Sergio Romero lives and works two hours from Platteville in Delavan, Wisconsin, but he has managed to maintain a strong tie to the campus community as an alumnus and to the online community as a current student within the M.S. of Organizational Change Leadership program.
Romero originally came to UW-Platteville to pursue engineering, but then began to explore computer science. When he found himself reading lines of code late into the night, he changed his plans. Friends in the industrial tech program then persuaded him to combine his interest with a B.S. in Industrial Technology Management.
While he navigated his undergraduate years as a first generation student, Romero found support through the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA), which provides resources for underrepresented students. “I still attend their events every now and then. A lot of my success as an undergraduate can be attributed to OMSA. They kept me responsible and accountable. I probably wouldn’t be doing a masters if it wasn’t for them,” Romero said.
Romero’s support system and hard work paid off. Prior to graduating in 2016, Romero began an internship with a food manufacturing plant that led to his current position as a production supervisor. “I went from zero direct reports to having between 20 to 30 employees reporting to me at any shift. It can get a little hectic, but sometimes I have to stop in the moment and remember what I’m there to do,” Romero said.
With a new set of responsibilities, Romero began looking for the next step in his education. Though he began with the Integrated Supply Chain Management program, taking OCL 7330: Organizational Change Leadership: Theory and Practice piqued his interest in the behavioral and psychological side of management. With the help of his advisor, he switched to the MSOCL program.
Now, just as OMSA supported him, Romero is using his time as a graduate student to support others through his service on the Student Advisory Board. “It’s a very diverse group of people. I think a lot of what we do is try to figure out what would be helpful or meaningful to current students,” Romero said.
He also uses the position to share advice with his peers. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. At the end of the day, you have to get through your program and do your school work. Sit down, start clicking, and find your resources. Getting over that initial fear is the first step.”