Vanessa Cuellar 22, Finance Major is featured on Think About It

Vanessa Cuellar is a Finance major with plans to graduate in May of 2022. Vanessa has been involved as a leader with Young Life and works as an IT Technician for the HBU Helpdesk. After graduation, Vanessa plans to pursue a career as a wealth advisor or commercial banker.

Hi i’m vanessa coyar i’m from houston texas born and raised growing up i really enjoyed just the performance arts like dance singing theater and so whenever i was about in eighth seventh grade i did start being homeschooled just to take more time for that and myself and i really enjoyed it it gave me more time to just be with my family and i’ll be with my friends

And do the things i really loved and enjoyed um and so from that time i went and i graduated from this homeschooling co-op which was really fun and i was really looking for something that really felt like community and so whenever i was starting to look at different colleges of course there was some closer to home some that would require me to go out but whenever

I visited hbu it was very very different in a very special way and so i knew that i felt really at home here and so it really kicked off with a couple camps that really solidified the decision the summer before my freshman year and so i met a lot of new friends it was a really great experience and that really started my journey here at hbu um i’m a senior now and

So i’m about to graduate with a finance degree which i’m really excited about i’ve always been really good at numbers and so with my finance degree i’ve just been really working hard to understand all the knowledge in my courses that they’ve been giving me the professors have been really helpful and really personable and approachable which i really much appreciate

And so with that i’ve been looking for different job opportunities for when i graduate really at commercial banking and so i’m hoping to kind of mix my people skills with that background with numbers and just finance in general and so with that just either sales or maybe even underwriting commercial banks very flexible and where it would want to go and so it’s

Just been a journey here i do also love traveling all throughout my life that’s something that my parents instilled in me just a love for travel we’ve been so many places as a family but also i’ve gone out and done my own journeys one of which being a two-week backpacking trip through alaska by myself which is really amazing super awesome and so with that i know

That i really want to go out in the world and start being just that independent person that god’s called me to be and also just see the world see his creation and just talk to his people so all of that together is something that i’m trying to do in my daily life but also just reach for my futuristic goals vanessa that is really cool i mean two weeks in alaska

Yeah by yourself by myself out of my family i did meet a group there that i hadn’t known beforehand which sounds kind of crazy but it was an organization that it pairs together for um like high schoolers that are either upper level or graduating and so we went through and we packed all of our stuff in our backpacks and went out and went backpacking through alaska

It was quite a time i love alaska i i’m blown out in the wild and my goodness there’s no place quite like it i know so you’re you were home schooled from seventh grade on and i i love that homeschooling uh group of students because i’ve met some just uniquely skilled uh prepared young people i mean um and i think that area is growing like crazy right now yeah

Absolutely i don’t know if it’s the pandemic or if it’s just the way traditional education is going so tell me uh what’s your takeaway of the how it equipped you to go to a university as opposed to if you wouldn’t have been homeschooled so at the time it wasn’t as a popular decision i just saw a couple of my friends that were being homeschooled i don’t think it

Was their decision but from my point of view i saw how their schedule was and it was a lot more um or my schedule at the time was a lot more time consuming what they had seemed like they had so i talked to my mom about it and so uh she made it happen she had gotten this curriculum for me and that’s one thing about it it’s very hands-on and very you have to have

Your own determination to finish it because i think at the beginning since i was so young i would let maybe a couple days go by or i’m like oh let me watch these videos and then kind of just let them like go on but very quickly i learned if you don’t put in the work it’s not any you know time and effort that you put in will really be valuable because you’ll learn

The things that you need to and truly internalize it and so throughout my time that’s just something that i learned very quickly like make sure that you have what you need and go for it and so um throughout my time i did first virtual where i’m just looking at a computer screen and completely looking at just books and going back and forth but then in high school

I had done like a co-op where it’s basically a bunch of homeschoolers who get together and have different classes together which very much mimics university and i think that’s something that really helped me out so not only do i get really just really great knowledge from all the teachers and textbooks but i also get that sense of i’m here with people and that

Really was an easy transition from high school to university because of that it was just something that schedule wise and also just effort like as far as like putting in my best foot forward i had already started kind of training from that young age and i really appreciate it because it really it didn’t seem so scary anymore it just seemed like exciting to get

