When Juan Pablo Flores first moved to the United States in 2018 to begin classes at UTSA, he took a side trip to Austin. Falling in love with the city, he dreamed that one day he’d be able to live there. Now, just three years later his dreams have come true. After graduating with his B.B.A. in management from the Carlos Alvarez College of Business, he’ll move to Austin to begin his career at Dell as part of their financial development program.
“Management is a broad degree,” said Flores. “Since I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I thought it would be the best major and better prepare me for a variety of opportunities.”
As a transfer student from Tecnológico de Monterrey, little things like learning how to use an iClicker or knowing what a scantron sheet was were all new to him. And, he found it challenging when he had to take his accounting classes in English for the first time after learning accounting in Spanish.
“I wanted to challenge myself and learn to be independent away from my family,” said Flores. “I felt UTSA would be a great opportunity for me, and it was.”
With only one semester on campus before the pandemic hit, Flores was hoping to get the traditional American college experience, but that didn’t happen. Flores returned to Monterrey to be with his family while taking classes online and working.
“While I wasn’t on campus I took the time to start investing in stocks and crypto currencies. I also read a book each month and appreciated the time I could spend with my family, since I knew I’d be leaving once I began a full-time job.”
Realizing that an internship would be crucial to his success, he leveraged UTSA resources like Handshake and Vmock to look for internship opportunities and polish up his resume. His hard work paid off, and he received a finance internship with Dell this summer. Earning academic credit for the experience, he was advised by faculty member Bruce Stanfill.
“I consider Professor Stanfill to be my mentor,” said Flores, who also worked as a student assistant with the college’s Undergraduate Studies office. “I really enjoyed his International Management course, and he was able to relate to my experiences because his wife was from Mexico.”
Flores returned to the U.S. this May to begin his internship with Dell. Although the internship was virtual he found it rewarding. Working in Global Business Operations, he reviewed distributor transactions and gave a final presentation on the value of that sales channel.
“My business communication and networking skills improved as well as my expertise in Excel,” said Flores. “When I began the internship I had 20 connections in LinkedIn, and now I have over 200.
Leveraging this new network, he set up one-on-one meetings with various Dell employees to learn more about the company and his new role. This initiative resulted in his full-time offer. “I fell in love with Dell’s culture,” he said. “They didn’t expect me to have all the answers, and everyone was always willing to provide help.”
As part of Dell’s financial development program, he’ll rotate through four different positions with the company over the next two years. They’ll also provide him with professional development training and networking experiences with senior executives.
“It was a great opportunity for me,” he said. “I had another job offer, and I struggled for a few days weighing my decision, but I made the right choice.”
Returning to campus this fall, he relished the chance to make the most of his time on campus. One of his favorite activities was attending UTSA football games.
The first in his family to receive a degree from the United States, he has several family members and friends visiting from Mexico to watch him graduate this month.
“I’m enjoying my last few days on campus,” said Flores, who hopes to travel with friends to Europe after graduation. “UTSA gave me the tools to be successful—from giving me my first job, to helping improve my English and providing me with the business fundamentals. I made it. I accomplished my goal. This is a great university.”