Undergraduate Admissions Counselor Veronica Peña
Hometown: San Antonio
College Major: Recreational Administration; Mass Communications (minor)
Territory: Greater Houston, Beaumont, Port Arthur and surrounding areas
Office: Houston Admissions Center
Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born and raised in San Antonio. I went to Brackenridge High School--home of the Mighty Eagles. While I was there, I studied mass communications and was a member of the dance team for three years! I've lived in Texas my whole life, and there's no other place I'd rather live.
Q: Where did you go to college? What did you study in college?
A: I attended The University of Texas at San Antonio during my freshman year and then transferred to Texas State University-San Marcos to finish my degree. When I first started college, I majored in mass communications and wanted to focus on broadcasting! After a few years in college, I changed my major to recreational administration and received a bachelor's degee with an emphasis in recreational administration and a minor in mass communications.
Q: How long have you been working in higher education?
A: During college I was a member of many student organizations. Two of them were focused on helping prospective and new students! I absolutely loved speaking with students about their future college possibilities. I also enjoyed helping new students with their transformation from high school to college. I did all of that by giving tours, helping at information sessions, and leading groups of new students around my college campus.
Q: What is your favorite place on campus?
A: The West Mall! I love how all of the student organizations on campus go there to promote their organization and cause! It’s a great place for students to have fun, grab a bite to eat and meet new people.
Q: What are some of your favorite things about Austin?
A: My favorite thing to do in Austin is go to the Free Texas Music Series during the summer and fall! Lots of Texas country bands will play every Wednesday evening for free in the summer and fall. I highly recommend checking it out during the summer.
Q: What is your favorite UT Austin fact?
A: Our first mascot wasn't a Texas Longhorn but a dog named Pig! Pig was extremely loved around campus. Pig would not only attend games at home and away, he was also known to visit classrooms! The death of Pig was tragic. He was supposedly hit by a Model T and passed a few days later. The entire university mourned his passing and held a funereal for him, which included a casket, pallbearers, an orange drape cover and the Longhorn Band. What a loved dog.
Advice to Prospective Students
It's so important to get involved on campus as a student. Joining a student organization and being very active (in one or many) can be a life-changing experience. You can really develop and grow as a person and as a leader. You may even meet people who will end up being your best (and possibly lifelong) friends. I can honestly say that I would not be who I am today if I hadn’t joined student organizations while in college.
The great thing about UT Austin is we have more than 1,100 student organizations so you're bound to find an organization that interests you.