Undergraduate Admissions Counselor Marcella Zapata
Hometown: San Antonio
College Major: Radio, Television and Film (with Business Foundations certificate)
Territories: San Antonio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio
Office: San Antonio Admissions Center
Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born in Galveston, Texas, and moved to San Antonio when I was ten years old. I’m a proud graduate of Alamo Heights High School. Go Mules! I’ve been heavily influenced by San Antonio’s culture, friendly atmosphere and the presence of my family who live here. I’m so proud to claim San Antonio as my hometown.
Q: Where did you go to college? What did you study?
A: When I was fresh out of high school I was not ready to leave my family and friends. I wanted to stay close to home so I attended San Antonio College—a community college near downtown San Antonio.
After taking some of my basic courses, I decided it was time to transfer. I was accepted to two universities in Texas. Before deciding which college I wanted to transfer to, I heavily researched both college’s RTF (Radio, Television and Film) programs and visited both campuses. Ultimately, all signs pointed to The University of Texas at Austin. I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to study in the university’s prestigious Radio, Television and Film department. I received a bachelor of science in Radio, Television and Film and also completed the Business Foundations Program while at UT so I also received a Business Foundations Certificate (it’s kind of like getting a minor in business).
Q: What experience have you had working in higher education?
A: While attending UT Austin I worked in the Office of the President which was a huge learning experience. I got to see firsthand what it takes to manage a university the size of UT Austin.
I then worked for a local Austin non-profit organization called College Forward. My job was to mentor economically disadvantaged and first generation high school seniors through the process of applying to college. It was there that I realized how much I enjoy working with high school students. I love helping students understand the value of furthering their education at a college or university, especially at The University of Texas at Austin.
Q: What is your favorite place on campus?
A: My favorite place on campus has to be the Main Mall—the area in front of the Tower and Main Building. I have fond memories of seeing the Tower lit in burnt orange during commencement. It was a moment that I will cherish forever.
Q: What is your favorite UT Austin fact?
A: There are more than 900 student organizations that students may join at UT Austin. Joining an organization gives you the opportunity to meet an astounding number of students who share similar interests. I joined TSTV (Texas Student Television), the only student-run, student produced and FCC licensed college television station in the country. Without this organization, I would have never known what it was like to work on weekly television programs.
Advice to Students
- Don’t wait until the last minute to begin writing your college essays. Start early in the fall or summer while you may have some extra time to spend on them. Ask people you know and trust to proofread them and offer feedback.
- Choose a college or university to attend based on whether it’s the right fit for YOU. A college that is right for your best friend may not be the best college for you. You’re the one that’s going to attend that college for the next four years of your life, so make sure you’re making the right decision for YOU.