Nebraska experience prepares Frias for next adventure
May 10, 2022 | By Mia Azizah
When Carolina Frias Diaz stepped on campus four years ago, she didn't know the types of adventures she'd encounter. However, she was determined to make the most out of her time in Nebraska.
"I wanted to experience the American college experience, and it went above and beyond what I expected," Frias said. "I will never forget my time here, and I will always be grateful for my opportunity."
As the native Colombian prepares to earn her bachelor's degree in marketing with a minor in management this May, she's taken the College of Business's guiding principle "Challenge Yourself" to heart by accomplishing one of her biggest goals: studying abroad in Nebraska.
"[Challenge Yourself] means you have to get out of your comfort zone and explore what the world has to offer. Every day, the College of Business has something new to offer," Frias said.
The best thing about a Husker is having endless opportunities on- and off-campus.
During her time at Nebraska, Frias has found many new ways to challenge herself by getting involved in various student organizations, including serving as the social media manager for the Business International Student Association and being a member of the UNL Colombian Student Association.
She's also worked at her college's Diversity and Inclusion Gathering Space as an international business student coordinator.
"As an international business student coordinator, I have helped students advise them over the past years to become citizens of the world and take advantage of the different global opportunities available," Frias said.
While working at the College of Business, Frias has played a significant role in improving programming opportunities for the International Business Program and increasing cultural exchange across campus.
"Carolina is an amazing student, leader and coordinator," said Mikki Sandin, international business and inclusion coordinator and Frias's supervisor. "We started together in fall 2019 and have built the International Business programming for the past three years. I am so excited to celebrate all of her accomplishments as she graduates this May."
One of Frias's most significant impacts as a student was supporting the College of Business's involvement in the university's International Education Week celebrations, a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and Department of Education that highlights the benefits of international education. In 2021 – Nebraska's largest celebration ever – Frias played a key role in organizing the signature event, Global Café and Connections.
"My biggest accomplishment from my time at UNL is helping to develop one of the favorite events for students during International Education Week," Frias said.
The event allowed domestic and international students to connect and learn about cultures and traditions in the Nebraska community through cultural presentations from various student groups. Ethnic cuisines were also prepared by local restaurant entrepreneurs in partnership with multicultural student organizations.
While planning events and initiatives came with a challenge, especially with various public health accommodations, the support of professors, mentors and fellow Huskers helped Frias juggle multiple responsibilities.
"They helped me keep thriving despite the challenges we were all facing. I never thought about giving up, but I always felt supported and listened to by people surrounding me," she said.
As she prepares to graduate this May, Frias is excited for the next adventure that's ahead for her. Even as she explores jobs in the southern part of the U.S., she knows she will always be a Husker no matter where she goes.
"My favorite part about Nebraska is knowing that it has become home for me. I have been able to find lifelong friendships in Nebraska and I will always be grateful for that," Frias said.