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UHV Student Hired By San Diego Padres

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A UHV international student is headed for Major League Baseball. Rohanna Pacheco has fond memories of watching baseball with her father when she was growing up in Venezuela, so getting the chance to work for a Major League Baseball club was a dream come true.

Rohanna Pacheco

“As soon as I saw the information, I knew I had to apply,” Pacheco said. “It was so exciting to go through the application and interview process. I never would have known it was a possibility if I hadn’t gone to speak with Career Services.”

Pacheco will receive her Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in computer information systems from the University of Houston-Victoria on May 12. At the end of the month, she will move to California and start the MLB Diversity Fellowship Program with the San Diego Padres.

Pacheco first learned about the fellowship when she visited the UHV Career Services office to talk about opportunities to work in the U.S. The fellowship was created to help young, diverse professionals gain access to front-office positions that involve influential decisions. To apply, she had to submit several items including a resume, letters of recommendation, an essay about baseball and more. She also went through multiple interviews, with the final interview held at the team’s spring training location in Peoria, Ariz.

After the interview process, Pacheco was told she was chosen for an administrative position that will allow her to use her computer information systems experience. She will be running sabermetrics programs to help the team’s scouts keep track of new talent and work with programs that handle information such as player contracts and collective bargaining information.

Amy Hatmaker

“It’s really exciting to know that Rohanna was chosen out of so many people in the nation,” said Amy Hatmaker, UHV Career Services manager. “It’s a real testament to her excellence and passion as well as a clear endorsement of the university’s computer information systems program.”

An added complication in Pacheco’s application was her status as an international student. In order to work full time in the U.S., her visa must be altered to a work visa, which is a long, complicated process, said Ludmi Herath, director of UHV International Programs. In addition to their application and hundreds of dollars in fees, students must provide an average of 20-60 pages of photocopies that provide a student’s entire immigration record history and wait 60 to 90 days for authorization.  

Ludmi Herath

Ludmi Herath

“Rohanna was extremely organized when filling out and preparing her paperwork and application,” Herath said. “She completed the process in a matter of 20 minutes, half the average time it takes students once they have all the documentation, and it takes six to nine months to get the documentation and the funds needed to pay for the work authorization. It is gratifying to know that she was able to navigate the complicated process and have this opportunity.”

As she prepares to move and start working for the Padres, Pacheco hopes to make a positive impression and pave the way for more UHV students to find work with the league.

“I feel like I’m leading the way for other international and minority students,” she said. “I hope this inspires them to go ahead and try for that big-shot job they might be scared of. You never know until you try.”

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