13:08 PM

Advice From a UHD Grad: Set Your Goals, Seize Your Future

Sebastian Troitino Shares His Story of Being a First Generation College Student In Hopes of Inspiring Others


By Mark Kramer

Sebastian Troitino believes that when you set your mind to achieve your goals, nothing can stand in your way.

“The future is not something we wait for, it’s something we make,” he said. “The advice I would give future students is that you must take the time to sit and think about what you want in life, make a plan, then go. The faculty and staff at UHD genuinely want to help you. Use your resources, seek help when needed, make friends, and always visualize your future.”

The first generation May 2020 graduate from the Marilyn Davies College of Business is one of more than 1,590 students being honored for their achievements at the University of Houston-Downtown’s In-Person Commencement at NRG Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 14.

Troitino, who earned his Bachelors of Business Administration, is currently pursuing his Master of Business Administration at UHD with a dual concentration in Business Development/Sales Management and Leadership and plans to receive his MBA in August 2022. In addition, he is working as the Digital Communications Specialist for the College of Business. Once he completes his MBA, Troitino plans to pursue a career in corporate marketing.

“The concentrations I am studying will help me become a better marketer and business leader by exposing me to current case studies, showing me the best ways to process data analytics, and connecting me with highly knowledgeable corporate fellows,” Troitino said.

Troitino said his parents serve as his inspiration for pursuing his degree and being the first in his family to earn his college diploma.

“They have sacrificed tremendous experiences and opportunities for me and my siblings to obtain an education,” he said. “Focusing on my academic journey is my expression of love and appreciation for their dedication to my future. They continue to fuel me with motivation, understanding, and unconditional love expecting nothing in return and that is what continues to drive me. I also hope that I can inspire future generations to believe and know that a college education is possible.”

Troitino said success did not come without some challenges, especially switching to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. He credits the faculty and staff at the College of Business for providing a seamless transition.

“Adapting to a learning-from-home environment during the start of the pandemic was easier because I had the support of UHD and the Marilyn Davies College of Business,” he said. “From counseling services to a virtual library option, to technology equipment assistance, the university made the transition comforting.”

However, life as an undergraduate and now MBA student is not all work and no play. Troitino is one of the founding members of the UHD Mariachi band, Mariachi Los Caimanes and is a performer and vocalist.

“Being one of the first members of Mariachi Los Caimanes has allowed me to meet incredibly talented and gifted musicians and performers at UHD,” Troitino said. “We have a lot of very talented students that are passionate about diversity and inclusion and celebrating Mariachi music. Our Mariachi Director and founder, Jose Vazquez (Assistant Director of Student Activities), has taught me valuable lessons in mariachi practice and techniques, as well as in life. This group is one of the best experiences of my life.”

With plans already set out for earning his MBA and a corporate marketing career, there is still one thing that Troitino has planned in his future – becoming a UHD professor.

“I want to share my knowledge and experience with future generations. This means that my academic journey will not end after my MBA. I always want to be learning, questioning, and discovering,” Troitino said.

Troitino said giving back to others is one of the virtues that has been a highlight of his UHD experience.

“What I’m most grateful for is the support and encouragement I receive from UHD,” he said. “This university opened its doors, gave me more than I could ever ask for as a student, and helped me become the student leader I am today. It’s because of this that I am proud to be a UHD Gator.”


About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.