Reflections From The MPOWER Team: What You Would Tell Your Younger Self And Other Thoughts

by Yasmin Lalani | In Career Development | 10 June 2016 | Updated on: June 10th, 2016

With so many MPOWER borrowers graduating at this time of the year, it’s natural for our team to reflect on our own time in school. There are things we wish we had done differently, things we thought we did especially well, and things we wish we had known.

This is the first blog in a series that will share some of our own thoughts on the time we spent immediately before, during, and after school. The more we learn about other people’s experiences, the more educated decisions we can make going forward.

Team Reflections


Name: Ruben Hillar

Title: Chief Human Resources Officer and Head of Business Development at MPOWER

School(s) attended and degree(s) received: Argentine Catholic University, Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition; Babson College, Masters of Business Administration

Why did you choose Babson?
It was the only school at the time that offered a one-year MBA program.

What is something you wish you did more of (or better) in school?
I wish I had been more social and had more internships.

What would you tell your younger self if you had the chance?
You did good, kid.

MPOWER Pro-tip 1

Take a look at our blog on finding your dream internship to get information about how to gain valuable work experience.


Name: Renee Suryan

Title: Director of University Relations at MPOWER

School(s) attended and degree(s) received: Eastern Michigan University (EMU), Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting Information Systems

Why did you choose Eastern Michigan University?
My decision was based on financial reasons. I started my freshman year at Michigan State University and then transferred to Eastern Michigan University for my sophomore year when money got tight. Since my mother worked at EMU, I received a 50% discount on my tuition.

How did you prepare for graduation?
I met with my academic advisor to make sure I had all the requirements for graduation. Having worked in the financial aid department for a few years prior to graduating, I also began thinking about my student loan repayment strategy. I knew making payments during my grace period would save me money in the long run.

What would you tell your younger self if you had the chance?
Live in the present but plan for your future because the decisions you make now can and will impact the rest of your life!

MPOWER Pro-tip 2

Not a financial aid and student loan expert like Renee? Take a look at our handy guide to student loans.


Name: William Hernandez

Title: Lead Designer at MPOWER

School(s) attended and degree(s) received: Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Bachelor of Fine Arts in Commercial and Advertising Art

Why did you choose Virginia Commonwealth University?
VCU was rated the number one public arts school at the time and I wanted to go to school in my home state to save money. I also liked that VCU had a diverse student body that I felt I would be comfortable being a part of.

What is something you wish you did more of (or better) in school?
Reading. I wish I had read more about the design industry. I wish I had spent less time in the gym and more time reading. I also wish I had applied for more scholarships. I was a Latino student and had fairly good grades. It never occurred to me to apply for the many scholarships I was qualified for (especially Hispanic scholarships).

What is something you did really well in school?
I organized events for the fraternal organization I was a member of. I also did a great job of garnering support from faculty and friends. I wasn’t afraid to reach out to people and had multiple resources I could turn to when I needed something.

MPOWER Pro-tip 3

Check out our blog on how to pay for school for tips about how to cover your college costs (including scholarship ideas!).

What would you tell your younger self?

Are there things you wish you had done differently in your academic career? Things you did well? Share your life advice with us. We’ll pay it forward by using your submissions as part of our #MondayMotivation social media posts (we can keep it anonymous if you prefer).

Hopefully your own self-reflection isn’t as shocking.
Author: View all post by Yasmin Lalani

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