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HSF Scholars

Thianny Gonzalez

  • Gender: Female
  • Major: Business
  • University: The University of Texas at Austin

Born in New Jersey, but raised in Texas, Thianny never thought she would one day graduate from The University of Texas at Austin and be working towards a master's degree. Her desire to build a better life and have a professional career, as well as wanting to honor the sacrifices her parents made for her and her brother, are what motivated her to pursue higher education. “It has not been easy,” she admits, “but I know that my opportunities are endless…with a college degree.”

There have been challenges. Finances were an obstacle, and so was her self-esteem. She also says that navigating a large and competitive college was intimidating, and notes that failed multiple exams and that this affected her GPA. But rather than giving up, she realized that she had to move out of her comfort zone, meet others, and engage with her professors. She says knew that she could recover and become a better student, and she did, but that  “it all took courage, patience, and a lot of seeking help.”

She recently received her bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin and is entering her second year of graduate studies there. Her fields are Business and Accounting. While at UT, she has been involved in the Hispanic Business Student Association and the EY Accounting Ambassadors Program, a mentorship program at the university, as well as the Alpha Omega Campus Ministry.

In October 2019, Thianny 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.

She appreciates the opportunity that HSF provides to meet and interact with Latino professionals from around the country. “I always love to learn about professional's journey and how they got to where they are today,” she commented. She believes that building a network encompasses mentorship and personal relationships, as well professional ones, and she applauds HSF for providing all of those opportunities at its conferences, plus additional resources that students need to succeed.

Interested in a range of fields she might enter after completing her master’s degree, she also has entrepreneurial dreams, hoping to start her own business or a nonprofit.

To students looking at the possibility of college, she says, “Curiosity opens doors, and attending college is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for your family.” She further advises prospective college students to work hard in high school, utilize the school’s career counselor, apply to as many programs and scholarships as possible, and ask lots of questions. She also recommends that students take advantage of college tours and visits, attending as many as possible, in order to find the college that is the best fit.

“Have an open mind,” she adds, “and be ready to meet people that are like you, but that are also so different from you. I think that is what makes coming to college so beautiful. You are always meeting new people, and you never know where those relationships can take you.”