n the fall of 2017, Carlos, Miguel, and Pedro Bernotti set out on a journey that took them from Caracas, Venezuela to Lakeland, Florida. His purpose was to continue his studies at Florida Southern College and be part of their swim team. They are part of the growing wave of Hispanic students attending Florida universities. We recently sat down with them and their parents, Pedro Bernotti and Carolina Blanco de Bernotti, to congratulate them on their graduation and learn more about their experiences.
1. Who are the Bernotti brothers? We were born and lived in Caracas until we were 18 years old with our parents, who are also Venezuelans. We are a close-knit family and we used to get together at least once a week to eat, go to Mass, and catch up on events in our lives. Here in Florida, we are aware of each other, even though we have our individual lives. 2. When did you decide to go swimming? We started swimming at a young age in a club where our father had a membership, he instilled the sport in us. As children we did not love it. Over time, We got better at swimming and we started to like it more and more. Then we decided to leave the club and start swimming for the school team. We won the intercollegiate competition for three consecutive years.
After a few years, we wanted to advance to the next level of swimming, that is to federate and represent our country. On that occasion, our team won the national championship, where the three of us won several medals. Upon graduation, we decided to study in the United States. We searched for information on various colleges, and finally settled on Florida Southern College. It was a good decision to come to Lakeland. We have made great achievements. Carlos represented us one year in the nationals, Miguel obtained the university record in the 200 butterfly style and attended the national championships for four consecutive years. The two have earned the honorary title of "All American Athlete", which is awarded to the best college athletes for their sporting excellence..
3. What did they study and why did they choose Florida Southern College? Pedro: The three of us chose Business Administration, with different specialties. I chose Accounting. Miguel and Carlos chose Economy and Finance. We first learned about Florida Southern College from a colleague who was studying here at the time. We learned that it had the best Business credential and that the swim team was well positioned in Division 2. We also liked the fact that, being a private university, the classes were smaller and that allowed us to have better relationships with the teachers. We knew it was a very familiar environment. 4. It is heard that twins or triplets have a lot in common in terms of preferences, way of being, and so on. Does the passion for swimming have to do with this? Pedro: Apart from swimming, we don't have much in common, even in this sport each one has specialized in a different style. For example, Miguel specializes in the butterfly style, Carlos in front crawl, and I in breaststroke.
5. What are their interests and what do they like to do? Pedro: I like to jog, read and keep in good physical condition. I also love traveling, seeing new places and new people. Carlos: I like to go to the gym to lift weights, go out to eat at restaurants and watch YouTube. I am always aware of the Stock Market and what happens in the world of economics. Miguel: Right now one of my main interests is to continue dedicating myself to swimming, training for the 2024 Olympics. I also like listening to music, reading, playing video games, investing and researching companies.
6. Have you ever been confused or pretended to be each other? According to our parents, as babies it was easy to get confused, but as teenagers we are not so alike. It was difficult to impersonate each other at school because most of the teachers and friends distinguished us; however, from time to time it worked for little things.
7. What plans do you have for the future? Pedro: Now that I finished my degree in Accounting, I want to continue expanding my knowledge in this area by doing a Master's degree at Florida Southern College. Also, I would like to enter the Aviation School and get my private pilot license. Regarding swimming, for the moment I decided to leave the competition to focus on doing Triathlon. This sport has always attracted my attention and having swimming in it is an advantage for me. Carlos: I finished my degree in Economics and Finance and I would like to obtain a CFA (Certified Financial Analyst) license up to level 3 and in the future do a Master in Finance. I decided to stop swimming to focus on work because I want to know the labor market in the United States working in a financial institution. Miguel: My future plans include finishing my Master of Business Administration at Florida Southern College, taking the CFA exams to get certified. As for swimming, I will continue to train towards the 2024 Olympics.
8. What has been the best experience during your career in the United States and what advice would you give to other international students? There is no doubt that the best experience has been the friendships we have made here that will last a lifetime. Regarding advice, we believe that it is easy to make friends with other Hispanic students, as we have a lot in common, but it is important to also get involved in the language and culture of the United States. Making friends with Americans and getting involved in their activities enhances the overall experience of studying in this great country. The Bernotti brothers say that some of the advantages of being triplets are always having company so it is difficult to get bored, the ease of integrating into new places, since people are attracted to them and want to know more about them, and generally in a group they represent the majority when making plans and making decisions. As for the disadvantages, there are the cost of maintenance for the parents, the fact that they sometimes confuse them with each other and that normally for other people, it is not possible to invite three people at the same time. Their parents, both entrepreneurs, tell us that the decision to send them to study abroad was not easy, emotionally or financially, but they are extremely proud of their children's achievements and know that it has been worth it. Their goal has always been to make them good men and they have achieved it. LONG LIVE THE BERNOTTI BROTHERS!