Finance Senior Overcomes Challenges, Thrives as Student Leader
When finance senior Juan Tejada came to the United States from South America as an 11-year-old, he never imagined that he would fit in with kids his age, let alone stand before them as a leader.
But at the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business, Tejada has done just that, spending a year as president of the Finance Association (FA) and earning the Ted Bauer Leadership Award this semester, one the highest honors the college gives to students.
The award is named for the late Charles T. “Ted” Bauer, the college’s benefactor, and celebrates students who exemplify his spirit of leadership, dedication and passion.
“Being a leader is so much more than just having a title,” Tejada said. “Leadership is an action where someone steps up and takes initiative. A true leader is there when others are in need and has to be able to lead but also know when to follow.”
Tejada was celebrated at the 2010 Leadership & Ethics Week Student Awards Luncheon, where his father, Francisco Javier Tejada, watched him stand before a packed ballroom in the University Hilton and accept the recognition.
“The one thing that could have held me back is public speaking,” Tejada said. “I am very conscious of my accent, and that has caused me to be somewhat shy while talking in front of groups.”
“But I have practiced a lot through my leadership position in FA, and when I received the award, I was able to thank all the people who have supported me, the great school that I am a part of, and the student organization that has given me so many opportunities,” he added.
Those opportunities include organizing the annual CME Group Open Outcry Competition held each spring at UH Bauer and raising funds to travel with several FA members to New York City to compete in a similar competition there. Before taking the title of FA president in 2009, Tejada was recognized as the group’s top member in Spring 2008 and served as chief of operations.
He credits the strong network of students, faculty, staff, corporate partners and alumni at UH Bauer for some of his success. For nearly a year, he has interned with Sequent Energy Management, the company that sponsors the college’s Distinguished Leaders Series.
“The resources at Bauer, including the great network of companies and the supportive staff, have helped me plenty,” Tejada said. “I came here because I knew it was a great school, and I’ve been given so much support and help through my time here that has helped me improve in so many ways.”
Tejada will graduate in December with a bachelor of business administration in finance (global energy management) and a minor in economics. In addition to the plaque he received for the Ted Bauer Leadership Award, Hector Villareal and Patricia Sturion (’03), owners of upscale men’s boutique Lucho, will present him with a custom-made suit.
For a complete list of students and organizations honored at the 2010 Leadership & Ethics Week Student Awards Luncheon, click here.
By Jessica Navarro