Phillip Foley

Phillip Foley

Name: Phillip Foley
Age: 19
Major: Finance
College: Robert C. Vackar College of Business & Entrepreneurship
Hometown: McAllen, Texas
High School: McAllen Memorial High School 

I chose UTRGV for multiple reasons. My first reason for attending the university was due to location. I wanted to be close to home for my first few years of college and UTRGV offered the best set of courses for me as a freshman living in the Rio Grande Valley. The second reason was an affordable start. I was aware that UTRGV prided itself on being an affordable option for college students and after hearing of how student friendly the campus was, I decided it was the best option for me

What made you decide on your current major?
The field of business is what makes the world go round and is a constantly evolving field. I believe the finance field is the most interesting portion of a company. To know and understand all the underlying features as to where purchases are made, where money is coming from and how is it being distributed throughout a business in order to ensure the business achieves its profit goals for the term has intrigued me.

How are you maneuvering being a student during the COVID-19 pandemic?
I would say I have been doing well so far. There are times where the work load can feel overwhelming during these online times, but that is just due to knowing all the work you have. Professors are always on the ball and informing students as to what to expect this week and next week. This can feel a bit overwhelming as a student may view this as a pile of work being dumped on them at once. The way I have dealt with the overwhelming feeling is just planning a mini schedule for the week and setting small goals for each day.

What are your greatest strengths and what are some challenges? 
I have years of experience on my computer and know programs such as Microsoft word, Excel and more like the back of my hand. That being said, I would say the shift to a virtual setting due to the pandemic helped me out in terms of time management and dealing with all the work I have from classes. The most challenging portion of the pandemic I would say is the lack of in person communication. I enjoyed seeing my professors and classmates in person on campus.

What do you hope to achieve beyond completion of your major?
Outside of my major I hope to become an outstanding worker in my field and a productive member of my community. Once I graduate, I plan to further myself as a financial analyst and hopefully hold down a full-time job while going for my masters.

What does being a Vaquero mean to you?
Being a Vaquero is about community to me. Whenever I stepped on campus before the pandemic, I always thought how at home I felt on campus. Everyone on campus can relate to one another and we all understand one another due to how community related our campus is.

What opportunities has UTRGV helped you find throughout your community?
My time at UTRGV has honored me with employment by the Student Union and it was here I have been able to develop myself and enhance my abilities. Prior to my employment I was a freshman with so little experience in the work force and I wanted a way to help my parents pay for college while garnering experience to develop myself and capabilities. I love working for the Union as it allows me to meet new people from events, help out my fellow students and make me a more whole person as it gives me work experience as I attend classes. While employed at the Union I have had the privilege to even help run some gaming tournaments and get people connected during the pandemic.

What advice do you have for fellow students pursuing degrees during the COVID-19 pandemic?
My advice to any student during the pandemic would be to keep on going. We face what feels like one of our darkest years in human history, with this in mind I encourage any student to not let this get them down. During these times it can be easy to give up and ask oneself, “what is the point?” Do not let this mindset creep into your brain. This year will just be one for the history books and I encourage everyone, despite the circumstances, to do the best they can in their academics, in their work, in anything they may face as this year comes closer to a close.