Student Life

Intelligence, Hard Work and Luck

Laura Arias Fernandez – Valedictorian for May 2019 Graduation

Laura Arias Fernandez smiles brightly when asked if she’s decided where she’s going after Columbia International College.  With her love for computer science and physics she says, “I’m going to the University of Minnesota for Computer Engineering.”

Laura came from Spain three years ago to pursue her education abroad in Canada.  She looked into schools and found that CIC had a great balance for academics and extra-curricular activities.  Her parents helped with the research and finally the decision was made.  Laura says, “It was my decision to come here.  I was trying to look for a better advancement for my academics.”

Laura is an exceptionally bright student with an average of 97%, she has been given a $69,700 scholarship to attend the University of Minnesota.  At the moment, Laura is interested in researching about the computer vision sector industry to enhance security.  Laura explains, “I love problem solving!  You have to critically think about those situations and try to analyze it.  It’s not just using a formula, it’s like a puzzle.”

But where does Laura obtain her inspiration for her hard work?  Laura says, “One of the biggest pieces of advice my dad gave me is that you need three things: intelligence, hard work and luck – and luck doesn’t always last.  The only thing you can actually put in is the hard work.”  Laura expresses her inspirations as looking up to her parents and brother.  Each one of them exemplifying an important attribute for her to have: determination, caring and believing in oneself.

” Working with no purpose, no goal or no plan is not going to get you anywhere … The only way to get through your setbacks is to do something about it.”

– Laura Arias Fernandez

With hard work and determination, a student can sometimes find themselves dealing with setbacks.  But Laura explains, “When I have a setback, I do something.  You need to take a step back and analyze the situation.  Working with no purpose, no goal or no plan is not going to get you anywhere.  When you analyze all that you have, you make your move.”  Laura pauses and smiles, “The only way to get through your setbacks is to do something about it.”

Laura recounts her time at CIC, discussing her hobbies and favorite memories.  One of Laura’s favorite aspects of CIC are the extracurricular activities offered.  For Laura, being involved outside of the classroom is just as important as participating inside of it.

“CIC helps you to identify who you are and who you can be – and what you can do in life.”- Laura Arias Fernandez

Laura was a part of the Executive Leadership Team as President, Diversity Team, Terry Fox Run and other activities in the school.  One of her favorite memories was participating in the Duke of Edinburgh (Silver Award).  “The trip where we went to Bark Lake is my favorite memory for the Duke of Edinburgh.  It was a nice way to bond with your teammates and build new leadership skills, you learn how to trust other people, as well as solve problems outside of the classroom,” says Laura.

Laura’s love for diverse opportunities is apparent as she continues to express her gratitude for meeting so many people from different countries at CIC.  Laura concludes: “CIC is a school that gets you involved in and outside of the classroom.  You can get involved in what you like and find what you are passionate about.  We’re teenagers so it’s hard to realize who we are, but I think CIC helps you to identify who you are and who you can be – and what you can do in life.”

 

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