For Dunnia Ulloa, graduating from high school felt like a life-changing moment, but she was undecided about what to do next. Unfortunately, shortly after that, Ulloa’s father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away. After experiencing this devastating loss Ulloa felt that college was going to be out of reach because of her family’s financial status. One of the things that helped her overcome that barrier was her strong desire to do better in life.
“I knew that school was going to be hard, but I wanted to become someone,” she said.
Dunnia worked full-time while attending Capital, which was not easy on her or her family. The feeling of achievement and the support she got from her teachers and family was what kept her motivated.
Ulloa especially enjoyed taking Business Management and Human Resources courses where she learned about business methodologies. A pivotal moment was when Professor Mary Jean Thornton brought in representatives from the Travelers Insurance Company to tell the class about a new internship program. Encouraged by her professor to apply, Dunnia was accepted into the EDGE internship program, and she attended workshops designed to prepare students for interviews, team management, and other aspects of business. Although the entire time she was juggling two jobs and family responsibilities, Dunnia appreciated the opportunity to be a part of this program – a chance she knew that many students just didn’t get.
The Travelers internship included students at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) also, which helped Ulloa make the transition to the 4-year college when she decided to continue her education. At CCC Dunnia earned two scholarships which helped cover tuition costs at CCSU, and after graduating with honors with a bachelor’s degree in Finance from CCSU in 2014, Ulloa was hired into the Financial Management Leadership Development Program at Travelers.
Today, Dunnia loves her work in data analytics, and says she applies math, project management, and business management skills she learned at CCC to her job every day.
There are two valuable lessons Dunnia learned along the way that she would pass on to students:
First: “You need to believe in yourself and your talents and approach each task with a positive attitude,” and second: “There is no substitute for hard work, determination and a desire to succeed.” Dunnia says it will eventually pay off. It did for her, and she isn’t finished yet.
Next, Dunnia plans to expand her knowledge in the data mining/analytics area by obtaining certifications in tools such as SAS and SQL.Management Degree Info