This Spotlight series recognizes a UW-Fox Valley student’s academic achievements and personal story. Students are nominated for this spotlight by faculty and staff.
Name: Gabriela Barcenas
Career program/major: Accounting/Business
Hometown: Wautoma, WI
Currently Residing: Menasha, WI
High School Attended: Wautoma High School
UW-Fox Valley student clubs/organizations: UW-Fox Valley Business Club, UW-Fox Valley Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and Student Worker-Classroom Media Technician.
What led you to choose your program or major?
I chose to go into the field of accounting because of the great variety of disciplines and career options available. I was also influenced by many teachers in high school and by business professors to pursue a career in this field. Additionally, a career in accounting will allow many opportunities for advancement and professional growth.
Why did you decide to become a student at UW-Fox Valley?
I decided to become a student at UW-Fox Valley because of the location of the campus and the cost of attendance. Here, I am able to travel back home on weekends to spend time with my family and save money without sacrificing my education. The relatively small class sizes also allow me to ask questions and participate more throughout the courses.
Is there someone at UW-Fox Valley who made a difference in your life or inspired you?
I have had the pleasure of meeting many amazing people who have gone out of their way to make sure I receive the best education possible. During my time here, I have been influenced and motivated by many great students, faculty, and staff members to not only earn my associate’s degree, but to also continue my education in a bigger institution of my choice. My supervisor Evelyn Li, senior media specialist/academic technology support, has given me many great pieces of advice about how to manage my time between work, school, and homework. I’d also like to acknowledge Letitia Talbot and Jenean Hodge for always giving great advice and help.
What is one piece of advice you would give to an incoming UW-Fox Valley student?
One piece of advice I would like to give to incoming UW-Fox Valley students is don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it is asking the professors, students in class, or tutors, don’t be afraid to speak up when you are lost. I would also tell them to take advantage and apply for scholarships and work-study jobs. These have helped me and many other students pay for the cost of tuition. Get to know the people around you and try to join or involve yourself in student events.
Describe something unexpected that happened here at UW-Fox Valley.
When I first started here at UW-Fox Valley last fall, I never imagined the campus being so involved and welcoming of new first-generation college students. As the first in my family to attend college, I never expected my transition here to be so easy and welcoming.
When not in class or studying, what keeps you busy?
I keep busy by attending soccer games and other student activities on campus, spending time with friends, working on campus, and volunteering in the community.
What are your plans after UW-Fox Valley?
I plan to transfer to UW-Whitewater to continue my college education. My plans for the future are to improve myself and be more than I am now.
To learn more about the associate degree and options for beginning one of more than 200 majors at UW-Fox Valley, call (920) 832-2620 to schedule an appointment with an advisor.