2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Ana Vallejo Herrera, University of Houston (Bauer)

Ana Vallejo Herrera

University of Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business

“Curious, self-motivated, and always excited to talk about all things Houston.”

Fun fact about yourself:  Meryl Streep, Dustin Johnson, John Dillinger and I all have the same birthday!

Hometown: Tampico, Mexico & League City, Texas

High School: Clear Creek High School

Major: Accounting and Finance

Minor: NA

Favorite Business Course: FINA 4397: Energy Transition, taught by Professor Greg Bean

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • ALPFA Summer Fellow and Scholarship Recipient
  • Energy Coalition Vice Chair of Sustainability
  • SURE Program Student Consultant
  • UH Foundation YES Energy Scholarship Recipient
  • Accounting Merit Scholarship Recipient
  • Marvy Finger Family Scholarship Recipient
  • Ted Bauer Leadership Certificate Program

Where have you interned during your college career? University of Houston SURF Program, Undergraduate Research Fellow, mentored by Dr. Rajkamal Vasu.

Where will you be working after graduation?  Deloitte, Tax Technology Consultant

Who is your favorite business professor? My favorite professor is Dr. Rajkamal Vasu, who teaches a course in investment management and was my mentor for my summer research program. Dr. Vasu’s class was interactive, challenging, and engaging, and he always made sure that we had the opportunity to ask any questions during class. After his class ended for the semester, I reached out to him about the SURF Research Program, and he agreed to be my faculty mentor for it. During our weekly meetings for SURF, he taught me a lot about statistics, his ongoing research, and even introduced me to Assimil, a language learning program, when I told him I was interested in learning German. I am very grateful for Dr. Vasu’s mentorship and for his dedication to all of his students’ learning.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I gained from studying business was to learn to advocate for myself. When I first came to UH, I always struggled with speaking up in group projects or talking confidently about myself in job interviews and networking events. Learning about my top five strengths from the Clifton Strengths assessment has really helped, and it is something we often had the opportunity to learn about at Bauer.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? My advice would be to try new things and find ways to simplify your life when it feels overwhelming. There are many resources and opportunities available to college students, which makes it a great time to explore new hobbies and interests that you may not have had time for before college. With so many different opportunities to sign up for, it’s also important not to take on too much and to use a calendar or planner to manage your time so that semesters don’t become too stressful.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? What surprised me the most about majoring in business was how many options there are and how flexible the degree plan is. I was able to explore many industries and potential careers by enrolling in certain classes that would teach me about what my future career could look like. It was also great being able to take the introductory courses for each of the business majors before deciding which one I would pick, so that I wasn’t left with any doubt about my choices.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I would have taken more Honors courses from the Creative Work or Data and Society minors. I think it would have been exciting to learn more about creative writing and data analytics and taking those courses would have helped me develop those skills in a classroom setting.

What business leader do you admire most? Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia. I admire Chouinard’s authenticity and the way he used Patagonia’s success to protect the environment. Recently, he decided to give away his company to a trust and nonprofit, which he described as “going purpose” instead of “going public”. It is very inspiring to see a leader such as Chouinard make such an important decision for his business without basing it on personal gain, and that he always stayed true to his mission to protect our planet.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? The personal achievement I am most proud of is that I was able to fully fund my last two years of college through scholarships, which allowed me to graduate debt-free. I entered college with no scholarships, and my biggest worry for the first two years was figuring out how I would pay my tuition. Since I was not able to do internships during college that could help cover those costs, I dedicated myself to my classes to maintain good grades so I could earn merit-based scholarships and applied to any and every scholarship I was eligible for. Although that took a lot of time and effort, I am proud I was able to complete my last two years of college without having to worry about payment plans during the semester and graduating debt-free.

Which classmate do you most admire? I admire my friend Abby Chopra the most. Abby is double majoring in Management Information Systems and Supply Chain Management and was the Chair of the Energy Coalition last semester on top of doing an internship. She completed several research programs and even helped me with my submission for SURF, since she had completed it the past summer. Abby is one of the most hard-working people I have met at UH and she always stays optimistic and energetic through any challenge she faces. Abby is also an incredibly dependable and caring friend, and I can’t wait to see all the things she will do!

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my mom and dad for all the support they have given me all my life, but especially during my time at UH. I commuted from home all four years and since I don’t have my own car, they helped me get to all my classes by taking me to campus on their way to work or by dropping me off at the METRO Park and Ride. Since I took several evening classes that ended past the bus operating hours, they would often drive from our home in League City to pick me up on campus at 9 pm when my classes ended. Being able to pursue a degree was teamwork, and I am thankful for all the time they spent to help me attend all my classes and events. Although that took a lot of coordination, early mornings, and late nights, it was also great to be able to talk to them during our many car rides together. My parents also supported me in other ways during my time at UH. My mom is always there for me to tell me not to stress too much about things that are out of my control and to enjoy myself and my time in college, and my dad taught me how to work hard and to not give up when nothing seems to be working out the way I may want it to.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? To work in a sustainability-related role or company and to get a Master’s in Finance.

What are your hobbies? Playing golf, camping, trying new vegan restaurants, and yoga.

What made Ana such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“Ana is one of those students that from the very first interaction you just know is special. I remember meeting with her during the fall of her freshman year and feeling the warmth of her smile, the sincerity of our interaction, and the sense of determination that she exuded. College was obviously new to her, but she faced it with optimism and excitement. Ana is a stellar student and is finishing her undergraduate career with a near perfect GPA, but what really sets her apart are the things she accomplished outside the classroom.

Throughout her time in Bauer Honors, Ana sought out new opportunities and never missed a moment to challenge herself. She participated in undergraduate research through the Houston Early Research Experience (HERE) and the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) where she analyzed financial statements for Houston METRO and researched Blue Sky Laws from the 1920s & 1930s. She developed her leadership skills through the Ted Bauer Leadership Certificate Program and then put those skills to work as the Vice Chair of Sustainability for the UH Energy Coalition. A goal for all our students is to gain internship experience because that can often lead to a full-time role. Due to Ana’s residency status, she was not eligible for the “traditional” internship. But Ana never let that stop her. She did the EY ALPFA Fellowship Program in Summer 2021 where she gained valuable professional experience. Additionally in Spring 2022, Ana participated in the ConocoPhillips Experiential Learning Project and gained hands on consulting experience through the SURE (Stimulating Urban Renewal through Entrepreneurship) Program. Her efforts in the classroom and through her extracurricular activities have led to a very exciting fulltime role with Deloitte’s Tax Technology Consulting practice. We have no doubt Ana will bring the same drive, determination, and brilliance to all her future pursuits.”

Colleen Davies
Academic Advisor, Bauer Honors Program

Director, Bauer in DC Fellowship Program
C. T. Bauer College of Business 
University of Houston


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