Into the next phase of my life you must have an incredible mom i love her so much she’s amazing um now here you are graduating with a finance degree at from houston baptist university if you reduced it to the two or three reasons why you came to hbu what would those reasons be um one of them definitely being the amount of just care that you feel from even the

Faculty staff really anybody who goes here like i mentioned i went to a couple camps before i started my freshman year and right off the bat people would already come and say hey if you need help with anything like let us know and i did get a lot of help from people on staff i kind of got to see how the school operated beforehand that’s something i always really

Enjoyed because coming from that homeschool background sometimes it seems like such a big scary world there’s so many people out there but when you see a friendly face you feel more comfortable and so whenever i started seeing the those people again it was just really refreshing because i knew that i didn’t have to feel uncomfortable or uneasy that this was a place

That people really cared for me and my growth also just the like proximity in a sense like everything just feels so just connected um whether it’s just friends of a friend that you just get to meet and then all of a sudden like it’s expanded the amount of people you know or even how you talk to professors and they know somebody um who you can reach out to that’s

Something that i’m going through now something that my professors have had people who come from the workforce come in and just kind of talk and i’ve been able to just reach out to those people and really like just dive deep into their like brain about you know their positions at work and so those things for sure things that just i i didn’t even understand how

Just helpful that would be at the time but now almost being done with my bachelor’s i could not be more thankful for it because it made this time just that more enjoyable super how was the transition from home schooling to the university curricula the academia that you’ve you’ve accomplished here at hbu yeah um it was it was a slight adjustment nothing too

Crazy because my courses kind of mimic the time like where you met a couple times a week and then you would finish your homework per se and then come back in high school so the same timing wise it felt like but just with the professors even the way that they taught it felt like a step up from what i had learned in high school because um all of a sudden it was

Kind of it was more degree oriented um it got to at some points after like basics and stuff and so um i knew that at the end of like right now uh where i’m at it’s it all goes back to even the beginning of like stop freshman or sophomore year because uh they’re really building blocks in uh university where if you miss something um you know you have to go back

Because they really build on top of each other and so that was something that i had to kind of readjust because in high school you’re just kind of learning about just general things things that i had enjoyed but at the same time i knew that me personally i wasn’t maybe going to go into a science like chemistry or even history they were just things that i enjoyed

Reading about but now that it was more personalized to me and my degree it was challenging in a good way to stay on top of all that i had learned all that i was learning and even to reach out because in high school if i was a little bit lost it was fairly easy to get back into the group of things but university that’s something that i um even still perfecting it’s

To reach out there’s a lot of resources here for me that i still haven’t unlocked or something that i could even use more and so it was definitely a little bit at first um just a little shift for me to really like get into like oh this is important like you need to really analyze all of these things so that you don’t get behind but it’s been really helpful now

That all my classes aren’t too crazy for me because it’s like oh i do remember these things and i am capable of learning because it’s all building on top of each other there’s from time to time people question the value of a university education they value they question the cost of a university education you know i def i disagree with that because i know that

We’ve seen study after study that people who get a degree they’re serious about focus and career they make more money i mean tell me about you you’re you have this finance degree so you’re going into the job market what’s your ultimate goal where will you start where do you want to go um so i want to start at a commercial bank and either side whether it’s like

With people and sales or even the back end of things like underwriting i feel like either way would give me that knowledge and just um really experience in there uh and just get a feel of like what it’s like in a business realm like that like a commercial bank and so i really that’s my goal right now right after graduating in the future i would love to really

Branch out kind of like back to my like homeschooling experience i would love to be something like an independent like financial tech analyst where maybe they don’t necessarily have the same schedule as someone who works at a bank but they’re more working on their own like convenient company where they’re just kind of moving around because i do personally i do know

That i work a pretty a little bit better maybe independently but working on like other like collaborating things but really that’s my end goal to see if i could get to that spot because that even there something that’s really personal to me is that i really do want to help people small businesses or just big businesses in general become better at their finances

That’s always been a a very valuable like listen to me just learning about money and like how we can be financially literate how we can um really thrive just and not just to get more money just so that we can use that to glorify god because we do live in a world where you know things are constantly like going around day to day um but to use that kind of a like a

