The Ever-Curious Explorer
Sophomore, Entrepreneurship & Corporate Innovation and Finance
“Don’t be afraid to explore your options, to open your mind, to get to know people.”
Sandra Pineda stepped onto IU’s campus her freshman year ready to explore. She came armed with curiosity, excitement, and a desire to grow, and the Kelley School of Business student soon found this to be a winning combination.
It started with flyers. Exposed to countless clubs her first semester, the finance and entrepreneurship major initially didn’t think the papers notifying students of the Undergraduate Career Services Offices (UCSO) were pertinent to her. But her curiosity grew, and she asked her professor about the UCSO. She learned it offered resources for students and decided to check it out.
Since then, Pineda has taken advantage of the UCSO in various ways, from using a career coach to getting help with her resume, doing a mock interview to using the events calendar.
“The people at the UCSO are teaching us to grow our professional side as well as our academic side,” Pineda said.
In order not to miss anything, Pineda checks the Kelley and IU events calendars often. If there’s a networking opportunity or an interesting speaker, she’s there. This is how she found out about the 2010 IU Entrepreneurial Connection program with keynote speaker and social entrepreneur Mark Albion, founder of Net Impact and author of The New York Times bestsellers Making a Life, Making a Living and More than Money. Pineda was one of the only undergraduate students at the event.
“You’re growing if you go see people who are achievers and you listen to what they have done,” Pineda said. “You kind of get into their mindset.”
Albion’s mindset definitely made an impact on Pineda. After hearing the successful entrepreneur speak about his involvement with nonprofits, Pineda’s curiosity was once again sparked. She has since shifted her career goals to include nonprofits.
“With nonprofits, you can give back to your community and maybe, in some way, change the world,” she said. “It only takes one person.”
Attending event after event and meeting all sorts of students and professionals has paid off for Pineda in a short time. “People started seeing my face repeatedly at these events, and they became familiar with me,” Pineda said.
She was asked to speak about the UCSO at Kelley Direct Admit Day in front of 1,000 incoming students and parents. Nerves filled her—she had never done public speaking and English isn’t her first language, as she lived in Colombia until she was 12. Nevertheless, she embraced the idea.
Pineda’s involvement on campus even landed her a part-time job. Faculty members recommended her to work at the UCSO front desk after hearing her on Direct Admit Day. She’ll start her sophomore year helping others discover the available opportunities like she did.
When asked what advice she would give to future freshmen, she answered without hesitation: “Don’t be afraid to explore your options, to open your mind, to get to know people.”