Growing Confident in Your Strengths – Vera Otieno

“I chose to attend Meredith because my older sister went here. I look up to my older siblings a lot, especially my sister, and I saw that she was thriving here. Not a day passes by when I’m not grateful for my decision. I have learned so much about myself at Meredith that I don’t think I would’ve learned somewhere else.

I started at Meredith as a theatre major. I was unsure of what I wanted to study so I decided to stick with a safe option. I had been practicing theatre for years. After having an appointment with StrongPoints® and learning more about my strengths, I became confident to explore other options. A professor in the School of Business suggested I try out a couple of economics and finance classes and I fell in love with it! I decided to double major in economics and business administration and minor in finance and data science.

Since Meredith is a smaller college, it has allowed me to create a meaningful relationship with every single one of my professors. Their support and encouragement have motivated me to achieve things that were way beyond my imagination. Even after I changed my major to economics, my theatre professor still cheered me on and taught me how to use the skills I learned in theatre to succeed in the business program.

One semester, I was taking 18 credit hours and had three jobs. I’m someone who is always driven academically and career-wise and I didn’t realize it would be such a heavy load for me. This experience taught me it’s okay to ask for help every now and then. To keep up with my coursework, internship, and student worker position, I had to ask for help from my professors. I am very proud of being able to overcome this challenge with the help of my faculty and friends.

My experiences participating in on-campus activities have helped me grow to become the person I want to be. As the president of the Meredith Accounting and Finance Association, I have developed my leadership skills and learned that teamwork builds character. The other members of the club come from different backgrounds and I’ve learned a lot from them. This experience has given me confidence and has made me feel like I’m a part of a big family at Meredith. That’s special!

After graduation, I plan to join the financial industry as an investment banker for a couple of years. Eventually, I want to pursue a master’s degree and open my own start-up company. I am confident in my strengths and feel assured that I can overcome any challenges that come my way. Therefore, I am looking forward to using my strengths not just now but along the way.”