Los Angeles native Samuel Banuelos has visited eight countries so far, including Spain, where he was a study-abroad student during his junior year. He discusses how he built an original research project around his identity as a Mexican-American, his volunteerism in the local community, the scholarship program that brought him to Dickinson, the professors who’ve made the biggest impact on his academic life and more.
Los Angeles, California.
Clubs and organizations:
Sigma Lambda Beta, Residence Life & Housing, Multi-Organizational Board (MOB) and Dream Catchers.
Posse Foundation Scholarship and Spanish & Portuguese Majors’ Committee.
The Giver by Lois Lowry.
The Resident Evil series.
Why/how I decided on my major:
I decided to major international business & management (IB&M) because it has so much to offer. With an IB&M degree, I would be able to work for a nonprofit or elite company or start my own business. At first, I was interested in [concentrating in] accounting, but as the semesters went by and I took different courses, I got interested in human resources and finance. I knew that this was the path I wanted to take.
Why I decided to attend Dickinson:
I decided to come to Dickinson because when I did research on it, I thought it would be a perfect fit. The school had many majors and clubs/organizations to offer me. It was also a beautiful campus.
Favorite place on campus:
Favorite Dining Hall food:
Mac and cheese.
At this moment, I cannot just choose one professor. [Lecturer in International Business & Management] Steve Riccio and [Associate Professor of Spanish] Hector Reyes Zaga have both impacted my education at Dickinson. They both have a way of teaching that engages the students. They don’t just lecture the entire class time; they ensure that we as students contribute to the lessons and discussions. Both take the time to actually get to know their students and create a bond.
Favorite class/learning experience:
I’ve definitely enjoyed having the opportunity to create my own class and do independent study research. The topic of my research was “Challenges within the Mexican-American Culture and Identity.” I was able to do research on something that resonated with me and I was able to present it to the student body in an open forum.
About my internship:
After my first year at Dickinson, I had the opportunity to intern with Teach for America in the recruitment department. During this internship I learned a lot about the process and the steps companies take in order to recruit people. I learned that employers look at more than just your GPA; they look at leadership positions and other campus involvement. I also had the opportunity to intern at Shawmut Design & Construction as a finance intern. At this internship I learned more about the importance of communication and being organized. In order to get things done, you had to do whatever it took to get contracts approved, subcontractors paid and closing documents ready to go by the deadlines.
On studying abroad:
I studied abroad in Málaga, Spain, during summer 2017 and spring 2018. The highlight of the experience would definitely be getting the opportunity to learn more about the Spanish culture, the warm welcome I received from my host family and the opportunity to travel the world.
Proudest accomplishment so far:
Graduating from high school in the top 10 percent of my class and earning a four-year full-tuition leadership scholarship to attend Dickinson.
Biggest influence in my life:
My mom. She has taught me so much about never giving up and always working toward becoming a better person and striving for a better future.
About my research:
I did an independent study research during the fall semester of my junior year. My research was titled “Challenges within the Mexican-American Culture and Identity.” I decided to take on this project because I wanted to do more research on my personal identity and how the people around me wanted to put a label on me. I was able to do more research on what it meant to be Mexican-American and live with two different cultures. I was born and raised in the United States, but I also learned about the Mexican culture and values in my household.
After graduation I plan on moving back to California. I hope to find a job where I can apply everything I’ve learned from both my courses and pervious internships.
Read more Student Snapshots.
Published April 5, 2019