Alumni Spotlight: Javier Garcia, MBA '06
MBA Graduate Ascends In The FinTech Industry
Commitment, persistence and dedication are just a few of the virtues leading Javier Garcia to success in the financial technology industry - an industry with tremendous growth in the past decades led by new technology and innovation.
Garcia, a 2006 graduate, is currently working for the biggest multinational financial services corporation in the world, Visa, where he was recently promoted to vice president of third party tech management.
Javier shared with us how his MBA education and experience at the University of the Incarnate Word prepared him for professional challenges he would later encounter in his career.
How did your education at UIW prepare you for what you’re doing today?
“There are courses I took where I was able to apply concepts immediately, and others that I wasn’t able to pull from until a job transition into a new role—of course, this is from a skillset perspective. Fast forward a few years to my current role, I reference from each of the courses during the program in creative ways to solve business challenges and to lead my team through the problem solving process. Although, I would say the diversity of thought and my peer group throughout my MBA program are what I leverage most—the ability to have candid conversations with colleagues in all levels of an organization from a diverse perspective and understanding how people approach problems differently is by far my most utilized experience from UIW.”
What is the most important thing you learned while you were at UIW?
“Throughout the program, there were course objectives I utilized in my job; however, I was able to expand my coursework from the entire program into practical application during the capstone course to provide a solution to a stakeholder. I was also able to more confidently take on real world problems that have few parameters and pull from my “UIW toolkit” to truly create something that would benefit those seeking a solution. Ultimately, the coursework helped me expand my horizons and helped me realize that I was interested in the managerial economics/business strategy space.”
Who influenced you most during your time at UIW?
“Dr. David Vequist had the greatest influence—his passion for his craft was and still is contagious. Through his guidance and mentorship, I learned how to approach problems from an end-to-end view and look for solutions with long-term impact. In my opinion, he is simply phenomenal at helping students mature their thought process and set high standards for themselves. He brings out the best out of people.”
What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?
Business, specifically in the FinTech space, is truly global—it requires you to be agile and deal with ambiguity. Don’t be afraid to take on risks, new challenges and make mistakes. Surround yourself with high performing individuals and leaders that you can learn from. Give yourself the “right to wake up smarter everyday” and approach work with great humility.
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