That’s how recent graduate Carlo Cruz describes his time at UC – an impressive career that saw him not only gain a world-class education, but also a new perspective on himself and the world.
“UC provided a unique opportunity to discover a diverse life, not only in academia, but also socially and culturally as well,” says Carlo. “For instance, I have spent the past several years traveling to countries like South Korea, India, and Chile through the study abroad program and witnessing a variety of cultures along the way. UC has allowed me to embrace these differences and truly develop myself as a globally conscious individual.”
Carlo participated in the innovative ACCEND program, which allows students to earn a bachelors degree in their chosen field as well as an MBA in five years. He ended up earning a BS in Chemical Engineering with minors in Chemistry and Materials Science in addition to his Business degree.
“My engineering background serves as a great backbone of technical skills, and my business education has furthered my skills in strategic planning, marketing, and interpersonal development,” Carlo says. “My education has allowed me to become not only an analytical and rational professional, but also a forward-thinking and business oriented individual”
His journey was supported and enhanced by the generosity of others. Carlo received a scholarship through the Darwin T. Turner Scholars program, which was essential to his success in the classroom and allowed him to take part in multiple activities and clubs. The Turner Scholars Program is one of the oldest ethnic scholarship programs in America and is named after Dr. Darwin T. Turner, the youngest person ever to graduate from UC.
Carlo made the most of his opportunity, and ended up being a part of so many groups that one résumé could barely contain them.
“In addition to the Darwin T. Turner scholars program,” Carlo remembers, “I was involved with the International Dance Team (Dhadak), the Midwest Dhamaka, the Asian American Association, the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers, Student Government, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the News Record to name a few organizations.”
Not only did Carlo participate, he even took the lead in planning and executing a charity Bollywood Dance Competition (known as the Midwest Dhamaka) with Saloni Hemani. The event featured more than 150 dancers and received tremendous support from the community, who bought every available ticket for the event and enthusiastically applauded their performances.
“The sold out crowd was incredible, as well as the joyous feedback we received after the event, says Carlo. “It was my favorite UC memory and speaks to one of the best qualities of this university: the embrace of diversity.”
Another well-known cornerstone of UC, cooperative education, is what provided Carlo a springboard to employment after graduation. In addition to working as a student researcher and at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he co-oped at Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing.
“These cumulative experiences allowed me to integrate my analytical mindset to the business world,” says Carlo. “I was able to witness problems common to the workplace will enhancing my knowledge of corporate culture and business strategy.”
Just this month, Carlo began working as a full-time specialist at Toyota. And while he has completed his time at UC, he doesn’t plan on giving up his pursuit of multiple activities.
“I plan to continue as a freelance photographer and videographer,” he says.
Thanks to the generosity of Bearcats around the world, more than $101 million has been committed to scholarships and financial aid during the Proudly Cincinnati Campaign, the largest and most successful fundraising effort in UC history. In addition, more than 480 new scholarship funds were created, and nearly 11,000 students (including Carlo) who received scholarship support have graduated during the campaign. Learn more here.
Did you receive a scholarship at UC? Tell us about your experience with a comment below.