David Gloria is the Assistant Director of Business Career Services (BCS) at The University of Chicago Office of Career Advancement. A recent honors graduate from DePaul University, David has held highly esteemed roles in his young career working at JPMorgan Chase, participating in a modeling stint with Chicago's Latino Fashion Week, and being employed at one of Chicago's premiere research institutions. David has learned how to create a narrative that will continue to make his community and family proud of him everyday (Photo credit: Elizabeth Monge).
By: David Gloria
As a business career counselor at the University of Chicago, I advise some of the world's best and brightest young people on getting recruited by top organizations across the country. Reviewing UChicago students' resumes briming with internships at Goldman Sachs, The United Nations, and The White House is a normal part of my job.
How can students who do not have straight A's, helicopter parents, or a "guide to success," navigate professional landscapes? As a first generation college graduate myself, I recall when I felt lost, confused, and at many points even completely unaware of the competitive world of writing resumes, networking, interviewing, and interning. For me, much of that credit goes to the fact I was (unknowingly) networking, identifying resources and reaching out to key individuals that helped me build leadership skills. I always asked questions that helped me open doors. This, blended with my personal mission of learning and helping college students, would lead to creating so many possibilities.
Many people see me as a confident role model, but I wasn't always this way. My younger self was an extremely timid, husky "four eyes" with an awkward haircut until high school. My Mexican immigrant parents provided a supportive home, but they could not provide the academic or professional knowledge I had to eventually seek out on my own. I was unprepared for the “real” world. I was just drifting by, thinking about my future with what little I knew. I later realized that I had to stop just thinking about my future, and had to change my mindset today to start taking action to prepare myself for tomorrow. Fast forward to the present, and I can now say that I have achieved some of the things that I did not know even existed back then.
I received my Bachelor's degree from DePaul University in 2013. I landed my first job in my hometwon of Joliet as a Managment Trainee at Toys "R" Us (not my ideal job). Since then, I have worked at JPMorgan Chase and the University of Chicago. I have served as a public speaker for hundreds of high school students, modeled business-wear for Chicago's Latino Fashion Week, and was selected as a Young Professional Ambassador for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs (rated the #1 think tank to watch worldwide). I have achieved this and so many other personal and professional goals, all while striving to be the best father possible for my young daughter.
College students often ask me, "How did you get your career started?" "How did you access so many amazing opportunities and get paid to purse the passions you love at top companies?" Where do you even start looking for opportunities without already having connections or a clear idea of what you want? Well you start one step at a time and plant seeds today to get the skills, connections, and experience you need to reach a greater personal vision.
Where do you even start looking for opportunities ... ? Well, you start one step at a time and plant seeds today to to get the skills, connections, and experience you need to reach
David often reflects on his life in amazement at how many people have impacted him and assisted him to get to where he is today, which he describes as "only the beginning." Jokingly, he says, he does not have any super powers and for a long time struggled with his own emotional and personal barriers (Photo credit: Elizabeth Monge).
Focus on making small wins day-to-day and keep the big picture in mind. Whether you are in high school, college, working, or currently looking for what to do next, do the best work you can. Meet as many people as possible in the career areas you might be interested in, and don't be afriad of reaching out to people. It is also important to intentionally set time aside to research professional development opportunities and tips. I made it a goal to stay abreast with all of the Latino community, non-profit and professional organizations in Chicago. This has aided me tremendously in my networking efforts.
Read Below How Yet An Opportunity Created Itself For Me:
You and only you have direct control to tailor each positive and negative life event to craft your own success story ..."
My message to you is that regardless of your string of life events, the predetermined cards that life has dealt you, or where you currently are now, none of this alone will determine your future or where you are going to go. You and only you have direct control to tailor each positive and negative life event to craft your own success story.
Do not let anything or anyone tell you that "you can't." Whatever your dream or goals are, start with knowing what you want, do some self-discovery, find an organization or individual that might be of interest or help you progress towards your goal. Have the courage to send out a few emails, phone calls, LinkedIn invites or attend networking events to move forward. Make these habits a part of your journey. If you make your mission about helping others, you will fnd there will never be a shortage of need for your skills and people who share your perspective.
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