Vital’s journey showcases the vibrant community of UAB

UAB junior Natalie Vital, who is a finance and economics double-major, shares her journey, highlighting her decision to attend UAB and the vibrant Hispanic community she has found on campus.
@uab_blazers Happy #HispanicHeritageMonth UAB! ? Meet Natalie Vital, a junior at UAB and an active participant in student organizations like Trailblazers and SALSA. This month, we are excited to recognize and celebrate the Hispanic community and students at UAB. Get involved and learn more about the cultural traditions celebrated this month with SALSA, and be on the lookout for the upcoming #DiaDeLosMuertos event! #GoBlazers #BlazerCommunity #UABstudents ♬ original sound - UAB Blazers

Natalie Vital is one busy University of Alabama at Birmingham student.

In addition to being a junior in the Collat School of Business, she serves as a UAB Trailblazer, works part time on campus and is a part of several student organizations, including the Spanish and Latino Student Association, or SALSA.

Her narrative sheds light on her personal academic journey and highlights the vibrant Hispanic community that has become an integral part of her life at UAB.

Vital’s decision to pursue her education at UAB was a thoughtful combination of practical and personal factors. The strategic location of the university, nestled conveniently between her hometown of Albertville, Alabama, and her aspiration for an independent collegiate experience, made UAB a perfect choice. Although she initially intended to pursue a pre-dental track, her involvement in business-related activities during her freshman year ignited a change of heart.

A pivotal moment in her academic journey was her visit to UAB’s campus during her sophomore year of high school. Engaging with the Future Business Leaders of America and exploring the campus through a guided tour left a lasting impression on her. The innovative atmosphere and the allure of the Hagwood Finance Lab solidified her decision to continue her education at UAB.

“What made me want to come to UAB was that sense of diversity and the sense of community,” Vital said. “What keeps me here is being able to make so many opportunities for myself.”

Yet what truly distinguishes UAB for Vital, who is also on a pre-law track plan of study, is the strong sense of community, particularly within the Collat School of Business. She appreciates the university’s steadfast commitment to student success, emphasizing dedicated resources like the Collat Career Center and tailored career fairs that cater to individual student needs. This nurturing environment has allowed Vital to form meaningful connections, and she cherishes the friendships with individuals boasting diverse interests, enriching her overall college experience.

Vital’s involvement with SALSA holds special significance. As an active member, she stands by the organization’s mission to educate and raise awareness about issues impacting the Hispanic community, all while fostering a delightful cultural exchange.

“I really appreciate SALSA’s inclusive nature, welcoming students from various backgrounds who are united by their collective interest in learning and celebrating Latino culture,” she said. “SALSA helps me feel that I have a community here on campus.”

natalie vital insideVital’s decision to pursue her education at UAB was a thoughtful combination of practical and personal factors. 
Photo by Andrea Mabry
Embarking on her journey at UAB was not just a personal achievement, but a significant milestone for her family. Vital says her parents came to the United States from Mexico and did not attend college, and she recognizes and appreciates her parents’ sacrifices and unwavering support, propelling her determination to succeed.

She pays this support forward by being a resource to prospective Latino students, providing guidance and reassurance and addressing common concerns regarding scholarships and the transition to college life.

The transition from her close-knit hometown to UAB’s multicultural campus was an eye-opener for Vital. It allowed her to embrace and appreciate different cultures, fostering connections with friends from various backgrounds, including one of her friends who is originally from Africa. This exposure to different perspectives has been a profoundly enriching aspect of her college experience, expanding her horizons and contributing to her personal growth.

Become a Blazer! Learn more about business degrees at UAB here.

Vital has embarked on another important mission: establishing the Business Student Organization for Latinos.

Though in its early stages, this initiative aims to provide a sense of belonging and support for students like her. Vital envisions a flourishing organization that empowers future Latino professionals at UAB, epitomizing her dedication to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment.