Combining his passion for business and technology, Tonnie Okhiria will graduate this May with dual B.B.A. degrees in Information Systems and Cyber Security from the UTSA Carlos Alvarez College of Business.
A San Antonio native, Okhiria chose to attend UTSA because it was close to home, and he was attracted to the college’s No. 1 cyber security program. He thrived due to his participation in a variety of student organizations and activities.
As a member of the Business Honors Program, he enjoyed the smaller honors business classes and the interaction he had with faculty members like Jerry Keating, Rita Mitra and Ron Sweet.
“Through the Business Honors Program, I was surrounded by like-minded, driven students,” said Okhiria, who was named a Distinguished Business Student. “That connection with my peers was instrumental for me.”
Serving on the advisory board for the Business Honors Program, he developed new ideas and initiatives to benefit fellow business honors students and served on the planning committee for the college’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Symposium. “Our advisor Susan Colorado was instrumental in helping me branch out,” said Okhiria, who also was active with Cyber Jedis and served on the President’s Student Advisory Council.
Although the pandemic interfered with some of his plans, he was able to complete two internships while at UTSA. The first was a virtual internship with the Federal Aviation Administration, and the second was an in-person experience with Valero as an information services intern.
“My internship experiences taught me to be agile and adaptable to various situations,” said Okhiria. “I learned how to interact in a corporate environment and the importance of internal networking. Ultimately, it helped me discover my love of project management.”
Upon graduation he will be working in the field of technical program management, where he will lead complex projects and collaborate with engineering teams to bring new products and features to market.
Okhiria credits the faculty, staff and the resources provided at UTSA with helping him succeed. “I was able to get a better understanding of what I wanted to accomplish in life as well as feel supported to strive for those seemingly unattainable goals.”
Wanting to give back to his fellow Roadrunners, he had these tips for professional success. “First, start early in your academic career, don’t wait until your junior year to begin networking and learning about your career path,” he said. “Be bold, take initiative and don’t let anything stop you from achieving your dreams.”