I only allow myself to watch one movie in theatres every year. Although some people may view me as cheap, my frugal nature has been a strong source of my self-identity. This sense of resourcefulness is apparent throughout my family’s activities, whether it is cooking our own dinner or bargaining for a lower price, we always kept track of where our money was going. The first couple of years after we moved to the U.S. were difficult as my parents tried to establish a foothold. They hoped to realize the American dream as soon as possible, and this revolved around having our own house. More often than I could handle, they told me about the importance of being mindful with my spending. With their influence, I began to appreciate my understanding of the concept of money.
When my father suggested that I help out at his new startup company, my interest of money became more concrete. Even in tasks of little importance, I learned to organize his company’s payment files, and gained my first experience in the business world. I furthered my interest by taking a management class called Introduction to Information Systems at Foothill College. The class focused on people who wanted to be knowledgeable in the art of financial management. After learning how to organize financial data for easier interpretation, I was eager to apply these skills into real life experience.
When I learned about an opportunity at a company called Pelican Imaging, I quickly utilized my resources to further my interest in economics. However, on the first day, I realized I was ill prepared for the position. I knew I had no skill set required for such a high-tech company. This self-doubt and insecurity manifested into my attitude towards my assignments. Although my work was not sloppy, it lacked efficiency, and my boss quickly critiqued me. While I was there, a fellow intern offered to assist me with my tasks. She reminded me that everyone has significance within a business, and I found that I did not have to be an engineer or accountant to be able to benefit the company. Even at the company, I noticed how resourceful they were; from building their own computers to seeking out the cost-effective technical services. I witnessed that if the interns did not properly file the company’s documents, there would be a backlog of files later on. All around me I saw different divisions of people working together, trying to ensure the success of their product. It was this close knit family dynamic that I was drawn to; it reminded me of the unity our family had in order to achieve my family’s goal of owning our own house.
After years of being called frugal, I have embraced my identity and my resourceful nature that fostered my interest to pursue economics. Following years of careful saving, we have finally achieved my parents’ goal of buying our own house. Also, with the internship, I learned that goals (whether personal or business) cannot be achieved without a unified team. As the very root of economics is using limited resources efficiently, my personality and ambition fit right in with this definition. After my experiences, I hope to work in an environment that will have the supportive structure and harmony as is present in my family. Not only does this type of structure welcome people from many different backgrounds, it also encourages unity among its diversity. I am confident that whatever I face in the future, I will not lose my own self-identity.
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