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Friday, December 2, 2022

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Vanessa Girard's favorite thing about being an Aztec is the sense of culture, community, and affiliation that is associated with being an Aztec. Vanessa Girard's favorite thing about being an Aztec is the sense of culture, community, and affiliation that is associated with being an Aztec.
 


Vanessa Girard’s Aztec Experience

This Aztec is the vice commissioner of operations for the Aztec Student Union Board.
By SDSU News Team
 

Name: Vanessa Girard
Major (and minor): Hospitality and tourism management with an emphasis in hotel management and a minor in honors interdisciplinary studies
Campus affiliations: Associated Students, Rotaract of SDSU, Aztec Dance Marathon, Alpha Chi Omega, National Society of Minorities in Hospitality, Sophomore SURGE Mentor Program

1. Why did you choose SDSU?
When I was applying to universities, San Diego State University was not my top choice. In fact, for the longest time I had these crazy thoughts that I wanted to go to the east coast to “get away” and “do something different.” However, after touring this beautiful campus I had the most amazing feeling of butterflies in my stomach and I knew this was the university for me. Being a born and raised California girl, the sunshine and having the beach 10 minutes away were absolute wins as well.

2. What inspired you to declare your major?
Upon getting involved with Associated Students, I received multiple mentors my first semester on campus. Becca Cohen, who was a previous A.S. executive officer as well as a hospitality and tourism management graduate from SDSU, truly inspired me to declare as a hospitality major. Discovering the HTM industry was a turning point in my college career because I learned that there is an industry out there that I can really be myself in, to maximize both my and others’ potential. There is nothing I enjoy more than creating unique experiences for each individual guest and I couldn’t imagine myself studying and practicing in any other field.

3. Which SDSU faculty or staff member has been the most influential throughout your SDSU journey?
Edwin Darrell, director for Center of Intercultural Relations, the Pride Center, and the Women’s Resource Center, as well as the advisor for Aztec Dance Marathon for the past three years it has been on campus, has been more than an influential faculty member. Edwin and I first met through Residential Education and have now worked together in three different SDSU departments. Edwin has been a mentor, an advisor, but also a friend who motivates, encourages, and believes in me on a daily basis.

4. What experience at SDSU has changed your life the most?
Joining Greek life my sophomore year has been one of the most life changing experiences I have had at SDSU. Growing up most of my childhood as an only child, I longed for affiliation and people to socialize with as well as sisters to call my own. Becoming an active member of Alpha Chi Omega and receiving my big has enhanced my life in some of the most amazing ways. My big is one of my best friends who supports me in absolutely everything that I do and is always there for me when there’s no one else to call. She will without a doubt be my sister for life.

5. What has been your proudest achievement while at SDSU?
My proudest achievement while at SDSU has been having the opportunity to mentor students each year, helping them find their home away from home at SDSU. I have been most excited to grow and encourage student leaders to be proud of their own accomplishments and successes when cultivating their unique Aztec Experience.

6. What’s your favorite thing about being an Aztec?
My absolute favorite thing about being an Aztec is the sense of culture, community, and affiliation that is associated with being an Aztec. Whether you are a student, faculty, staff, or an alumnus, there is a mutual connection and a feeling of pride that is inevitably created and bonded upon between fellow Aztecs. I take the common phrase, “Aztec for Life” to heart every time I hear or say it.