When you ask Luis Ballester about Utah State University located in Logan, Utah he says... “It’s an amazing experience to go to Utah State University. Some people might think because it is located in Utah you won’t be able to enjoy it because most of the students might be like wise students or Mormon, however everybody feel like a family here,” he says.
“My experience at Utah State University is going great, both academically and culturally. In the beginning of my academic journey at USU I had some doubts and I felt homesick, but as time has passed I have become aware of how I have improved my skills as a student, as a professional and as a person,” he says.
“I mean like this is the friendliest place I have ever been to. You just have to walk into a room and everybody says hi, people care about international students a lot so I encourage everyone to come here, to Utah State University.”
So after Luis received his bachelor's degree at Utah State University he decided to stay there and work on his master's degree. “I have received my bachelor’s degree and graduated in Economics and Finance last December and I applied right away for the master’s,” he says.
Now, I am doing the MBA program in Personal Financial Planning. Some of my friends told me I should work first, to pursue my MBA (later) but I assume that the quicker I get my MBA the better for me because it will get me a better position to have in the real world.”
Improving things in his country is an objective of Luis. He also views studying in the United States as one of the tools that will help him meet his objective. “I’m from the Dominican Republic and I decided to come to the United States because the Education Department of the Dominican Republic signed an agreement with Utah State University. The education minister of the Dominican Republic came to USU campus to meet with the University of Tourists and (it was decided) Utah State University will provide a proper education to the Dominican students. ”Also, I received an academic scholarship and also because I wanted to have a different view on how to approach issues, I mean you can’t have different results if you keep doing the same thing over and over. This is why I consider leaving and studying in the United States would provide me with the tools needed to improve things in my country.”
Luis says being involved in the Dominican Student organization as well as other activities are also a plus for his future endeavors. “I work like part time, but also since I consider it is very important to be involved, since we are more than one hundred and fifty Dominican Republic students at Utah State University, we have created the Dominican Student Association. The organization actually began as a way for the Dominican students at USU to come together and socialize,” he says.
“The group organization is not only to socialize, but to encourage the diversity among its members and promote the Dominican culture by activities on the campus and the community. I am also a member of the Master’s Business Administration Association which organizes activity for the MBA students; bringing speakers to class, networking activities, etc. However, the opportunity I have had at Utah State University to be both in community activities, I have developed my leadership skills so I feel like I’m prepared to lead in projects or activities in the future.”
Once Luis finishes his MBA program he will go back home.