13:08 PM

Advice From a UHD Grad: Set Your Goals, Seize Your Future

Sebastian Troitino Shares His Story of Being a First Generation College Student In Hopes of Inspiring Others


By Mark Kramer

Sebastian Troitino believes that when you set your mind to achieve your goals, nothing can stand in your way.

“The future is not something we wait for, it’s something we make,” he said. “The advice I would give future students is that you must take the time to sit and think about what you want in life, make a plan, then go. The faculty and staff at UHD genuinely want to help you. Use your resources, seek help when needed, make friends, and always visualize your future.”

The first-generation graduate from the Marilyn Davies College of Business is one of more than 1,590 students being honored for their achievements at the University of Houston-Downtown’s In-Person Commencement at NRG Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 14.

Troitino, who earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in May 2020, is also pursuing a Master of Business Administration at UHD with a dual concentration in Business Development/Sales Management and Leadership and plans to graduate in August 2022. Presently, he works working as the Digital Communications Specialist for the College of Business. Once he completes his MBA, Troitino wants a career in corporate marketing.

“The concentrations I'm studying will help me become a better marketer and business leader by exposing me to current case studies, showing me the best ways to process data analytics, and connecting me with highly knowledgeable corporate fellows,” Troitino said.

Troitino said his parents serve as inspiration for earning his degree and being the first in his family to earn a college diploma.

“They have sacrificed tremendous experiences and opportunities for me and my siblings to obtain an education,” he said. “Focusing on my academic journey is my expression of love and appreciation for their dedication to my future. They continue to fuel me with motivation, understanding, and unconditional love expecting nothing in return and that is what continues to drive me. I also hope that I can inspire future generations to believe and know that a college education is possible.”

For Troitino success did not come without some challenges, especially switching to online learning during the pandemic. He credits the f College of Business faculty and staff for providing a seamless transition.

“Adapting to a learning-from-home environment during the beginning of the pandemic was easier because of the support of the Marilyn Davies College of Business,” he said. “From counseling services to a virtual library option to technology equipment assistance, the University made the transition easy.”

However, life as an undergraduate and now MBA student is not all work and no play. Troitino is one of the founding members of the UHD Mariachi Band, Mariachi Los Caimanes, and is a performer and vocalist.

“Being one of the first members of Mariachi Los Caimanes has allowed me to meet incredibly talented and gifted musicians and performers at UHD,” Troitino said. “We have a lot of students who are passionate about diversity and inclusion and celebrating Mariachi music. Our Mariachi Director and Founder, Jose Vazquez (Assistant Director of Student Activities), has taught me valuable lessons in Mariachi practice and techniques, as well as in life. This group is one of the best experiences of my life.”

With plans already set for earning his MBA and a corporate marketing career, there's still one thing that Troitino has planned for his future — becoming a UHD professor.

“I want to share my knowledge and experience with future generations. This means that my academic journey will not end after my MBA. I always want to be learning, questioning, and discovering,” he said.

Troitino said giving back to others is one of the virtues that has been a highlight of his UHD experience.

“What I’m most grateful for is the support and encouragement I receive from UHD,” he said. “This University opened its doors, gave me more than I could ever ask for as a student, and helped me become the student leader I am today. It’s because of this that I am proud to be a UHD Gator.”


About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD)—the second largest university in Houston—has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.

As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 54,000 alumni and offers 44 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service, Sciences & Technology; and University College).

UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.