When asked to describe himself, 24-year old Tristan Ramirez believes that his family would say, “He’s a planner, always thinking about the future.” Indeed, Tristan, who transferred from Johnston Community College (JCC) in the fall of 2021, has been planning for his future at NC State with an open mind and positive outlook. While many transfer students are anxious and intimidated by the shift, Tristan was fearless facing the “transfer limbo,” the last community college break before commencing at NC State.
Excited to begin this new chapter in his life, Tristan is well acquainted with change as someone who moved numerous times in his younger years. Those who have grown up with familial military ties can resonate with Tristan’s childhood sentiments. “I definitely didn’t have a typical childhood. My mentality as a kid [was] things are really just temporary; I didn’t really go out and make friends. It built me up a thick skin and a tougher mentality, but I wouldn’t be who I am today, if not for those tough times,” says Tristan.
Tristan is immensely shaped by a long lineage of public servants dating back to his great grandfather, who served in both WWI and WWII. His father is a 26-year U.S. Navy veteran and his mother served four years in the army. The exemplary values of consistency, sacrifice, hard work, and dedication helped lead into his passion for financial services. He plans to use that interest to help others plan for the future. “My mom always took care of us, definitely my big hero with taking care of three kids and working full-time. She wasn’t able to focus on herself. She never thought of her retirement.” Tristan recalls that as a child he understood the significance of financial freedom, saying, “It wasn’t just about having money, but using it as a tool to use down the road.”
Therefore, Tristan’s long-term goal is to own a wealth management firm. Having worked at an independent financial advisory firm, primarily gaining experience with clients that were either new entrepreneurs or retiring, Tristan learned that many people don’t plan for the future. Now, he wants to help people make crucial financial decisions. He is starting this journey with a major in Interpersonal Communication, knowing that communication with his clients will help shape his ability to guide their decisions. This work experience also demonstrated the importance of furthering his education. “I decided that a college education was going to be the minimum requirement needed for me to have the business I dream of having largely due to the type of clients that I will be serving.”
He stumbled on C3 as a freshman at JCC when an accounting classmate who is in the program explained how well C3 is working for her. Tristan, having grown up in California, said the program’s guaranteed admission and ongoing academic support was unheard of to him. “Trying to make it [in California] as a college student becomes an impossible mission,” he says.
Tristan, like many C3 students, was working and attending school full-time. Though he says it was definitely challenging to do both for a while, his father taught him: consistency, application, and endeavor. Tristan adapted his father’s teachings into his academic mantra: “If you apply yourself, you’re going to be taken care of.” And having followed that mantra, Tristan’s successful admission into the C3 program gives him peace of mind about his future at NC State.