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Tina Esnaashari

natural posed headshot image of tina

Transferred From: Austin Community College (ACC)

Major/Minor: General studies major with minors in communication studies, diversity studies and women's studies

Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland

Post-Grad Plans: Work with refugee girls, trauma counseling, and eventually pursue master's at Texas State

Fun Fact: First generation Iranian-America

Did you always plan to transfer?

I missed the mark on applying to universities when I moved to Texas from Baltimore, so I attended ACC for an affordable start. But, I eventually wanted to pursue a four-year bachelor’s degree. Everyone I talked to kept telling me how amazing Texas State is. I toured another university in the area, but when I visited Texas State, it was a done deal. I only applied to one school – here!

What attracted you to Texas State?

The feeling as soon as I entered San Marcos – a small city feel, eclectic and beautiful. The beauty of the campus. Once classes began, I had amazing professors and met so many nice peers that were on the same wavelength as me. I'm so happy I chose Texas State and haven't once regretted my choice.

How was the transfer process?

No horror story here. I met with an advisor who laid it all out for me. The whole process was online — didn't have to fill out anything to mail in. I even got my acceptance letter via email!

How did you get involved on campus as a transfer?

Putting in roots as a transfer student is tough — also especially since I commute. I was worried that coming in to school I would lack identity with Texas State. Getting to know my professors was a huge help. My all-time favorite professor is Dr. Elizabeth Eger in the Department of Communication Studies.

She offered me the opportunity to participate in a Comm Week panel, “A Chance to Be Heard.” I spoke on my experience as an Iranian-American. Dr. Eger facilitated the whole thing, and I received so many reactions from other students who have shared similar experiences with me.

Now, I know that to "Be a Bobcat" means to have an individual identity. Room to be yourself. A space to create your own path. I’ve never once felt pressure to be someone I’m not on this campus.

How are you involved with the community?

I did an internship with Girl Forward in Austin as a programs intern. I did pretty much everything – from networking with women-empowered business owners to getting to know girls in the program.

A highlight from my time there was when I got to help organize a high school graduation ceremony for the girls in the program. I created awards for each of them based on their unique character traits and also had the honor of singing an Iranian song during the ceremony — the girls loved it, very rewarding experience.

How is Texas State preparing you for your dream career?

My dream job is to work with refugee girls. I’m also interested in trauma counseling, as I myself have been a victim of xenophobia. I started thinking to myself, how can I utilize my experiences/skills and pair them with my passion, and this is where I landed.

A huge way Texas State is preparing me for this field is with the selection of electives. We have class offerings such as African American studies, and even a course that analyzes Orange is the New Black. These classes that focus on world issues are preparing me for the job I want. In addition, I’m learning real statistics and numbers from what I’m studying that I've already been able to carry over into my internship.

What's your advice to transfer students considering Texas State?

Your journey is your own and unique to who you are. Decide what you want your life's purpose to be so that one day you can look back and say "I added this to the world." Run with that and don't let anyone stop you. And remember, failure means you tried, and any steps towards education are a step to better your life.