Grads get down to business


Left to right: Soon-to-be graduates Alexandra Zertuche, Nayeli Govantes Alcantar and Gabriella Barcenas

Jaelyne White, Business & Technology Editor

Graduation is are right around the corner for the UW-Whitewater December Class of 2020. This week we’re discovering what life has been like and will be like for a few business graduates heading off to new financial frontiers.

Alexandra Zertuche is a human resource management major who is also a non-traditional student at UW-Whitewater. Zertuche is currently working remotely for Kelly, a talent agency service, as a recruiting consultant.

“For myself, I’ve had experience with online classes, even took online summer classes. I’ve made the best of it during these times and focused on time management,” said Zertuche. “CoBE (College of Business and Economics) has helped me with skills like being accountable and emphasizing that time management, helped me find the Society of Human Resource Management, and I feel complete at UW-W.”

Many students interested in human resource fields are a part of the Society of Human Resource Management. Among those students is Gabriella Barcenas, another Human Resource Management major with a certificate in Diversity Leadership. Barcenas is set up for a full-time employment opportunity after she graduates in the spring at an accounting firm in Milwaukee working in ex-patriot compensation. Currently, Barcenas works at UW-W’s Lawton Grant Office and is involved in the King/Chavez Program. Despite changes from the pandemic, Barcenas has persevered and looks forward to graduation. 

“I don’t think I could ever end when it comes to things that have been affected in my life by COVID-19. For in-person classes, I’ve always been one to show up, because communication is so much better, and Whitewater has done well with that. I brought my puppy with me to Whitewater and she makes sure that I get up and walk around during all online days. I also do girl’s night with my friends every Thursday no matter what. We talk on the phone or get take out and watch a movie,” said Barcenas.

While many are leaving UW-Whitewater to hit the workforce, others are continuing on with their studies in graduate degrees. Nayeli Govantes Alcantar is an accounting and business analytics major with a minor in Spanish. She is currently gearing up to pursue her MBA and CPA for accounting in order to be more marketable and diverse so she can work in public accounting. She is also idealizing a boba tea shop, which is missing from her hometown of Janesville. The pandemic has actually taught her a lot and helped her to create positive habbits. 

“Going virtual, I had never taken an online class, so I was hesitant. But the CoBE professors have been so kind and flexible. The pandemic situation actually has helped me work on my own and on my own time. I tend to dress up and act like I’m going to go out to keep my rhythm in place,” said Govantes Alcantar.

The future graduates have all offered advice to students pursuing their majors: 

Gabriella Barcenas:

“HR is not Toby from ‘The Office.’ It’s not boring like doing paperwork and dealing with termination. There’s so much more to it and I didn’t even know compensation was something HR worked with, but it’s what I will be doing.”

Nayeli Govantes Alcantar:

“Accounting is a great challenge and the effort you put into it is well worth it in the end. You can make an impact in communities and businesses, as well as contribute to big companies. We can make a great difference.”

Alexandra Zertuche:

“You’ll be opened up to a whole new world in HR Management. Don’t be surprised if you end up in benefits, recruiting, compensation and many other new avenues to work in.”