College is chock-full of opportunities, and Alfredo J. Cuestas '23 BSBA (Accounting) doesn’t want to miss a single one.
When Cuestas first came to the University of Arizona, he was captivated by the diversity of backgrounds, beliefs and cultures all around him. He instantly knew he wanted to get involved wherever and whenever he could to expand his horizons and nurture his personal and professional growth.
“I really saw all walks of life and I loved it,” says Cuestas. “There is so much to learn and so much to see and so much to know about.”
The summer before his senior year of high school, Cuestas participated in the week-long Business Careers Awareness Program, in which he explored business career options and attended networking events at the Eller College of Management.
“It opened my eyes. I saw there’s so much more than what I thought I could do,” says Cuestas, who applied to the University of Arizona as a pre-business student thereafter.
When fall 2019 arrived, Cuestas launched himself into extracurricular activities, including the University’s Blue Chip Leadership Experience and Eller’s Leadership Empowerment and Academic Development (LEAD). Cuestas considers his time in LEAD one of the most influential of his life.
“LEAD was amazing,”he says. “It really helped me realize how I could be engaged in the college.”
In his spring 2020 term, Cuestas joined the Eller Hispanic Honorary (EHH) and secured a job as a front desk assistant for the undergraduate office—a position he says has greatly improved his communication skills.
“That job really taught me how to use my voice in different ways,” says Cuestas. “You learn to talk to so many people.”
During his sophomore year, Cuestas became vice president of engagement for the Eller Diversity Leadership Council (EDLC), which provides resources for first-year students in the LEAD program.
“Being vice president of engagement really helped me evolve as a person, as a connector of people,” he says. “That really taught me to outreach more.”
In his junior year, Cuestas became EDLC president, EHH vice president of finance, student representative for the Marshall Foundation – a private foundation that contributes about half its donations to the University of Arizona – and undergraduate student representative for the Eller College’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Faculty Governance Committee.
Cuestas says serving on a faculty committee was intimidating at first, but it helped him learn to share his opinion respectfully in a way that made a difference.
“Being on the committee took my self-awareness to the next level,” says Cuestas. He hopes to return as the undergraduate student representative for his senior year.
During the final year of his undergraduate degree, Cuestas will serve as EHH vice president, senior mentor for EDLC, student representative for the Marshall Foundation and co-manager of the front desks on the second and third floors of McClelland Hall.
“I love it,” says Cuestas. “Am I tired a lot? Yeah. But is it worthwhile? Absolutely.”