Phoenix, AZ – Perla Bujanda is planning on using her education from Arizona State University to succeed in her future career in supply chain management so that she can help support her mother, who works tirelessly to support the family.
“My motivation comes mainly from my mom. I’ve seen her work super-hard and a crazy amount of hours just to support all of us. She has motivated me, because she has given up so much to support our family. So, I want to be able to do well in life, and be able to give back to her for what she has given to us.”
Perla, age 19, was born and raised in Phoenix and graduated from GateWay Early College High School. She is now pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Supply Chain Management at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business.
Despite her community college experience, Perla says transitioning to ASU was not easy, “I was used to the course load, but it was very difficult so far as the content. At community colleges the classes are easier and they’re smaller, so if I had any questions I could just talk to my professor after class and he would help me. But here at ASU, there is a lot more reading and you really have to get good at time-management, and you have to decide when you are going to do what (school) work you may have. They’re not constantly reminding you about deadlines, and there is a lot more independence at ASU, but that also means that it’s up to me to do my assignments and succeed.”
In addition to maternal inspiration, Perla credits her sister with being a major influence in her college success, “I have an older sister who is 24 and right now she is in law school, and she’s been a huge influence because she was the first one in our family to graduate from college. I saw how proud my family was of her and how much easier life will be for her. She sat down with me and talked about my options if I went to college, versus if I didn’t (go to college). She was one of the few people that actually understood the process and she was able to help me the most.”
Beyond the books, Perla is doing an internship at APL Logistics in Scottsdale, “I’m working very closely with our events manager in order to book airport travel, hotels, and the setting up of reservations. It’s definitely been a great experience for me, and I’ll be talking to people from all over the world – places like India and Singapore, and right now I’m talking with a lot of people in London for an event we’re doing. I’m also helping with the marketing and customer-facing material, which is infographics with information about a product. I work with our designers in India, and we’ll come up with a couple of options to present to our marketing management, and they’ll decide on which one they would like to use.”
Perla is among the hundreds of hard-working, high-potential students who have earned a scholarship from College Success Arizona. Students like Perla also receive specialized mentoring services from “Success Advisers.” Research shows that academic advisers are critically important for first-generation students to succeed in college.
Perla’s success adviser was Robert Davis, “Robert was great. He was very attentive and he took notes at all of our meetings. He went back to previous things we’ve talked about and he helped me keep me on track and accountable with my goals, and things I wanted to achieve. He’s also someone that I could talk to if I needed to vent about something, which is helpful to reduce the stress of going to college.”
Perla adds that the six-thousand dollars per year the scholarship provides has allowed her to focus more on her studies, “It’s been great. With the scholarship I’ve been able to cover all of my school needs plus the text books. As a student, I’m working and doing my full-course load, and without the scholarship it would have been a lot harder and more stressful to have to worry about paying for tuition, and everything else. It’s also kind of an incentive, because I earned the scholarship, and if I hadn’t been working as hard as I had – I wouldn’t have been able to get it. “
Perla has some advice for middle and high school students considering their own college options, “I believe that it’s really important to meet with your adviser. When I first started at ASU, I thought that I could do it all on my own, but that’s just not the case. Advisers know about all of the mistakes that students have made in the past, and they can help you to avoid making some of those same mistakes.”