Ana Barahona has gone from childhood in Honduras to college in Michigan to accounting in Texas. Her education at Calvin played a formative role in the businesswoman she is today.
What is your current job?
I work as a senior auditor with Ernst & Young (EY), a public accounting firm. I audit financial statements and advise clients in the energy sector.
How did you get your job?
My academic advisor at Calvin, Marilyn Stansbury, gave me good advice throughout my time at Calvin. She encouraged me to apply for a job here at EY in Houston.
My internships, particularly one I did at EY, were also extremely helpful. That experience gave me insight into the firm’s culture and helped me learn whether my values aligned with those of the firm.
What were the most valuable skills you learned at Calvin?
Critical thinking, writing skills, and a solid work ethic. My Calvin classes taught me to study hard, which is something I’ve carried to my work life. I don’t necessarily “study” anymore, but I do have to do some research in my job. I also write on a daily basis, so I'm grateful for the writing and communication skills I gained at Calvin. They're something that transfers well to everything I do. I developed a thirst to satisfy my curiosity at Calvin, and that also helps me accomplish my everyday tasks.
How did you grow as a person while you were at Calvin?
During my time at Calvin, I was welcomed in by families who helped me work through my culture shock as an international student. I will most likely always be a minority of some sort, whether a Christian, a woman, or a person who looks different from the rest of the people at the table. I hope to not only be aware of the reality that minorities face but also have the courage to take steps to change it.
In terms of faith, I think I am more comfortable with doubts and questions now. I’m still learning to deal with the lack of black-and-white in the world, how to handle myself in the vastness of the gray. I’ve come to realize that faith in Jesus Christ is not always easy to navigate, and that is okay. Although it’s a work in process, I am much more at ease with not having a black or white answer. I have learned to be vulnerable and give voice to my questions—even the uncomfortable ones.