Carlos Garcia, American Honors (‘13), chats with advisor Klara Markus about transferring, life at IUPUI, and his plan to be a CEO.

Where are you currently studying? Why did you decide to attend your current institution?

I am currently a senior at IUPUI, majoring in Finance and Supply Chain Management. I decided to transfer to IUPUI because of the passport program between the university and Ivy Tech Community College. I was able to transfer all of my credits directly into the Kelley School of Business, where I would only have to spend two years to graduate with my bachelor’s degree. Although I was accepted to some other very intriguing schools such as Emory University and Purdue University, IUPUI proved to be the best-fit for my needs. My main focus was to transfer to an institution where I could complete my bachelor’s in just two more years. I also took into consideration the quality of the business programs and cost.

Have you always wanted to study business?

I was very well prepared for a four- year institution after all of the American Honors advising and seminars.

As I began college, I had no clue what I wanted to study. I was able to explore a variety of subjects through my introductory courses at Ivy Tech. Eventually I realized that my detail-oriented personality, and my desire to apply my analytical skills, matched well with a career in business. Once I began focusing my studies in this field, I knew I had made the correct decision as I seek to one day be at the top of a corporation.

I know that you balance a full-time academic load with work and extracurricular activities that align with your interests. What is an average day in your life?

An average day in my life can often be very hectic. Apart from being a full-time student, I also work three days a week. I start my days by heading to work at 8:00AM. Around 2:00PM, I leave work and head to the school gym to get a quick workout before class at 4:30PM. After class, I go to the library to catch up on homework and studying. I schedule most of my classes on the days when I do not work. I am currently a member of the Operations Supply Chain Management Club and Capital Investments Club. Both of these activities allow me to engage with classmates and network with professionals from the business world, equipping me with the tools I need after I graduate. It is not always easy to balance academics, work, and extracurriculars; however, I have found that planning out your time in advance can go a long way towards achieving a good balance of the three.

What were some of the major changes and/or challenges you’ve experienced since transferring? What have been some of the highlights?

Whether it’s deciding on which school to attend or what extracurriculars to join, always allow yourself to consider things you have never done before.

One of the most challenging things I’ve experienced as a transfer student has been dealing with the size of IUPUI. With nearly 30,000 students, the number of ways to get involved is almost overwhelming. I adapted to this change by embracing all that the school had to offer. By attending involvement fairs and social events, I met students with similar interests to mine. This helped make the big-school atmosphere feel much less overwhelming. The size of the school has not really had an impact on my academic life. All of the classes I have taken so far have had less than 50 students, a very comparable figure to Ivy Tech class sizes. Overall, the transfer process has been very smooth for me. I was able to transition very well into the academic requirements. I have also been able to join a number of extracurricular activities where I have met lots of new people.

Where do you see yourself after graduating? Do you want to go to grad school? Start working?

After graduation, I plan on starting my professional career within business. After a few years of professional work experience, I would like to return to school to pursue a Master’s of Business Administration. All of my hard work is focused towards my dream of becoming the Chief Executive Officer of a leading company. Though it seems so far in the distance, I am determined to do all I can to reach this goal.

What advice do you have for current transfer students and for students still at community college?

My advice to both transfer students and current community college students would be to always keep an open mind! Whether it’s deciding on which school to attend or what extracurriculars to join, always allow yourself to consider things you have never done before. I have found this to be crucial to my growth as a student and a person. One more thing: no matter what stage of your education you are at, enjoy the experience!

Media credit: Fathead

Authored by Klara Markus

Klara joined the American Honors team after graduating from Yale University, though she started at Miami Dade College. She writes about the things 4-year schools look for in transfer students.