Important qualities to develop as an international student at UB

Written by Sebastien Henry, MS in Accounting –

As an international student, I faced a lot of challenges during my first year at UB. These challenges were mostly because I came from a different environment, and  also because English is not my native language. As I am currently a graduate student in the School of Management and getting ready to graduate very soon, I can proudly say that facing these challenges has helped me grow. By doing so, I was able to develop personal qualities that will be useful in my future career as an accountant and philanthropist.  

The first important quality that I developed during my time at UB is being open to change and, in my opinion, this quality is very crucial to succeed in life. I was able to develop this quality by quickly adapting and adjusting to the changes that I encountered during my time at UB. To be more specific, I was able to do so by staying open-minded and also by not being afraid to fail or not know something. For example, when I came to UB, I had a heavy accent and it was difficult for other people to understand me, but I made the effort to continue interacting with other people and work on my communication skills.  

The second important quality that I developed during my time at UB is being courageous, and I was able to do so by not giving up and keep pushing forward. For example, during my undergraduate years at UB, I struggled to adjust to certain classes, and I could have simply dropped these classes for something easier.  I remained courageous and worked harder, and I was eventually able to understand the materials. I believe that this quality will be very important in my career later on, because I will face a lot of challenges and the only way to overcome those challenges is to be courageous.  

The third important quality that I was able to develop during my time at UB is creativity.  I was able to do so through participation in clubs, and I helped promote events that we were organizing. To promote the events I  learned how to make flyers that would catch people’s attention and I was able to learn about the different characteristics that attract the attention of others. Although I did not have a lot of experience promoting events, and I didn’t think that it was something that I could do, I was able to be creative and catch the attention of many students on campus.  

The fourth important personal quality that I was able to develop during my time at UB is my presentation skills, and I became more comfortable presenting in front of an audience.  I know that I will have to do presentations throughout my career and the progress that I have made will be useful to me.  

The fifth important personal quality that I was able to develop during my time at UB is my networking skills,  and I was able to do so by reaching out to more people that are outside of my close friend group.  I know that networking is very important and I will be able to use the professional and personal network that I have later on in my career.  

In conclusion, I have made a lot of personal development growth over my time at UB, and I know that I’ll benefit from this growth throughout my career. 


Sebastien was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He moved to Buffalo during the Summer of 2017 to pursue his college education. Sebastien earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University at Buffalo in May 2023. During his undergrad, Sebastien was involved in multiple clubs on campus, such as the Caribbean Student Association, the Accounting Association, and the School of Management and Minority Alliance (SOMMA). Throughout these clubs, Sebastien was able to expand his network, and build his leadership skills by also being on the E-Board of some of these clubs. In his free time, Sebastien likes to work out and hang out with his friends. Sebastien is very passionate about cars and he enjoys watching Formula 1 races during the weekends. Taking time to do these things have helped Sebastien be successful in his academic life. 

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