Employee Spotlight: Isabel Ronza
Isabel Ronza joined IPC this past February as a Business Analyst Intern. She is currently in her last semester at the University of Virginia and will transition full-time after she graduates in May. Aside from her Economics and Media Studies majors, she has a background in marketing, public relations, and business administration.
What advice do you have for yourself as a child?
My biggest advice to the younger me would be to never undervalue yourself. I went from being a big fish in a small pond in high school (graduated top of my class, played two sports, was in several clubs, etc.), to being a small fish in a massive pond at the University of Virginia, where everyone is smart, involved, and driven. Especially within my first year of college, I was not achieving as much as I did in high school. Or that is how it felt at least. I really struggled with my sense of purpose and value. However, that changed drastically when I stopped comparing myself to others. Instead of trying to outperform my peers, I started to immerse myself in opportunities and surround myself with those who saw the value in me when I did not see it in myself.
What advice do you have for a freshman starting at UVA?
To freshman starting at UVA – As an 18-year-old, you may think you have it all figured out. Trust me when I say you do not. That is totally okay! Over the course of these next four years, you are going to change your major (trust me I thought I was going to be a doctor), you are going to lose and gain friends, and you are going to fail. Again, all of this is totally normal. Trust the process, make the choices you think are right in the moment (even though they may be wrong), and surround yourself with those who want you to succeed.
What about for another woman entering your major? (You mentioned that it is majority-male major)
Prior to declaring my major, I did not even know what economics was. I took my first economics course my first semester. Going into my first test I was like I am totally going to rock this. I ended up getting a C on it and thought I would never take an economics course again. Fast forward two years and I end up declaring an Economics major. Regarding the courses themselves, there is a lot of lengthy derivatives, theory, and men. It is no secret that the Econ major at UVA is an almost 70% male majority. There are going to be times when you are one of few women in the entire class. Always remember that you deserve to be there and to never lose sight of your value.
What is your biggest takeaway from your interning experiences?
All three of my internships have been in small-business environments, so I cannot speak for large-business cultures. However, I think the biggest takeaway from my intern experiences is how supportive co-workers are within small companies. Regardless of their position, I know I can ask questions, bounce ideas off, or confide in any of my co-workers. I think that is what made my transition to IPC so smooth, because I knew I was joining a family rather than another company.
What has been your experience juggling all the above during a global pandemic?
This past year has been extremely difficult. Experiencing your last year of college during Covid was not something I would wish on anyone, but I have learned so much along the way. Since my entire life went virtual (school, work, relationships, job search), I have become a better student, communicator, problem-solver, interviewer, and companion. I cannot thank my family, friends, professors, and co-workers enough for how encouraging they have been through it all.