Student Spotlight: Ariadna Fonseca
MAcc student Ariadna Fonseca balances being both a School of Business student and an athlete
What brought you to Lawrence all the way from Venezuela?
I’ve lived in four countries, actually. I moved out of Venezuela when I was 8. I lived in Mexico temporarily, just for one year. Then, I was living in Colombia when I started playing golf at 9. When I was 15, I came to a golf school in Florida to get recruited. I got recruited by a couple of schools, and KU was one of them.
Why did you choose KU?
I kept seeing people older than me go to college and thought, “hey, that’s a good opportunity for me to get my school done in another country.” In the summer of my junior year, a year before coming in, I came for a visit here and I absolutely loved the campus, loved the culture and the tradition, especially all of the resources KU has to offer. I just committed and decided to come here.
What has been your favorite country to live in?
That’s really hard. It’s hard because by now I feel kind of Americanized and I love being here, I love all of the opportunities here, but then again, I love my culture. I feel like I’m divided; I love where I come from, and I’m proud of where I come from, but I’m really excited about what’s in store for me here. I can’t say I have one over the other. It’s just how I’ve lived and all that’s inside of me that’s made me the person that I am.
How do you think you bring your culture into your everyday life?
South American culture, in general, we are very loud and people-oriented. We socialize a lot; we talk a lot. As a TA, I feel like I’m very open and flexible. I try to make students — you know, accounting is something that’s not intuitive— so I try to make it relatable to them. The social aspect and the ability to relate to someone by communicating with them is great. You obviously have the Hispanic population, so I use Spanish for that. A big part of South American culture is that you’re hard-working, you have to get the task done, and you are willing to do it.
How do you manage your time between school and your sport and your personal life?
It takes a lot of organizing. It’s about making time for your priorities. Obviously, your personal life and leisure time gets reduced, but you have to prioritize. I’m a fan of checklists and planners. You make sure you are staying on track with everything that you have going on. You have to make some sacrifices; you might not be able to spend as much time hanging out with friends.
How do you reduce your stress?
Exercise is a big part of what I do but reading, too. Honestly, if I have everything organized, I’m not stressed. I’m like, “this is what needs to be done, so let’s do it.” When I don’t have any organization, that’s when I get stressed. The fact that I’ve had to manage golf and school since the age of 9 has forced me to be very organized with everything that I did.
What class do you TA for?
A variety: I’m on staff for ACCT 200, IST 310 and ACT 311. I also TA for John Sweeney, and that’s the MBA ACCT 706. So in between my own classes, I’m usually in the office responding to emails and attending those classes.
Are you a part of any organizations or clubs on campus?
Not for KU, but on the KU Athletics side. I’m an executive for the Student Advisory Committee (SAC), and I represent KU in the Big 12 doing that. I absolutely love it. I was just a regular SAC member for two years and now I’m on the executive board. I really love being a part of student-athletes’ lives and giving them resources to be successful in their academics and athletics. It’s very easy to get burned out.
What resources do you recommend for students?
Business Career Services is always great. Talking to your advisor helps, going to career events. If you have a goal, talk to people. From your professors to anyone who visits the business school, if you want it, a lot of people will help you get to where you want to go.
By Caitlynn Salazar