When Sadid Carrillo, a first-generation student from Schuyler, Neb., was a freshman at UNL, he had aspirations of becoming a doctor. All of those plans changed in his first chemistry class.
“I got a ‘C’ on my first chemistry exam and it scared me. Then I got a ‘C’ in a sociology class and started doubting myself,” said Carrillo. “I was ready to drop out, work for a while to refocus and then come back to school. In hindsight, that would have been a mistake.”
He was fortunate enough to be introduced to Craig Munier, director of scholarships and financial aid, and Tim Alvarez, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs. Munier and Alvarez mentored Carrillo, playing an instrumental part in his decision to stay in college and switch his major to study in the College of Business Administration.
“Craig Munier knew I had worked at Pinnacle Bank as a teller the summer before I enrolled at UNL and thought finance would be a good fit,” he said. “He encouraged me to switch majors instead of taking a semester off.”
Carrillo participated in CIMBA, the CBA-sponsored Italy study abroad program and was active in various student organizations. He was selected as a New Student Enrollment orientation leader for 2012 and became a role model to the incoming freshmen class.
Sadid Carrillo with faculty member Dr. Laurie Miller
“I was able to take advantage of the resources put in front of me when it would have been just as easy to give up,” he said. “I stepped outside my box and experienced new things. It’s about taking what you learn in the classroom and applying it to real life.”
These experiences gave him the confidence to apply for an internship with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, one of the top internships in the country. Carrillo spent last summer in a 10-week rotational internship in the supervision and risk management divisions which allowed him to observe all departments within those divisions. At the end of his internship, he was offered a full-time job with the Federal Reserve Bank which he started in January after graduating from UNL in December.
“Being an intern in the Kansas City branch provided me with a well-rounded experience,” Carrillo explained. “I was able to get a taste of the responsibilities for each department. It revealed the entire banking process to me and solidified my desire to work in this industry.”