STUDENT PROFILE: Humberto Lazo
When I first came to the United States I was living in Miami, Florida. A friend of my dad had a son who was a student at Virginia International University. My English was not very good at that time, so I followed his recommendation and applied to the ESL program at VIU.
I decided to get away from my Hispanic culture and come up here to experience diversity. It was definitely a place where nobody was going to speak Spanish with me. Living in a place with a different culture was challenging at first, but in about six months my English got to the academic level, and I enrolled into the Bachelor in Business Administration program here at VIU.
After I completed the first two years of my education, I had some trouble making time for my classes because I got a job offer from JP Morgan Chase. At that time, I was only twenty-two years old, but I always wanted to be independent and provide for myself. So I decided to drop out of school and go back to Florida to focus on my work as a relationship banker at the Regional Financial Corporation with Chase.
Three years later I realized that the lack of a Bachelor Degree limited my career growth. I talked to my managers and the bank’s executive team, and they advised me to finish school to further my career. I started exploring different universities all over the United States, and found that VIU was the most affordable. Moreover, I could keep all the credits which I previously earned there. So I left Chase in Florida, came back to Fairfax, and continued at VIU as a full-time student.
Even though I was taking five classes a week to earn my Bachelor's degree as quickly as possible, I felt that just attending the school was not enough. I wanted to practice the things I learned. So I applied for a position with M&T Bank, and I got a full time job there as a banker. It is always challenging to arrange time to go to class, go to work, study, and be outstanding in both environments. However, you can definitely manage work and school if you establish your goals and plan ahead.
VIU is great because it provides students with a perfect environment for international business even though it is not a huge university. It represents the diversity and complexity of today's global business market. My professors are outstanding. They are very supportive and always available to talk about my concerns or ideas. Personal attention which VIU students get from faculty and staff is a really important aspect.
BBA in International Business