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Grads recall the best words of advice from professors

Gianluca Cuevas
UTEP student graduating this December, speaks on the best advice he was given by one of his professors and helped him get through his college career.

Seniors are preparing to say goodbye to the University of Texas at El Paso at the upcoming commencement. This moment can be bittersweet for students as many leave close friends behind, student organizations or their on-campus job. 

However, many graduates will be able to take something away with them for the rest of their lives, words of advice from their professors. This story highlights three graduating seniors and the best piece of advice they received from a professor in their time at UTEP. 

Digital media production senior, Adrian Soto, reflected on the encouraging words his professors gave him throughout his college journey.  

According to Soto, his professors told him “Keep going. You’re going to come up with ideas that will be rejected out there (in the film industry) but there’s so much opportunity out there. Just don’t let any of that stuff stop you.”  

Digital media will be Soto’s second bachelor’s degree. His first one was in criminal justice, and after working in the field for five years, he grew dissatisfied with his career. After the stress of not liking his career overwhelmed him, he knew he had to do something about it. 

“I felt like I had another call. I wanted to pursue my passion, and something that I love is film. I just love creating videos, editing sound and simply talking about the film in general. I’m ready to become a creator of something,” Soto said.  

Although Soto wished he had realized this sooner, his professor’s advice reassured him it was okay to chase after what he loves. 

Naomi Posada, a psychology major and soon to be graduate shared that one of her professors asked to speak to her after class.

Although she was nervous at first, the conversation consisted of her professor recognizing the good work she was doing in class and encouraging her to work in a research lab.  

“I felt really honored because he is a really good professor. It kind of pushed me to see my worth,” Posada said. “It also gave me confidence in my major because I doubted myself and it definitely confirmed that I did belong there.”  

Moreover, Posada said her professor’s words pushed her to believe in herself and go after opportunities she had not otherwise deemed herself qualified for.   

If you are a computer science, computer engineering, or electrical engineering major, you may be familiar with the microprocessor systems class.   

According to Fernando Salinas, an electrical engineering senior, both times he took this course he noticed it started with about 80 students at the beginning of a semester. Toward the end, the class would end up with about 25 students because of its high drop rate.  

“Many people quit engineering after failing it once. I ended up failing it,” Salinas said.  

When he failed it, Salinas decided to re-enroll for the course and recalls his professor telling him, “Always give it your best. Even if you fail, get up and try it again.” This piece of advice helped him pass the second time. around 

“I gave it my all the second time and got a B which is really good, considering most people quit because it is really hard. Two of my friends ended up switching majors,” Salinas said.  

Upon passing the course, Salinas felt great relief and says those words from his professor contributed to being able to walk the stage.  

Getting advice throughout college can be just as important as studying for your next exam when struggling or feeling uncertain. 

Josie Avila is the audience and engagement editor and can be reached at [email protected]; Joseline Avila on LinkedIn. 

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About the Contributors
Josie Avila
Josie Avila, Audience & Engagement Editor
Joseline “Josie” Avila, is a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) pursuing a double major in communication studies and political science and aspires to be a bilingual news anchor. She is a first-generation college student and the youngest sibling of five women. In the upcoming Spring of 2023, she will be studying, and interning, in Washington D.C. as an Archer Fellow.
Gianluca Cuevas
Gianluca Cuevas, Photographer
Gianluca Cuevas is a staff photographer for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics. He plans to work in the automotive industry designing cars/mechanic in the F1. He also has his small photography business 365elements which he plans to continue to grow.
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Grads recall the best words of advice from professors