Get to know Lindner’s first confirmed student for 2024

Adrian Peña Gallego from Valencia, Spain, excited to start new chapter in Cincinnati

Every January, colleges send acceptance letters to admitted students, offering them a spot in that next year’s incoming class. This past January was no different at the University of Cincinnati. On January 18, Cincinnati Decision Day, the university notified all prospective first-year students of their application status.

Merely hours later, the university received its first confirmed student, someone with sights set on the Carl H. Lindner College of Business from across the Atlantic Ocean. We spoke with that student, Adrian Peña Gallego, to get to know him and why he chose to spend his college years at the Lindner College of Business.

Fast Facts

  • Full name: Adrian Peña Gallego
  • Age: 18
  • Hometown: Valencia, Spain
  • Name of high school: (While in Cincinnati) Oak Hills High School
  • Anticipated major at the Lindner College of Business: Economics

How did you first hear about the University of Cincinnati?

Teenager in light gray shirt smiles in front of the Statue of Liberty

Gallego came to the United States as an exchange student. He learned about UC from his host family and friends.

I was an exchange student in Cincinnati during my junior year of high school, attending Oak Hills High School. My host family talked to me about the great university that the city has. They had family friends who graduated from the Lindner College of Business who had great experiences to share. Through playing tennis at Oak Hills, I made friends who went to Sycamore, Mason and Anderson high schools who talked about UC. My high school provided a lot of college information and they mentioned UC’s programs. Overall, I was well informed about UC.  

Did you visit campus before applying? What did you like about it?

Yes, I did. I went to an FC Cincinnati soccer game at Nippert Stadium with my host family because I love soccer. I was the goalie on one of the Oak Hills soccer teams. I visited campus a few other times with friends. The general spirit of Cincinnati is exciting. I love the city, the people and the food. I love that UC is so close to downtown and offers so many activities. I find the architecture of the university and the new Lindner College of Business fascinating.

What were some of the reasons you applied to UC?

Friends from school and tennis tournaments were always talking about college because most of them were seniors, so I really got into the American spirit of selecting a college even before going back to Spain. When I decided to try and come back to the United States to study, I knew UC would be the perfect place for me.

The general spirit of Cincinnati is exciting. I love the city, the people and the food.

Adrian Peña Gallego First-confirmed student from UC's class of 2024

Were you considering other colleges/universities in the United States or Europe? What set UC apart?

I was considering other colleges, but as soon as I knew I was accepted to UC, the other schools did not matter anymore.

My feeling in high school was that Americans care about growing as a person at the same time you study. I didn’t want to just memorize a book. That is not how I want to grow as a professional or a person.

The majors offered in the United States are more specific, and I like the co-op program that UC offers. I don’t imagine I would be able to do that anywhere but UC, which made getting in a realistic goal for me.

Teenaged boy stands in a crowd facing a football field at night

Gallego attended Oak Hills High School during his time in Cincinnati, where he played tennis and soccer, as well as enjoyed other traditional American high school experiences, such as attending football games and dances.

What attracted you to the Lindner College of Business?

I learned about Carl H. Lindner from my host mother, Jackie. She talked to me about how important he was for the city of Cincinnati, how he helped to make United Dairy Farmers (UDF) what it is today and how he grew as a businessman and an entrepreneur. Those are values I respect. I was attracted to UC’s business school not just for the history, but for the programs offered, the new building and what it represents in current methods of education.

Talk about the day that you received your acceptance from UC — how you felt, how you celebrated the news with family, etc.

I was really happy because that meant I was going to be able to make my dream come true and go back to the United States. My family here in Spain was so happy for me and excited for my new chapter. My Cincinnati host family and friends were so happy to hear that I was coming back.

What are your hobbies and interests?

I compose and produce music for artists in Europe and the United States. I am also very passionate about tennis and have recently become passionate about politics, economics and law, spending lots of time researching what I can about these topics.

I was attracted to UC’s business school not just for the history, but for the programs offered, the new building and what it represents in current methods of education.

Adrian Peña Gallego First-confirmed student from UC's class of 2024

Do you think you’ll get involved within any clubs on campus?

I am always open to trying new things. I love music and the arts, so it wouldn’t just be business and economics clubs, but possibly ones relating to music, events or Spanish- and French-related activities. French is my third language.

Feel free to share any stories about the first time you visited campus, or general thoughts you have as you finish school in Spain and prepare to come to UC in the fall.

I just want to say thank you. I am so grateful to UC for offering me the chance to be a student at such an amazing university with crazy opportunities. Not only do I get to pursue my education at UC, which by itself is already awesome, but I get to return to the United States and contribute to the Cincinnati community.

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