TAMPA – English was always one of Lorena Froze’s passions, as well as her favorite subject at school. At 9 years old, the USF Muma College of Business business analytics and information systems major created a blog where she translated American TV shows into her mother tongue, Portuguese. Consequently, she became fluent in English in just two years.
After Froze’s mom lost her job, she decided to take a leap of faith and move to the U.S. looking for better opportunities. Froze was a sophomore in high school when the family moved from Brazil to the U.S.
When the mother and daughter arrived, they did not know anyone, all they had was themselves.
Froze had self-studied English and spoke it pretty well. However, being the only one who spoke English in her household, she had to translate bills and leases, which was much harder than just translating TV shows. She also went through financial hardships.
“My mom also worked a lot of cleaning houses, and I even helped her after school so that we could afford our bills,” she said.
During her senior year, she realized that she was not the only student worried about college and how they were going to pay for it. She noticed that a lot of their uncertainties were rooted in poor financial literacy since it wasn't taught at school or at home. Therefore, she created a data literacy club and helped several students enter college and gain thousands of dollars in scholarships when they were thinking a college education wasn’t attainable.
Receiving merit scholarships herself, Froze came to the University of South Florida to pursue her passion for data. After her internship at Goldman Sachs last summer, which she was an internal audit intern, she realized that her favorite projects involved data and programming.
She also made several mentors along the way that helped her shape her career path and sparked another passion: providing people with the opportunity of mentorship. She has been part of the Corporate Mentor Program at USF for the last two years and is also the mentorship specialist at BRASA Connect, a Brazilian student conference hosted each year at USF.
“I know the importance of having someone guiding you, especially when you're not sure what career path you want to follow, and if you are having someone to help you get it is crucial,” she said.
She is excited to be interning at JP Morgan this summer. After graduation, she wants to work in data analysis or business intelligence and continue to improve her programming skills. She says that her hobby is learning technical languages such as SQL and Python.
As for her future plans, one day she wants to create a nonprofit that focuses on financial literacy for high school students.
“I help those students get scholarships and know that going to university is a possibility,” she said.