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Student Pathway 2

Associate's Degree to Year Up Workforce Preparation to Workforce

AA, Year Up Workforce Preparation, Workforce

Portrait of Joshua Adams

Karen Romero (AA ’21) always knew she wanted to go into business. Her parents were business owners, and she saw business families coming to her house while growing up.

Being an undocumented student, however, she wasn’t sure how she would get there.

“It can limit your capacity for working,” she says. “I was looking for a different pathway to become a business owner.”

When she heard about Arrupe College in high school, she never had a doubt about where she’d go. 

“Arrupe was always my top choice,” she says, citing its sense of diversity as her main reason for attending.



Once on campus, Romero got very involved—even founding the Arrupe Sports Club.

“The main purpose was to build connections and have a sense of community,” she says. “We’d use the different gyms—learning basketball, volleyball and soccer—and sometimes we’d scrimmage.”

She was also an orientation leader, business administration senator, secretary for the Running Club, and a member of Arrupe’s Business Society.

One of the biggest highlights while on campus was getting to know Arrupe’s director of employer relations and recruiting who ultimately encouraged her to apply for Year Up,
a job training program that closes the opportunity divide.

“Arrupe helps you become your best self.”


Once in the Year Up program, Romero opted to go into banking operations because she wanted to learn about finance and loans for real estate. Shortly after graduation, she started her internship at JP Morgan Chase, where she developed her skills—from training to business planning to teamwork.

After interning, she was offered a full-time job. For a year and a half, she’s served in the role of Client Services Analyst. She responds to client inquiries both by phone and
email. She’s also on the Committee for Communications and New Members for the Association of Latino Professionals in America (ALPHA).



Down the line, Romero would like to be a full-time real estate agent or broker, citing her college experience as the reason she’s moving forward.

“Arrupe gave me the confidence that I could become a broker.” Currently living with her family while she works, she’s been able to save money and plans to buy a multiunit
investment property soon—her first real estate purchase.

To other DACA students out there, she encourages them.

“DACA should not stop you from achieving your career goals. I’m a living example that colleges can actually pay for studying instead of you paying them.”

“Go ahead and apply right now,” she advises. “Arrupe helps you become your best self.”