Juliana Arias says that growing up in a family full of professionals motivated her to seek a higher education. She reflects that the best advice that her father, an agricultural engineer, and her mother, a bacteriologist, gave her was to “never stop” striving for her goals, a lesson she has taken to heart in her pursuit of a college degree.
This advice came into play when her family went through financial hardships when she was a teenager. She recalls feeling “lost” and uncertain about her academic future, as the cost of an education seemed prohibitive.
Despite her doubts and the challenges she faced, she says she was determined to prove her resiliency. She recalls that it was then that she realized, “[she] was the only person who could decide [her] own fate.” With the support of organizations like HSF, the YMCA, and The Coca-Cola Foundation, she explored the opportunities available and earned scholarships that made her dreams of higher education a reality. She believes that her passion for both education and empowering minorities, was a key component of achieving her goals.
She is now a senior at Georgetown University where she is majoring in International Political Economy. During her time at the university, she has been engaged in a diverse range of college organizations including the Corp Philanthropy Committee, Georgetown PorColumbia, Georgetown Collegiate Investors, and the Georgetown University Student Association. For her achievements and service, she was recognized as an HSF Female Scholar of the Year semi-finalist, in 2019.
Last October, Juliana was one of 118 Scholars invited to attend HSF’s annual Finance Conference, an event that exposes HSF Scholars interested in the field to specialized industry knowledge and career opportunities in finance, including commercial banking, investment banking, asset management, private equity, and other finance-related fields.
In March, Juliana was also one of 100 Scholars invited to participate in HSF’s Entrepreneurship Summit. The annual conference introduces HSF Scholars to the value and importance of developing an entrepreneurial mindset. During the summit, Scholars are empowered with knowledge and experiences that enable them to be entrepreneurial in any setting or career they pursue.
Reflecting on the conferences, she says that she sees being part of the HSF community as an opportunity to network and grow, as well as to give back, adding that being a contributing community member is a “critical component to excelling as an individual and professional.”
While she is interested in globalization, markets, and cultural understanding, she recognizes the diverse range of professional opportunities available and the need for flexibility. Consequently, she is keeping an open mind regarding her career path and the kind of leadership role that she wants to fill.
The tough circumstances that she and her family endured when she was teenager have taught Juliana endurance and optimism. So to others considering college she says, “Regardless of where you find yourselves, you have the ability to improve your situation. If you work for a better future and dedicate yourselves with all of your energy and ambition to attain something, you will achieve it. The work that you put in now, will be reflected in the future.”