Central America natives excel in finance, health care administration
A pair of Houston-area students originally from Central America were the top graduating students this spring in the University of Houston-Victoria School of Business Administration.
For their academic excellence, Gisela Azimi-Shooshtari, of Sugar Land, was selected as the school's outstanding graduate student, while Gabriela Garcia, of Houston, was chosen as outstanding undergraduate.
Azimi-Shooshtari took classes in person with a concentration in finance at UH Sugar Land while Garcia took online classes concentrating on health care administration.
Each semester, professors from the four UHV schools select an outstanding student from both their graduate and undergraduate programs to be honored during commencement.
A native of Honduras, Azimi-Shooshtari graduated from UH in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in management. She intended to resume studying management at UHV, but her plans changed after taking a finance course.
"I found it very interesting, and I wanted a challenge," Azimi-Shooshtari said.
Azimi-Shooshtari helps her husband with bookkeeping and accounts payable at the family's two Sugar Land restaurants.
Garcia said her UHV education should help her land a job in health care. She graduated Saturday with a Bachelor of Business Administration.
Originally from Costa Rica, Garcia has lived in Houston the past 15 years, working 13 of those in the automotive business. She handles financing for customers of Tricolor Auto.
"Health care is a different area, but in the end, it's all the same because it's about people," she said. "I like interacting with people and providing good customer service. In a hospital or clinic setting, I will have the opportunity to help a lot of people."