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Sofia Rumaldo ’23: The Power of Believing in Yourself to Achieve Dreams

May 15, 2024

By Fatima Magana '22

ALLIANCE- As kids, we are told that we can be whatever we want to as grown-ups, but how do we begin pursuing our dream career? Persistence and dedication are two key factors in achieving our goals.

Sofia Rumaldo ’23, accounting alumna and auditor at Ernst & Young (EY) would watch movies in English, dreaming of one day studying in the United States. Along with taking English courses in grade school in her native Peru, Rumaldo began preparing to make her dream come true which led her to the University of Mount Union.

“I’d watch people studying in the United States in movies, [and although movies are scripted], I would imagine myself at an American school, telling myself that one day that would be me,” said Rumaldo. “When I got a scholarship to study at Mount Union, my dream began coming true, living on campus and befriending people from all walks of life.”

Acknowledging that her parents instilled in her the idea of building a future for her own good, Rumaldo chose to enter the accounting field as the concepts taught in the field apply to anything one does, such as being your own boss, saving money, or help others with their finances. Rumaldo defined accounting as the “heart” of the business industry because without it, the industry would not exist.

If I were to talk to my child version, I’d tell her to believe in herself and not to be afraid of taking a leap of faith because these will open doors for her.

Looking back at her collegiate experience, Rumaldo thanks faculty in the School of Business, such as Dr. Ruth Pogacnik, associate professor of accounting, for the academic guidance she gave her as this allowed Rumaldo to build a skillset in and outside the accounting field. Aside from connecting with Pogacnik on an academic level, Rumaldo explained that she checked in on her, assuring that she was excelling emotionally as well.

"Sofia is a determined individual, her goal was to land a position with one of the Big Four accounting firms in the U.S., and [upon graduating], she did just that!" said  Pogacnik. "Sofia also has a positive personality, which will get her far."

Meeting via Microsoft Teams, Rumaldo and Pogacnik built a strong professor-to-student relationship which has continued after Rumaldo left Mount Union. Rumaldo updates Pogacnik about her professional career as well as trips via text message; Pogacnik is glad Rumaldo chose Mount Union for her collegiate experience.

“Living in another country has allowed me to become independent and mature into the woman I am because my parents are not physically here to hold my hand and help me with my responsibilities.”

While Rumaldo explains that she does not know what the future has in store for her, she envisions living a happy life, whether that is in the United States or in Peru, but she will be enjoying the fruits of her professional and personal lives.

“My parents have been my biggest supporters, advising and supporting me when making decisions regarding my personal life and professional career, talking to them over the phone allows me to stay connected with my Peruvian roots,” said Rumaldo. “Though, now that I am a working woman, my parents try to visit me more often, which I appreciate because their sacrifices have helped me reach the level of success I have up to now.”

Rumaldo is one of many international students who now are part of the Mount Union alumni family that dedicated endless time to their collegiate careers to become successful professionals. Learn more about how Mount Union’s International Student Services eases the process for students to acclimate to American culture.