Petroleum engineering senior Hector Hernandez Sansone began learning English as an elementary school student in Caracas, Venezuela, but his experience at a summer camp in Florida at the age of 9 elevated him to native-like fluency.
“I made a lot of silly mistakes in the beginning,” Sansone says. “But not being afraid to make those mistakes is what made me learn.”
Sansone did not attend an international high school, but his early foundation in the English language prepared him well for an American university. He chose TU because of the strong petroleum engineering program, close-knit campus, student-to-faculty ratio and responsive international admissions team.
Once Sansone arrived on campus, he knew he had made the right choice. He quickly met friends, found his professors warm and welcoming, and developed a connection to the community. He describes Tulsa as small enough to stay focused on your studies without getting derailed but also large enough to find a variety of entertainment options. Sansone spends his leisure time exercising, going to concerts, watching movies or hanging out with friends.
Sansone also credits his involvement in Kappa Sigma fraternity for his quick adjustment to campus. He originally had no intention of joining, but at the urging of a friend he went to a meeting, had dinner and met many of the members. He joined shortly after and says this has helped him keep a strong GPA while participating in community service and developing his social and networking skills.
Aside from his full-time studies and involvement in Kappa Sigma, Sansone has sought out valuable work experiences on campus. He has worked in the Collins Fitness Center and as a University Ambassador, giving tours to prospective students and their families.
“It is such a rewarding experience,” Sansone says, “especially when I see a prospective student who took my tour end up coming to TU.”
Sansone’s latest accomplishment is receiving a scholarship to join the Golden Hurricane Spirit Squad. He reluctantly tried out after encouragement from a friend and was quickly accepted by the welcoming and encouraging members of the squad. He said it reinforced his perception of TU as a family.
When asked what advice he would give incoming students, Sansone responded, “Keep an open mind, have balance, stay motivated and think about where you want to go so you can reverse engineer your goals.”