Persistence and dedication have paid off in terms of scholarships for University of North Texas student—and Edmit scholarship finalist—Agustin Vallejo. Next steps: getting his four-year degree, snagging a computer science internship, and learning more about cars. It’s all in the service of someday pursuing a job at his dream company, Tesla.
Edmit: Tell us your story about your college process--where are you studying and when will you be graduating?
Agustin: I’m a computer science major currently attending the University of North Texas, just north of the Dallas/Fort Worth area [in Denton]. I’m hoping to graduate in spring 2019, next year. I’m currently in my junior year.
I chose the University of North Texas because it was about four hours away from home in Houston, and I wanted to get a pretty good distance away, just so that I could focus on my studies. I realized that being at home would be a deterrent for me, and so being away I helped myself become more of an adult, living in my own apartment and being as close to school as possible.
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Edmit: Can you share how you’ll be financing your college education?
Agustin: I get a good portion of my college debt paid off with scholarships from the University of North Texas every year. During the summers I work, but most of that money goes to help my parents out back home, and I try to pay so whenever my deferred loans come in, six months after I graduate, I’m able to pay them off on time and help my credit [score]... Currently I’m about $12,000 in debt, so I hope to ease off that a bit [with the Edmit scholarship].
Edmit: You mentioned on your scholarship application that you’re hoping to get a computer science internship, and that Elon Musk is a big inspiration. Tell us more about your future career plans.
Agustin: My dream job is [at] Tesla. I recently stumbled upon an internship application for Tesla and I realized that half of the requirements I’ve [met] so far... [and] I need to invest more of my time in learning about cars. I also realized that, with computers and especially Tesla being mostly computerized, they need good security, they need to be able to secure their systems so hackers don’t take over the computers. At the University of North Texas, I’m getting a certificate backed by the NSA in security for computers. I’m hoping that can be an avenue for me to enter [Tesla].
Edmit: Any advice for other students on the college application and financial aid process?
Agustin: I’ve applied for as many scholarships as I could that I met the requirements for, and [the Edmit scholarship] is actually one of the first ones outside of UNT that I’ve been able to be a finalist for. I pretty much never gave up and kept looking for more scholarships and opportunities so I could help ease off debt.