*). Enjoy being a student as much as you can while you can. When else will you be able to study in another country while learning the language, traveling, and learning about yourself in the process. My biggest advice and don’t be afraid to get involved, some of the most beautiful experiences and friendships come from taking a chance!”
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