Taboo like oh money but use that i mean that’s a part of this world and we can use it for the glory of god and use that to start so many things you know uh nonprofits or for-profits for god um so really kind of revolutionizing that um even just idea that those two can’t mix that they can mix and pretty beautifully whenever you let god take the wheel on that well

No question i mean first timothy 610 doesn’t say money’s the root of all evil it says the love of money is and as we know anything to be successful has to have strong management of stewardship of the funds that come our way what what gave you that interest in money i mean was it did it start in high school that your mom took you through dave ramsey or what um i

Would say it started probably earlier on um i mean like some kids i got an allowance growing up when i did you know certain chores or certain things that were asked of me and from a young age i think my family could tell you i was just a big saver i would never have things that i want to spend my money on you know on the daily basis i would make really i’d save

Enough for a big purchase and so i remember my first big purchase was i think back in 20 2011 or 2012 and it was the first ipod touch at first released and had that bigger screen everyone was so amazed by it and i took one look at it and said i want it and so i started well with the money actually i had already saved up until then i hadn’t really spent anything i

Used it and i bought that ipod touch and it was really awesome i got to kind of like have that as my own and you know even if someone had bought it for me i would be super appreciative but there was another level of oh i really like earned this in a sense i used this money that i had in my own possession to buy it and so since then i really still have those saving

Tendencies but now that i’m in my classes i mean saving is probably not the goal in a lot of different classes it’s investing and like learning to do it wisely which is a crazy concept at first to me because i’m like oh it’s not going to be in my possession but learning about like how to strategically do it and even the different methods and analysis that you can

Do on it it’s just it’s so interesting to me and so with that i’m learning just different things like what you can do with your own resources and finances so it’s really been pretty revolutionary for me to be in university learning about that in specific because it’s always been important to me but now i can do it in a in a better way with what i’ve learned yeah

You know i’ve always felt like a high school student junior or senior should be taught money management i know i did i was never taught that and i think a college student should because you know one of the strong contributing factors to divorce is the conflict over money and money is almost synonymous with america and it’s unfortunate people who literally torch

Everything for the pursuit of money so it is a huge topic in the bible it’s mentioned hundreds of times i really applaud you take a moment if you would and just look in that camera and there’s there’s a student just like vanessa that’s thinking about coming to hbu and they’re not quite sure if they should and they’re they’ve got the same set of questions you have

And some more why would you encourage them to come here i would encourage you to come here because it really is a great investment and sometimes it is daunting to see you know sometimes that you see on papers different statements but every single every single thing that you give financially to be here at hbu becomes so worth it when you realize that the potential

That you have after really is it’s unlimited because you really could have be graduated and go after so many different things i know that on my time here i kind of had a very closed point of view into where i would go after just because i didn’t feel like i was good enough or i was smart enough to kind of reach those titles and those jobs and those different

Positions but now i i do work on campus and it’s an on-campus job and with that as long as in addition to my classes i would say i’ve had my perspective opened up to where it’s not just that oh i’ve become good enough because it just happened that way but i’ve been molded by this university through different classes different people different staff and i feel

Like a lot of those positions or things that felt so out of reach are now so attainable in a great way and i feel so prepared and so i’m just honored by the time being here so it really is a great investment vanessa we are so proud of you and what a great light you are for christ you can have a dynamic future um this is a a great story that reminds us just how

Important it is that hbu is there to help receive students who know christ and yet aspired great career goals you’re going to do that and you’re going to do it very successfully you can learn more about hbu and the archie dunham college of business which is right here on the campus of hbu named after a really phenomenal business icon archie dunham chairman of

Chesapeake oil a phenomenal man phenomenal family and and yet a great christian man he he embodies all the principles we’ve discussed learn more about hbu hbu.edu admissions 281-649-3211 our graduate school hbu.edu grad 281 649-3269 and remember you can also come to hbu online and maybe maybe the pandemic that’s become an endemic that will soon be bye-bye and

The whole world will be happier has left you just saying i want to go to school online or i’ve got a job to manage hbu online dot com 855-428-1960 students in 42 other states that go to houston baptist university online we are really proud of you keep on letting your light shine it’s going to be really be exciting to see what happens to you in the future and

I know you’ll do well thank you so much i’m honored to be here it’s really been a huge blessing okay

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Vanessa Cuellar '22, Finance Major is featured on Think About It By Houston Christian University