Francesca Gallardo is a senior at Florida International University and is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a double minor in Biology and Chemistry. As a passionate and forward-thinking individual, Francesca is hoping to make a positive difference in the healthcare landscape following graduation. Alongside her studies, she also works as an Adjunct Teaching Assistant for General Chemistry 1 Lab and previously served as a Research Assistant and Peer Leader for Biology 2. After being granted admission to the Health Services Administration program at the age of twenty, she is excited for what her future holds.

What keeps you motivated?

What keeps me motivated is knowing that I will be contributing towards the greater good. My program is study intensive, but I take great pride in my education as I have a passion for what I do. My days are typically very structured, and I adhere to a specific study routine so I am able to work my way through all my course material. I set small goals and try to prioritize my daily tasks. I always have my end goal in mind, and I do my best not to procrastinate. Balancing being a teaching assistant as well as a student has its challenges, but as a self-motivated person, I find a way to make it work.

 How do you motivate others?

I love providing educational support to others, and I have enjoyed my experiences as a university teaching assistant. If any of my students ever express self-doubt, I typically remind them of everything they have accomplished to date. University is difficult and can challenge individuals mentally and physically. As a result, it can be easy to get sidetracked by the bigger picture. I like to remind them that  it is also essential to celebrate small milestones and every step along the way.

Who has been a role model to you and why?

My father has always been a role model to me. He is dedicated to his craft and he is an extremely hard worker. He has always demonstrated a significant amount of willpower and he always fights for what he wants. I will do my best to follow in his footsteps.

What traits do you possess that makes a successful leader?

I consider myself to be a very independent person, but I also work well in a group. To be successful in the healthcare industry, you need to be passionate while also possessing the necessary problem-solving skills. I would also say that I am very people-oriented. I am an excellent communicator, and I enjoy interacting with others on a daily basis, which I think is essential to my field.

What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?

One piece of advice that I have never forgotten is that “You learn more from failure than you do from success.” There were many instances throughout my undergrad that I doubted my ability to succeed and obtain my degree. Not every day is going to be a good day, so I have established some coping techniques. When I feel overwhelmed, I like to take a step back from my work. I find that taking the time to do something else that I enjoy helps fuel my productivity later on. I take every negative experience as a learning opportunity, and I am always looking for ways to improve.

What is your biggest accomplishment? 

My most significant accomplishment to date was being granted admission to Florida International University. It has an outstanding reputation and is a global leader in research. I am so thankful for the opportunity to study and learn from some of the best professors. I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a double minor in Biology and Chemistry. I am also thankful that I get to study what I love. Life is short, so it is best to pursue what makes you happy.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to others? 

I would remind others that every day is a second chance. You could have a day where you feel like the entire world is against you and that nothing is going right, but tomorrow is always a new day and a fresh start. I try my best not to dwell on the past. I think that the best way to move forward is to set your sights on your goals and put all of your energy into achieving them.

What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?

I would say to always trust your gut. Instincts are so much more powerful than we know. Intuition is the act of trusting yourself and my experiences have led me to believe that it is always the best course of action.