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Serving Up Student Business

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Lubin international student Paula Castelblanco ’17 has kept her focus on excelling in business, academics, and athletics by experiencing a variety of student-run businesses, organizations, and opportunities at Pace.

During her last four years on Pace’s PLV Campus, Paula Castelblanco ’17, an international student from Colombia, has kept her focus on excelling in business, academics, and athletics by experiencing a variety of student-run businesses, organizations, and opportunities at Pace.

Though she was recruited for the Pace Women’s Swim Team, Castelblanco was sold on coming to the University after seeing the resources and experiences available in her major of management and finance.

“Pace offers a lot of help in getting real life experience,” Castelblanco says. “Far from being only academically focused, Pace offers its students a lot of help in getting internships and on-campus experiences in their field of study.”

During her freshman year, Castelblanco dove headfirst into one of Pace’s student-run businesses, Pace Mart—a profitable store that provides a variety of convenience items, snacks, and other necessities right in the heart of the Mortola Library for students who can’t drive off campus.

Castelblanco quickly climbed the ranks, serving as the general manager of Pace Mart, supervising the overall administrative operations of the store, presenting financial reports to the board of directors, conducting interviews for new employees, and approving payroll hours on a regular basis.

“It has been the most important experience I’ve had on campus,” Castelblanco says. “You are experiencing something real and not figurative in business. You graduate having more valuable experience than peers from other schools.”

This real-world experience on campus gave Castelblanco the drive to cofound Pace Delivers, which provides students with a convenient way to order delivery from restaurants in the Pleasantville area and have it delivered to their doors. The business stemmed from the first-place idea that she pitched at a Shark Tank-esque competition on the PLV Campus last spring.

“I realized the need for a delivery business on campus to make getting food easier for students,” she says. “I am looking forward to seeing Pace Delivers succeed as a business, but also to give students the opportunity for real life experience.”

To help get Pace Delivers off the ground, Castelblanco used her experience from inside and outside the classroom to conduct market research and develop business strategy, recruit a team of 16 students to run the business, and consult with businesses to negotiate discounts.

Students can order food on PaceDelivers.org from Five Guys, Chipotle, Pleasantville Country Club, Panera, and many others to be delivered around noon, 9:00 p.m., and 12:00 a.m. Students can also use their Flex Dollars to purchase meals, snacks, late-night treats, or anything else they’re craving from Pace Delivers.

Though she developed her business-savvy skills through Pace Mart and in the classroom, Castelblanco credits her achievements in her new venture to the unique experiences she had while interning over the course of her four years.

Castelblanco conducted financial analyses as an investment banking intern at Aldwych Capital Partners, analyzed data as a Clinton Foundation CGI intern, and developed strategies and conducted market research as a business development intern at Integrated Motion.

“As a management major, it is hard to translate concepts into actions, but my internships have been the best places to do this,” Castelblanco said. “All the concepts that I have learned in accounting, finance, marketing, and management are things that I use on a regular basis.”

In addition, as part of the Lubin Honors Program, Castelblanco attends special events and retreats, takes honors courses, and receives support form a faculty advisor on her thesis, which concerns the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on students and young professionals.

“Supporting and being supported by people with the same interests and different experience levels is so important,” Castelblanco says. “I am looking forward to continuing to support the team at Pace Delivers and seeing it succeed, as well as providing a place for students to grow as I have at Pace.”

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