Lindner’s Transfer Ambassadors detail their journeys to UC

National Transfer Student Week holds special meaning for Alejandro Diaz, Anna Walters

“I looked into Lindner and UC, and everything played out perfectly for me to come down here. And I’m loving it so far.”

Suffice to say, Alejandro Diaz, BBA, BS, ’22, an international student from Honduras, is at peace with his decision to transfer to the University of Cincinnati from Bluffton University in northwest Ohio last year. The same could be said for Anna Walters, BBA, ’23, who traded in the University of Southern California (USC) for UC.

“It’s really what you make of it — you can do as much or as little as you want,” Walters said of her UC experience thus far. “I think the school spirit is on another level than I’ve ever seen before; it’s so cool.”

Diaz and Walters are Lindner’s Transfer Ambassadors, a program run by UC’s Transfer and Transition Advising Center. With National Transfer Student Week serving as a fitting marker for their decisions to redirect their undergraduate studies to Clifton, Diaz and Walters reveal why they settled on UC — more specifically, the Carl H. Lindner College of Business — and why helping current and future transfer students is a priority for both.

The rationale behind a transfer

Diaz, who retained an appreciation for the Midwest despite his desire to transfer from Bluffton, was in search of a more urban university with a larger enrollment than Bluffton. Diaz sought to avoid the high cost of living of cities such as Boston, San Francisco or New York City, and also yearned for opportunities UC is uniquely suited to provide.

A man wears a blue shirt under a dark gray suit jacket.

Alejandro Diaz, BBA, BS, ’22, an international student from Honduras, transferred to UC from Bluffton University in northwest Ohio.

“Other reasons that factored into my decision were the co-op opportunities at UC, which is amazing and opens a lot of doors,” said Diaz, who is majoring in finance and information systems, and is also a Kautz-Uible Fellow. “I heard a lot of people (at UC) talking about internships and co-ops when I was at Bluffton, and I was like, ‘What is that? We don’t get that over here.’” 

Pursuing a degree in entrepreneurship, Walters described her first year at USC as such: “normal first semester, half of a normal second semester — and then COVID happened.”

Walters’ decision to transfer occurred when USC, holding classes virtually, didn’t address pricing for out-of-state students for what would have been her second year in Los Angeles. After narrowing her two final options down to UC and another Ohio institution, the former's co-op program was one of the deciding factors that brought Walters, a Walnut Hills native, back across the country and close to home. 

“When I first went (to USC), I thought, ‘This is one of those opportunities you have to take and you have to see what happens.’ It was super-challenging because of how far away it is. It lost value being that much more expensive when it went online,” Walters said. “I think the connections UC has to the really big corporations in Cincinnati are very strong. I liked the idea of being closer to home, especially after being more than 2,000 miles away. That was a big influence as well.”

Transferring into Lindner

2015 report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center found that more than a third of college students nationwide transfer at least once. Over the past two school years, Lindner has welcomed 223 transfer students, including 86 for the fall 2021 semester. To gain admittance into Lindner, transfer students must have at least a 2.5 GPA, and, depending on the number of credits the student has accumulated, completed Math 1044 (Applied Calculus I), Math 1046 (Business Calculus) and Math 1061 (Calculus I).

A woman wears a white and orange scarf over a black coat.

A Walnut Hills native, Anna Walters, BBA, ’23, transferred to UC from the University of Southern California.

Melissa Baer, Lindner’s director of undergraduate enrollment, cited two central reasons for students transferring into the college. One, the student decides on a business-related area of study that isn’t accessible or well-known at their current university. Two, a transfer is part of the student’s predetermined academic path, such as starting at a two-year university with the intention of transferring after those two years.

Diaz credited Jason Chambers, an associate director on UC's International Admissions staff, with making the transfer process (including credit transfer) seamless. Walters’ experience was similarly positive.

“UC has been great. Everything that was applicable to a Lindner degree transferred over. And even things that weren’t applicable to my degree, things in arts and sciences, they all transferred over,” Walters said. “I had really great advisers throughout the process and a lot of help with explaining what classes I still needed to take and what classes I’ve already taken. It was really awesome.”

Transfers helping transfers

According to the program’s website, Transfer Ambassadors are tasked with “fostering a positive and welcoming environment at the university for all students and guests — in particular, “those in transition” and serving as the “face” of UC through the perspective of a transfer student.

Walters’ choice to become a Transfer Ambassador traced back to how she felt after transferring to UC. Classes were all virtual at the time, and Walters only knew a few students (from high school) who were enrolled.

Two people hold up T-shirts.

Anna Walters and Alejandro Diaz at a Cookies and Community event for Lindner’s transfer students. Photo courtesy of Anna Walters.

“I started doing anything and everything that I could to get acclimated, even though it was virtual, to get out of my comfort zone. Eventually I came across the Transfer Ambassadors program, and I thought it was cool, (that) I would love to help other transfer students,” Walters said. “I also thought it would be cool to put on events for transfer students to meet each other.”

Transfer Ambassadors has held several get-togethers since students were welcomed back on campus, including holding an event on College Day and a T-shirt swap this week, during which transfer students traded in a T-shirt from their old school for a UC shirt. 

Diaz wanted to ensure the new arrivals were aware of the resources available to them at Lindner and throughout the university.

“I had a great experience transferring in, and I wanted to replicate that for all the students transferring in and give them tips on challenges I faced,” Diaz said. 

As for advice for students thinking about transferring to UC, Walters, who also is the program coordinator and an executive board member for UC Feminists, encouraged future Bearcats to put themselves out here.

“Keep yourself open to different experiences. Try to be the least judgmental you can be, the least closed-minded you can be, because things that you might think are weird can end up being the best things that you do,” she said. 

How to transfer into the Carl H. Lindner College of Business

Attention future business problem solvers: if you’re interested in switching universities and making Lindner part of your academic journey, contact the Transfer and Transition Advising Center.