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‘Support Is There for the Asking’

Senior Leslie Campana Ardite Relates Her Biggest College Lesson—Learning to Rely on Others


By Ashley Kilday

Image press pressWe sat down with Accounting major Leslie Campana Ardite, who came to the U.S. just a few years ago. Her biggest lesson in college so far was not from textbooks, but from her fellow students and mentors. She gives the Ted Bauer Undergraduate Scholarship credit for playing a crucial role in her educational experience by allowing her to reach for her dreams and focus on making good grades instead of worrying about financing her education. She will graduate early and intends to pursue a master’s degree while studying for her CPA exam. 

What brought you to UHD?

I started at HCC, but I knew I wanted to transfer to UHD. I wanted something local and affordable, and UHD felt like a good school. It was easy to get in touch with people and get information. The application process was easy and straightforward. UHD also offered a master’s program in Accounting, and I knew I wanted to stay at one school all the way through as I studied for my CPA exam. UHD’s culture is very encouraging.

What about the Accounting major drew you in?

I liked how Accounting is “set.” There’s nothing ambivalent about numbers, and there’s lots of room to branch out into different areas like consulting. It’s a good, recession-proof career. I’m going to be an accountant and do people’s taxes for a living—I mean, Uncle Sam’s not going anywhere. [laughs]

Are you currently working?

I used to work full-time before I started at UHD, and I work part-time now as I focus on my studies. I’m hoping to start working in public accounting after I graduate, and it would be challenging to study and balance that schedule.

I have an internship lined up for the Summer so I don’t fall behind with my credit hours. I need to pace myself, but I just can’t wait to finish out.

Have any of the professors been a particular inspiration to you?

One professor who was a blessing to me was Thomas Jackson. He was so encouraging and helpful, and he recommended me to some internships. I have a lot to thank him for. He’s got a lot of experience and has shared his guidance. I’m very grateful to him—he’s been a mentor to me.

Are you involved on campus?

I’m part of the Animal Rescue Club, but I’m not very active right now. I want to join more volunteer opportunities on weekends. I am also a member of the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA).

What’s the biggest lesson you learned at UHD?

Sometimes we have this idea that we have to do everything by ourselves because we think other people are doing everything by themselves. Don’t be so absorbed with yourself. Support is there for the asking.

I have learned to work with people. I was always the kind of person who studied alone and worked alone. I didn’t want to have to trust people to do their part, but I learned that people are capable, and you need to trust them. I hated every group project, but I learned to reach out and learned I didn’t have to do everything solo.

Not managing things alone included my stress. My classmates were a blessing. When I was struggling mentally, they would support and encourage me. There was also the school’s support in everything, from financial aid to other encouragement. My counselors would tell me things were not as bad as they seemed and that I really could go back to school and succeed.

What’s one piece of advice for future Gators?

Find someone with experience, like a mentor. Time moves so quickly, so take it all in, and don’t worry about the next semester, just worry about today. Also, form good relationships. The community is good at UHD. I’m taking my relationships with my professors and my peers with me. My degree will hang on my wall, but those relationships will follow me.

To hear more from Leslie, watch her video testimonial.

For more information about the Ted Bauer Undergraduate Business Scholarship and other scholarships available at MDCOB, check the MDCOB Scholarship page.

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.