June 15, 2022

Hansi Lara Cruz: UDC Scholarship Recipient Questionnaire

Hansi Lara Cruz: UDC Scholarship Recipient Questionnaire

Hansi Lara Cruz Resized

Tell us a little about yourself – where did you grow up, what are your hobbies and interests, what year are you in school, and/or when did you graduate?

I am originally from Bogota, D.C., the capital of Colombia; I moved to the U.S. almost four years ago. Talking about hobbies and interests, I would say that I love to travel, and so far, I have visited five other countries that have made me believe that I am a global citizen; this is my passion! I also enjoy cycling, playing guitar, cooking, and sewing at home.

I am in year one of graduate school at UDC, and I will be graduating in December 2023.

What are you studying in school, and why did you choose that major?

I am studying a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program with a concentration in International Business. I chose this major because I have always wanted to be in the business world; I started graduating as a public accountant and obtained experience working for different industries. It is such an integral career that would allow me to taste different company positions in finance, accounting, supply chain, international business, and marketing, allowing me to work as a manager for any of them. On the other side, I would love to expand my mom’s business and be an entrepreneur someday.

How did you hear/learn about the Structured Finance Foundation scholarship? What about the opportunity seemed interesting to you?

Dr. Alex Tan announced it from the Department Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Accounting and Finance via email. Since I was enrolled in the program, I started to look for any scholarship available at the school. It amazed me that it allows international students to apply because it is not common for scholarships to be accessible for international students. I knew this opportunity would help me grow my networking and allow me to connect with companies that would hire me in the future from all sectors of the securitization market.

What does being selected as a scholarship recipient mean to you?

Being selected as a recipient means a lot of things. First of all, it is a great blessing to be picked out of many other excellent student applications; I feel lucky and excited to be awarded this delightful gift. Secondly, it is a release in terms of paying for school for the following period, and last but not least, I would say it is the payoff of all of the hard work done so far, that even though it has not been easy, it is all a roller coaster full of ups and downs.

How will it help you achieve your academic, personal, and career goals, both in the short-term and down the road?

I would say that the Structured Finance Association will help me to achieve these goals through guidance and to support with any opportunity available that could fit my interests and needs. It will help me learn from the experience of great professionals working with big companies in different industries. And down the road, building solid connections to last forever.

Where does your interest in finance/structured finance/business stem from?

My interest in finance and business stems from my background in accounting. It plays one of the most critical roles in an organization because a company cannot work without finance. If I ever want to become an entrepreneur, I need to use the right tools and have enough experience so as not to fail so quickly.

What are other ways the partnership between SFA and UDC could be impactful to you and your fellow students?

The other ways I see that could impact students would be to re-call the interest in applying for the following scholarship opportunities and reach out to the Foundation asking for help with job search support, internships, and some informal mentorship opportunities in the future, including me.

Are there a particular aspect of SFA’s work that is especially appealing to you?

It is appealing to me the fact that the SFA works with the leading companies in the securitization market, policymakers, and a lot of member institutions in the association towards growing the economy of the country and the development of the society directly from the capital of the United States, Washington D.C. I feel fortunate to be called by one of the prominent organizations responsible for developing credit availability and the real economy responsibly in the whole country.