Discover Your Island

Karina Gomez

Outstanding Islanders

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Aiming High: Dreams of Owning Her Own Business

Karina Gomez, a Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi College of Business undergraduate, is a first-generation college student who comes from a long line of migrant workers. During the summer before her eighth grade year, she worked in sugar beet and corn fields in Minnesota and North Dakota. While it was her first and last time to experience field work firsthand, it’s an experience she says she will never forget.

“I had no choice but to go. My whole family went,” Gomez said. “I am grateful for that time because it taught me that no matter what job I am doing, I will give it my all, and show ambition.”

Gomez was a top student at Edcouch-Elsa High School in the Rio Grande Valley, and during her time there, she not only earned a high school diploma, but also a cosmetology license.

“I am constantly asked by others, ‘Why move three hours away from your hometown to go to college, if you already have your license in cosmetology?’” said Gomez. “My response is that I can do more. I strongly believe in higher education.”

Gomez is the youngest of four siblings, and is the first to move out of her parent’s home to attend college.

Along with her academic load, Gomez works in the Marketing and Communications Department at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi as a student worker assistant; she is also a stylist at American Eagle.

“I frequently battle with a negative inner voice telling me that I’m wearing myself too thin, and remind myself that it will all be worth it later,” said Gomez. “Being away from my family is another struggle that I’ve had to overcome, but I have made great friends on campus.”

As Gomez starts her junior year at the Island University, she will be a member of i-Team, Student Foundation Association, and will hold a position as this year’s College of Business Development Class Agent. Gomez is expected to graduate in the spring of 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Management and a Minor in Public Relations.

“A beauty salon is one of the businesses I will own one day,” said Gomez. “I may not focus on beauty as a full-time career, but it will always be one of my passions. Later, I plan to start a corporation and invest in real estate, and do all of that while giving thanks to my family and humble upbringing.”