"Some of the faculty here have become so much more than professors to me, but mentors - people that I can go to for advice beyond the classroom. Many of us, myself included, come to Lubin as 'diamonds in the rough,' but we all leave as jewels with our own shine, crafted by our hard work and the guidance of our professors."
– Jordan Gonsalves, Class of 2017

Jordan Gonsalves '17 from Houston, Texas is a business management major on the NYC campus. Jordan is graduating in May and will be this year's commencement speaker in New York City, at Madison Square Garden on May 23. Jordan talks about his great experiences while at Pace, his new job at Adobe, gives us a sneak peek into what his commencement speech will be about, and some sage advice for incoming freshman. 
 
You've been very active during your time here at Pace, tell us about how important that's been for you: 
Being active on campus has been one of the most enriching aspects of college for me. I am a resident assistant in the 55 John Street Residence Hall and I serve as vice-president of the Budget Allocation Council in Student Government. I am an active member of Beta Gamma Sigma (honors society for top 10% of Lubin Juniors & Seniors), and I will be graduating with magna cum laude Latin Honors at graduation.
 
Have you had any internships? If so, has your internship experience helped prepare you for your future?
My internships have been a critical part of my professional and personal growth. I interned with Google last summer in San Francisco, and I'm currently interning with an incredible tech company here in NYC called Sprinklr. Before these two internships, I interned with a hedge fund in my hometown of Houston, TX. My internships served as a huge opportunity to learn about myself. I became aware of my strengths and my weaknesses. I learned what I like, but more importantly what I don't like. I learned about my work ethic and my work/life balance and what it means to constantly challenge myself. Apart from the professional development, however, my favorite part was always the people. Connecting with people on a personal level is a passion of mine, so I will always treasure the friendships and connections I made through my internship experiences.
 
What are your plans for post-graduation life? 
I just accepted a job offer at Adobe in San Francisco! I'm thrilled to be starting this new chapter of my life and very grateful for the opportunity. As for the next few years, I'm focused on working really hard in order to get the most out of my career and learning as much I can about what my passions are and who I am. I just wrote a letter to my 30-year-old self, so I'm curious to see how 30 year old Jordan will look back at these next few years too! :p
 
Give us a sneak peak into what your commencement speech will be about:
I was moved and inspired after reading Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter From a Birmingham Jail. He critiques those who have privilege who choose to live passively in the face of injustice. In my speech, I build on this and actualize it by taking the audience on a journey through the socio-political events that the members of my class and I have navigated throughout our lives. My speech will celebrate this momentous occasion and all those who helped us achieve this milestone, while also exploring the question, "What now?". The goal of my speech is to leave my fellow graduates with a message that is both personal and poignant, a message that will stay with them as they voyage through their careers and lives. 

 
What has been your favorite memory or experience here at Pace/Lubin?
My favorite memories are with the faculty. The countless moments of distress that I've spent in office hours, trying so, so hard to understand discounted cash flows and accrual accounting an hour before the exam. Some of the faculty here have become so much more than professors to me, but mentors - people that I can go to for advice beyond the classroom. Many of us, myself included, come to Lubin as "diamonds in the rough," but we all leave as jewels with our own shine, crafted by our hard work and the guidance of our professors. I'm in such a debt of gratitude to this school for always believing in me and always pushing me to constantly improve.

 
Any advice for incoming freshman?
College is the time to start discovering and building your personal brand. For some people, this might mean building your resume through internships or even a business you might start in college. For others, it might mean finding your passion and honing in on it. But don't forget, building your personal brand also includes building your reputation – being known for your hard work, your reliability, and your resilience, and this follows you through any passion, any career choice, and any life decision. The other piece of advice I would give is to live your own life. Use college to learn about who you are and what you enjoy. Form as many genuine relationships as you can with your peers and your professors. Let go of people who aren't empowering you. Be bold with the goals you set for yourself and don't be afraid to fail. My dad has always told me that failure is the path to success. And finally, don't compare yourself to anyone else because you're on your own path. The grass always seems greener on the other side, but it's not; it's green where you water it. Focus on being the best version of yourself and work hard. The rest will always fall into place.

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