FIU School of Music Student Recognized as a Worlds Ahead Graduate


This fall, Karla Gutierrez earned both a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Technology and recognition as a “Worlds Ahead Graduate” at Florida International University.

Her compelling story begins in Costa Rica where she was reared by a single mother after the death of her father while she was still a child. Like many young musicians, she didn’t initially consider music as a profession but instead followed a career in international business in Switzerland. Upon learning of her mother’s cancer, she returned to Costa Rica to be with her through the final stages of her ordeal. Realizing that Karla had been fulfilling her mother’s dream instead of her own, Karla’s mother’s dying wish was that Karla follow her own dream to become a musician. After her mother’s death, Karla found FIU’s welcoming environment the perfect place to recover and renew.

Her commitment to her peers and to her profession has been extensive and includes volunteering at a National Conference, founding a student chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), and volunteering to sing at numerous venues both on and off campus. Last spring, Karla was one of six FIU singers selected to sing for the Billboard Latin Music Awards.

But Karla gives back in other ways. She regularly serves as a peer mentor for international students and has visited several Charter schools in Miami-Dade County. She was president of several student organizations and was recognized by the CSO for her outstanding leadership. She has interned both for the III Points Festival in Wynwood and the Florida Grand Opera, all all while maintaining a 3.9 grade point average.

After graduation, Karla will travel to Switzerland to work in music production and continue her studies in computer music.

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