Currently a marketing project manager for SBH Health System in the Bronx, NY, Carolina Valenzuela overcame many obstacles on the road to earning her BS in Leadership and Management Studies with a concentration in Human Resources Management at the NYU SPS Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies (DAUS).
A recipient of the NYU Community College Transfer Opportunity Program (CCTOP) scholarship, Valenzuela recently shared her experiences as a DAUS transfer student with us to commemorate National Student Transfer Week (October 17-21, 2022).
Tell us about your educational journey prior to transferring to NYU SPS.
I attended high school in the Dominican Republic, where I graduated in 2012. It then took me five years to start college. In 2017, I enrolled at Bronx Community College and majored in Business Administration and Computer Programming. When I was looking to transfer to a 4-year institution, one of my mentors, Dr. Ted Ingram, nominated me for the NYU CCTOP scholarship.
What motivated you to transfer to NYU SPS?
Being a recipient of the CCTOP scholarship motivated me, as did the opportunity to join a group of students with similar backgrounds and life experiences to my own.
What was your experience like when you transferred to NYU SPS?
My experience was challenging because I was facing family hardships. I felt a lot of imposter syndrome. Being part of CCTOP gave me a great support system—from the administrators to my peers—that allowed me to keep pushing through. I quickly joined groups like the Student Association for Applied Studies (SAAS) at DAUS and started my own Community College Transfer All-University Club with my friends and classmates. Being able to give back to our community made the experience all the more worth it!
What were some of your favorite classes at NYU SPS?
My favorite classes included an SPS Real World course that featured a partnership with Nike. It gave me the opportunity to work on branding with a great team led by Adjunct Instructor David Cooper and professionals at Nike. I also enjoyed the Organizational Behavior course taught by Adjunct Instructor Shaunice Hawkins, who is an amazing teacher and an expert in business and corporate affairs.
Are there any instructors who left a lasting impression on you?
Adjunct Instructor Victoria Axelrod––I had the privilege of being part of her in-person Conflict Management class. When we went remote during the pandemic, the transition was seamless. Our class then focused on research relating to how the pandemic would affect higher education. Professor Axelrod was extremely supportive and knowledgeable in guiding us through the research process.
How do you feel your experience as an NYU SPS transfer student equips you for your current profession—and the future?
Being able to persevere and stay resilient and engaged—even through tough times over the last few years—has given me the confidence to keep pushing and growing professionally. As a transfer student, I successfully confronted the hurdles and challenges I faced as imposter syndrome set in and continued to overcome those issues. DAUS and CCTOP offered a support system and the resources I needed. I now have great tools to deal with any challenges I may face!