Four UTSA business students are making their mark on the corporate world by interning at Valero Energy. Interestingly, there is another quality that they have in common–they were also named Distinguished Business Students (DBS).
The students who earned both of these recognitions are Elizabeth Barrera, Sheyenne Brubaker, Mariela Perez and Ben Varga.
Distinguished Business Students represent the top 1.5 percent of all UTSA business students. Selected through a competitive process, the students receive exclusive access to events and opportunities to interact with corporate executives.
Barrera, a master of accountancy student, found that her professionalism evolved during her time at Valero.
“The Valero team treated me like a full-time employee. It’s great to be confident in your work, but it’s also important to face challenges that will make you a well-rounded employee,” Barrera said.
Barrera has been active at UTSA with Beta Alpha Psi, a national academic and professional honor society, and as a supplemental instruction leader where she tutored fellow students.
Similarly, Brubaker, also a master of accountancy student, worked in the internal audit department at Valero.
“Interning at Valero has immersed me in situations that are outside of my comfort zone, like interacting with clients. I haven’t felt like an intern, but rather part of a team,” said Brubaker, who is president of the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting.
The experience allowed her to grow professionally by developing writing and technical abilities that are essential for a career in accounting.
Brubaker believes that through her participation in the Distinguished Business Student program she has mentored other business students while making lasting connections with company professionals.
Mariela Perez worked in the sales and tax department at Valero. A master of accountancy student, Perez found that the internship experience allowed her to strengthen her communications and teamwork skills through interactions with vendors and internal analysts.
“I have learned more about myself, and it has created a path for the professional field that I want to pursue,” said Perez, who also participated in the India immersion program.
Varga, a senior economics major, has held various leadership positions in the Investment Society at UTSA.
“Through DBS and the college’s Career Action Program I refined the soft skills needed to succeed as a business development intern,” said Varga. “I’ve noticed a difference when I communicate with executives on a daily basis, which made me realize how valuable these skills are in the corporate world.”
Varga found that his internship allowed him to improve his attention to detail and time management skills, which were essential while working with senior management.
As the competitive DBS selection process for the 2018-2019 group is now underway, the students encourage nominated students to be confident and take the interview seriously.
“DBS is an exciting milestone, but the best is yet to come,” said Barrera.