Graciela Diaz receives the best gift this holiday season, earns bachelor degree from STC
Student of the Week: Graciela Diaz
Originally considering a degree in teaching, Graciela Diaz said she decided instead to build on a career in banking, which she has done since 1998. With years of business experience, Graciela says she now plans to utilize her recently acquired bachelor degree to grow in a career field she loves.
A graduate of Edinburg High School in 1990, Graciela said she was 18 when she had her first son, Nicolas. Now almost 30 years later, she says she is encouraged by Nicolas who is also an STC student pursuing a degree in Business.
Overcoming challenges, she and Nicolas recently received their Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Leadership (BASOL) at the same time in December.
BASOL refers to the first competency-based bachelor's degree from a Texas public institution focused on skills that will help students prepare for a position of leadership in business, government, non-profit, or educational organizations.
It wasn’t until she found herself suddenly laid off from a job four years ago that Graciela was inspired to return. Now through the motivation of staff and faculty at STC, she says the college has enabled her to develop new leadership skills as she considers her future within the banking industry.
“I had three kids and I just couldn’t do it at the time. I had to go to work and then go to class so I let it go. Deep inside I had always wanted to come back to school. I had to be the example for my kids.”
Graciela talks about her experiences returning to school despite being out since 2000.
“I had three kids and I just couldn’t do it at the time,” she said. “I had to go to work and then go to class so I let it go. Deep inside I had always wanted to come back to school. I had to be the example for my kids.”
Utilizing online classes provided by STC, Graciela says she was able to manage her full-time job while balancing her school work.
“Everything I have learned I want to implement,” she said. “I want to strive to be a leader in my organization, and all the classes I have taken at STC fit perfectly with what I am doing.
“There was one professor, Caleb Camacho, who said one thing to me. He told me ‘don’t quit because it’s hard, just continue going’ and that motivated me to continue making baby steps,” Graciela said. “To students, I would tell them succeeding is all about discipline. You take baby steps when you get started but you begin to write your goals and little by little, you will find that reach them.”