Class of 2011: Yarelys Tifa

A degree in resource economics has prepared Yarelys Tifa for a career in business.

As the University counts down to Commencement, UConn Today is featuring some of this year’s outstanding graduating students, nominated by their academic school or college or another University program in which they participated. For additional profiles of students in the Class of 2011, click here.

<p>Yarelys Tifa. Photo by Peter Morenus</p>
Yarelys Tifa, CANR ’11. Photo by Peter Morenus

Yarelys Tifa was just 10 years old when her mother decided to move her and her siblings from New York City to Hartford, Conn.

“I grew up in a rough neighborhood in the Bronx,” she says, “but my mom wanted us to have a better life.”

Tifa, a graduate of Hartford’s Academy of Math and Science and Bulkeley High School, has made attending a good university her top priority so she could be that much closer to leading the life her mother wished for her.

When she arrived at UConn, Tifa intended to become a business major, but she decided that a major in resource economics was a better fit because of its flexible schedule. She was able to pursue minors in both Spanish and business in addition to her major, taking courses that spanned all her fields of interest.

She also took a leadership role in her sophomore year that further developed her financial skills, as chief financial officer for the West Indian Student Organization.

Tifa says the classes she has taken here at UConn have taught her valuable lessons that have prepared her for life after college. She especially enjoyed her business law class, taught by Professor Samuel Schrager.

“The class has a whole new kind of atmosphere to it,” Tifa says. “Professor Schrager makes his class interactive and about real life concepts. It’s definitely the most challenging course I have taken, but also the most interesting. I’ve never missed a class.”

She also thrived in a resource economics class on Price Analysis and Futures Trading with Professor Rigoberto Lopez, in which students team up and compete in a game to buy and sell shares of oil stocks.

“When you get to play with stocks and see how numbers change – real numbers, not just what’s in the textbook – you can get more of a grasp on what you’re learning,” she says.

Last summer, Tifa completed an internship at Otis Elevator Co. in Farmington, which furthered her interest in sales.

She hopes to one day start her own event planning business for weddings but until then, she wants to gain more experience in corporate America.

Upon graduation, she will work for UTC Otis Elevator as a sales representative trainee, where she will manage her own sales district.

“Being at UConn was amazing and I loved it completely,” says Tifa. “I decided to go to UConn instead of Temple, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. I’ve met so many different people and have had so many great experiences that have made me a stronger person. UConn prepared me for the future.”