Hello. My name is Kristen Fernando, and I am a rising junior at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, Texas. I am currently majoring in Business Information Systems with a minor in Global Business.

TCU’s mission is to educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community. I chose to attend TCU for many of its core values: striving for academic achievement, respect for people, and inclusiveness aligned with my personal beliefs. TCU’s values led me to get involved in numerous organizations like John V. Roach Honors College, Consulting & Advisory Professional Board (CAP), Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, and Delta Sigma Pi Professional Business Fraternity. These organizations provided me with the opportunity to meet people from all different walks of life, changing how I view the world.

I chose to study Business Information Systems after working on a project through TCU’s CAP Board Program on campus. This past semester, my team was given a “client” located in Chicago, who presented several problems the company was facing. Throughout the semester we held weekly phone calls, performed market research, and presented the client with recommendations to mitigate the issues they were facing. Having the opportunity to gain knowledge about an industry while helping others was gratifying.

This experience led me to apply for the TICF Internship Program to continue building my business and people skills. I am thankful to intern at TICF for two summers, in two different roles. Although I am at the same company, each experience is unique, and together has taught me the importance of evaluating risks and opportunities. Ultimately, these internships and my time at TCU have influenced me to pursue a career where I can be successful, give back to society, and make a difference in the world.

The community at Toyota resonates with me deeply. I was nervous visiting the office in person for the first time, but my nerves quickly calmed when I was greeted with big smiles from my new colleagues. From meeting several people across various departments, each person has shown me what it truly means to be kind, generous, and humble. The love Toyota has for its people is truly something that will stay with me forever.