Jocelyn Flores has her eyes set on earning a degree in management information systems, organizing the Miss Hispanic-Latina OSU 2019 Scholarship Pageant and helping high school girls become first-generation college students.
Flores is a junior MIS major in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. She grew up in Woodward, Okla., and set her eyes on OSU during her final years in high school. She planned on joining the fashion merchandising major but fell in love with the MIS field during her first year on campus.
“I fell in love with OSU the first moment I stepped on campus,” Flores said. “The transition was made so easy by my advisor that I fell in love with it. I fell in love with all my professors, all my classes and all the resources that we have to offer here.”
Management information systems is the intersection of business and technology. As an MIS student, Flores will learn how businesses use information to improve a company’s operations, learn how to manage various information systems, create systems for finding and storing data and learn about computer databases, networks and computer security.
“For me, it's the technology and being creative and trying new things,” Flores said. “That’s what I really love about MIS. It's really challenged me, and I have been able to be more exposed and to see new things on a different side of technology other than being on my cell phone.”
Flores is one of only a handful of women in the major.
“Being a female in the major was very intimidating at first because I would walk into the classroom and there were only about five girls and 30 guys,” she said. “It was shocking to me to see that there weren't very many females in this major, but I got used to it and got a lot more confident in myself.”
She showed her confidence off when she competed in and won the 2018 Miss Hispanic-Latina OSU Scholarship Pageant. In the competition, she was able to celebrate her Hispanic culture while promoting the platform of helping minority students achieve their dreams of attending college.
“I want to share the resources available to would-be first-generation students that feel like they can’t do it or don’t know where to start,” Flores said.
Being a first-generation student herself, Flores understands how difficult it can be to try and find the right school for them, from filling out her federal aid forms and making phone calls to finding different connections and resources. Once she came to campus for the first time, though, she knew she made the right choice.
“I have met so many resources and mentors who have helped me along the way,” she said. “I just want to be that resource to others.”
To support her platform, Flores partners with the Hispanic Society of Professional Engineers and attended one of the science nights at a middle school where she mentors students about the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
“We do little science experiments with them,” Flores said. “A lot of them come up to me and ask questions about STEM and there was actually one girl who said she wanted to go into the STEM field now when she wanted to be a writer. It was a really cool opportunity. It inspires me.”
Flores credits Spears Business with shaping her career and helping her influence other women into the STEM and business fields.
“If it wasn't for the faculty, the staff and the students here - it wouldn’t be the same,” she said. “It’s an amazing environment. Everyone is willing to help you. Everyone wants to see you succeed.”