Catherine Sumarlin“I just moved here from Texas, where I got a lot of ‘Oh, look. Here’s that Asian girl.’ But it’s not at all like that at SMC.”

You travel huge distances. You leave behind your family, your friends, your culture, and your language. And why make these sacrifices? For Catherine Sumarlin of Indonesia, the answer was a simple one. “My parents really wanted me to study in America, because there are so many great universities here. And every month, they send me money so that I can concentrate on being the best student I can be. My dad just wants me to do what I love.” And Catherine reports doing what she loves nearly every day at SMC.

“It’s such a great environment here, and I have so many different kinds of experiences and adventures. And I feel a great sense of happiness and comfort inside me, because no one treats me like I’m ‘foreign.’ They just treat me like I’m another equal person.” Catherine has decided that the study of money will get her into a career where her explorations will never end. “Lately, I’ve become aware of how money affects the whole world. It’s really like its own world that everything else on Earth revolves around. And I want to learn everything about the language of that world.”

Catherine plans to “go to law school and then get my Master’s in Accounting. It’s my goal to start and run my own company. And I’ve become a lot more confident at SMC about my ability to do this,” she adds. “Confidence will come in very handy when I, hopefully, make my transfer to the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.