Business graduate develops leadership skills and finds mentorship at TWU
April 19, 2021 - DENTON - Texas Womans’s College of Business May 2021 graduate Jokabeth Castañeda believes that the key to leadership is connecting with others. That’s exactly what she has done with the leadership opportunities the university provided, giving her the insight and skills needed to start her career.
Castañeda was born in Laredo, Texas, but raised in both Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. When visiting TWU for the first time during a tour, the aesthetics and the welcoming feel of the campus motivated her to enroll, plus she had the all-important approval of her family.
“My parents loved the campus and how supportive it is for its students,” she said. “I felt like it was going to be a good investment to attend TWU.”
As a freshman, Castañeda thought her interests perfectly matched dental hygiene. However, in her sophomore year, she realized that her interests for the future were no longer aligning with her major. She began researching the programs available at TWU and fell in love with the degree plan the human resource management program offered.
“Every single class seemed to be interesting and nourishing; they all were!” she said. “In addition, studying human resources helped me explore more career options, which has been extremely beneficial to my personal development.”
Castañeda also became involved in many leadership opportunities offered by the university, including the President’s Leadership Council and the Center for Student Leadership. She also served as an orientation team leader and Spanish translator, academic support assistant, student manager for Lowry Woods with Housing and Residence Life, G-Force team leader, member of Alpha Phi Omega and member on the Student Services Fee Advisory Committee, and she was a two-time Redbud Award recipient—Emerging Leader of the Year in 2018 and Campus Leader with a Heart in 2019.
For her, getting involved was a great way to meet new people and broaden her perspectives.
“Coming to the north of Texas for the first time was a shock because back home everyone looked like me, as 96% of the population identifies as Latinx/Hispanic,” she said. “This new environment was diverse, but it was also inviting and welcoming. I decided to become more involved with the campus to meet people from diverse backgrounds, with different perspectives and opinions. This helped me attain new ideas and become educated in areas I was not familiar with.”
In addition, Castañeda enjoyed the opportunities to make others feel welcome as she had been.
“All of my leadership positions have given me the outlet to help other students as well upcoming students, and I am really grateful for that,” she said. “I met wonderful people, and it brings me so much joy to see them continuously grow and achieve their goals. I had a marvelous time being involved on campus, and it granted me life-changing experiences.”
Being involved in so many activities also gave Castañeda the opportunity to be mentored by outstanding faculty and staff.
“Dr. Stephanie Krauth has been a mentor and source of support and encouragement throughout my college career, and Dr. Monica Mendez-Grant guided me and helped me find a stronger voice as a student leader,” she said. “The list of staff and faculty members that have provided me encouragement and support and that have cared for me is extremely long. I will never stop thanking them all—they all have been great.”
During her time at TWU, Castañeda also met the love of her life.
“We met the summer of my sophomore year and have been inseparable ever since,” she said. “She graduated a year ago and remains involved with the TWU community. This relationship continues to help me grow and learn. She has been a great source of motivation and enlightenment to me and to anyone that meets her.”
Castañeda plans to work in a managerial position with a company that shares her values and gives her the chance to give back to her community. Thanks to TWU, she feels ready to begin her career.
“TWU has prepared me for my career in several ways,” she said. “I gained a lot of insight on what path I want to take, and it gave me the tools and skills that I needed as well as the opportunities to hone them.”
Director of Communications, Jane Nelson Institute for Women's Leadership
Page last updated 2:58 PM, November 16, 2021