Finance MajorMarc Colon-2016 Student Gallery Winner

"Throughout my academic career I have sought to get the most out of my education. Fortunately, the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology has provided me with many opportunities to do just that with the technological atmosphere and cultivating learning environment. Having an impact on others has always been important for me, but, as it turned out, it was the faculty and fellow classmates that had the ultimate impact on me. I am confident that through my experiences at IUP, and Eberly in particular, I will have the ability to offer immediate value wherever my journey takes me."

I am a senior Board of Governor scholar of Puerto Rican descent and currently reside in North Philadelphia, Pa. I am pursuing a degree in finance. I sit here a semester away from my undergraduate graduation and cannot help but reflect on my academic career thus far.

When I began my final year in high school, I cannot say that I knew without a doubt that I would be attending college for the years to come. Instead, my intentions were to enroll in the Marines and hoped to finance a college education through those means. After receiving multiple scholarships and a long talk with my school counselor, I was enabled and motivated to demonstrate my capabilities at the next level.

Scholarships substantially increased my accessibility to a college education, and, as I made my decision for which institution I would ultimately matriculate into, I considered the school that would best promote two important factors: opportunity for growth, both as a person and an aspiring professional, and opportunity for impact. When visiting IUP with the MVP Scholars Group, I quickly learned of the environment and opportunities set by the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology, hearing about the Student Managed Investment Portfolio and technology such as the Bloomberg lab that provides a hands-on learning environment for students to grow. I decided to attend IUP.

As I arrived to IUP's campus, I immediately sought out ways to be involved and demonstrate my value and impact to the institution. I soon learned that I could help the Latino community on IUP's campus and set out to do just that. During my first semester, I began to work for the IUP Marketing Department as a student photographer and got heavily involved with Caring About Latino Student Achievement (CALSA), a faculty/student-developed MARTI program concerned about the quality of education and aimed at promoting retention, graduate, and professional schools as a means to continuing education for all students.

Though CALSA does not necessarily work with those who are on academic probation, we have made efforts to help students progress and work toward their goals. CALSA has deployed initiatives in an attempt to provide students with essential tools to remain competitive and elevate their return on investment as they seek to succeed at the conclusion of their undergraduate experience. With that, I have personally offered professional workshops such as, "LinkedIn: The Professional" where I partnered with fellow business students as an attempt to successfully reach 50 students. Additionally, under some advisement, I have also formed study sessions with hopes to offer mentorship.

A colleague and I, through CALSA, united the IUP Latino community by organizing and hosting the first annual Latino Student Reception. It brought together student organizations and was open to all students. It is now an annual event held early in the fall semesters.

I have learned that my responsibilities carry well beyond affiliated activities as I had to ensure that students observing my actions outside of those events received the same message that we hoped they all took home with them. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to impact the lives and education of others in a positive environment.

Marc has been hired by Vanguard as a client relationship specialist in the Retail Service department (as of May 2016).