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Christian Arteaga, 2016

Major: Business Administration
Hometown: Nyack, NY

“Life can get hard, but you can do anything you set your mind to.”

As a child, Christian Arteaga loved to disassemble things and put them back together. In fact, at age 13, he built his own computer. He attributes this interest to his father, a mechanic, who encouraged his son’s skill. When his parents passed away while Christian was still young, Christian says he was determined to grow up to make them proud.

He says in high school, he did his best to maintain a high GPA and earn college credits through advanced-placement courses. When STAC offered him several academic scholarships for his success, he knew college was the next step.

“I’ve always pushed myself so that I could make something of myself for my parents,” Christian says. “STAC rewarded my efforts and it was close to home and felt right to me.”

Christian, whose older brother graduated from STAC with a degree in computer science, says the business world has always interested him, and his dream is to someday own and operate his own business and “make a difference.”

“I want to work in technology. I’m into building and repairing,” he says. “I look to Microsoft and Apple. Bill Gates is one of my role models.”

At STAC, Christian enrolled in the college’s KPMG Mentor Program, which matched him up with a KPMG employee mentor for one year, who provided personalized advice, feedback and encouragement.

“My mentor encouraged me to go on field trips and network and branch out beyond my comfort zone and to experience things,” Christian says. “I became certified to use the college’s Bloomberg terminal and completed an internship at the New City Youth Bureau.”

In November of his senior year, Christian attended a campus career fair and met a representative from PDI Healthcare, headquartered in Orangeburg, New York. He applied, interviewed and, one week later, got the job. The only problem? He hadn’t graduated yet. But the company was so impressed with his skill and passion that they held the job for him.

One week after graduation, Christian officially became a PDI corporate quality specialist. In his role, Christian is responsible for ensuring that any complaints about the company’s products are investigated, processed and closed in an efficient and effective manner.

His advice for current and future STAC students? “Prepare early.”

“Network as much as possible. Meet different people. You never know if who you know can connect you to someone who makes a difference,” Christian advises. “People I work with now know my professors from STAC. So many people you meet can help lead you and help you grow.”