Alonso Tang, The First One in His Family to Attend College in the United States

Alonso Tang, Class of '24
Alonso Tang will graduate with a double major in Accounting and Finance.

Note: Alonso Tang is part of a small group of high-achieving seniors to be highlighted in the 2024 Hatter Headliners series.

Alonso Tang

The journey to get to Stetson was a unique one for graduating senior Alonso Tang, who will receive his bachelor’s in Accounting and Finance during the May 11 commencement ceremony at the Spec Martin Memorial Stadium.

Born in Hialeah, a suburb of Miami, to Peruvian parents, Tang moved to Lima, Peru, during his early years and was raised there. However, knowing his professional path lay within the business world, he made the decision to become the first member of his family to attend college in the United States.

“Growing up, I had heard that the Finance program here was really good and competitive,” he said. “One thing I like about the School of Business is that it gives you the option to start doing some type of research and it presents opportunities to get some experiential learning requirements. That’s something that puts us in a better place when entering the workforce and something I deeply value about the School of Business.”

Alonso Tang and other School of Business Administration students at the senior awards banquet with the Roland George Investments Program.

Tang is involved in different organizations. He is a member of Delta Sigma Phi and Alpha Kappa Psi, a co-ed professional business fraternity, and the Roland George Investments Program. After graduation, he is set to begin the Stetson Master of Accountancy program in the summer of 2024. He intends to complete the program in a year and then focus on becoming a Certified Public Accountant prior to entering the workforce.

“Alonso is a delightful student. He’s smart, considerate and most of all, he genuinely cares about the people around him,” said David Mascio, PhD, professor of applied investments. “Every day when I would step into the classroom, Alonso always made a point to come up to me, shake my hand and ask how I was doing. I would like to say to him, ‘I am always a phone call away, and I know whatever you choose to do, you will make it a great experience for all who meet you.’”

Overcoming Hardships

Despite his success at Stetson, Tang had to overcome a few hardships during his first few semesters — and even prior to arriving to the United States.

“The biggest challenge was, when I graduated from high school in Peru, before COVID-19, I had to take a gap year because financial problems,” he said. “Then, the COVID-19 situation was really bad in Peru and it took us a while to get back to the normal level of living. Coming here, getting to know a different culture, it took me a couple of semesters to adapt. I felt really nervous at first but, because Stetson is such a small school, everyone gets to know each other at some point, which is something I deeply value.”

Tang is truly looking forward to Commencement on May 11, as his parents will fly all the way from Peru to be by his side to celebrate his achievement, which closes a chapter of his life and makes way for another one to begin.

“It took me a while to convince my parents about me coming here,” he said. “But now that I am about to graduate, they are realizing that there are a lot of opportunities for me here, so they are super proud of me.”

Tang’s Q&A

Alonso Tang in New York during one of the trips that he took through the Roland George Investments Program.

What were some of the most important things you learned while at Stetson?
Professionalism is one and also having a business mindset. I came here with no experience and no knowledge of the business world; I had no idea what that meant. Also, the Roland George Investments Program has taught me a lot of things I never thought I was going to learn, and I’m deeply grateful for the experiences I have had there. Be open minded, know your potential and be a professional when you can. Be nice toward people because you don’t know what they are going through. And, always have a positive attitude toward anything you may face in life.

What advice do you have for the incoming first-year students?
Get involved in campus, get to know people, get those friendships that will last a lifetime and also find any professional opportunities you can during your time here at Stetson.

– Andrea Mujica