Name: Gregory Ureña
Hometown: Bronx, NY
Major/minor: Computer information systems and business analytics
I’m planning to pursue an MBA and continue my work in Manhattan College’s office of Institutional Research. I’d like to work in IT management in the future.
How did you get interested in tech?
My dad does everything – he does plumbing, he does electrical work. I always saw him working around the house in the Dominican Republic. One time when I was about four years old, my friend threw his GameBoy and broke it. I picked it up, pushed it back together, pressed a couple buttons and it turned on. So I saw that happened and after that I became fascinated with computers. My parents started buying me video game systems and computers. And I started figuring out everything in it and how it works. After a while, I would buy repair kits and do repairs on the side to make money.
Why did you choose Manhattan College?
One of my teachers [at Cardinal Hayes High School] suggested I look at Manhattan College, the college she went to. And one of my mentors, Father Joseph Franco, also went here. I have met so many great friends and mentors here that have pushed me to be who I am today.
What made you want to attend college?
My parents wanted me to go to college. One of the reasons they brought me to the U.S. was to get a future and build a family. In my senior year, there was so much happening and I didn’t know if college was still a fun thing to do. I was researching if college was worth it – is it worth investing so much money? Eventually, after talking to so many people, I figured out it was a good thing to do. I had to work a lot and work side gigs to pay tuition. And I helped my parents pay for some of the tuition and for their own bills too. I definitely think it was worth it. I wouldn't change anything.
What are some of your more memorable experiences at Manhattan College?
Being in Beta Alpha Psi and Motivational Outreach. Beta Alpha Psi does a lot of community service and a lot of professional events. I love doing community service, and adding the professional aspect where I met people from Chase and Microsoft.
In Motivational Outreach, we help underprivileged high school students see what college is like because a lot of kids don't know what to do with their lives after they graduate. We’re there to show them, there are different tools to get you to college. I empathized with them because I was at their stage when I was graduating from high school. I didn't know if I wanted to go into the military or go into a trade field.
What advice would you offer incoming freshmen at Manhattan College?
Join any clubs, groups, teams you find interesting and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. You’ll learn and become a better person from them, by the time you graduate you’ll see how much you’ve changed!