Paola Charco Garza

A familiar formula for success

Growing up with both parents as accountants, Paola Charco Garza (BSBA ’18, MIB ’19) knew from an early age she wanted to pursue a career that involved thinking through calculations.

“I was always a math and science girl growing up,” she said. “I saw it at home, was exposed to it early in my life and loved doing it in school. I thought for a while I wanted to be an engineer, but I thought business was a more exciting field.”

It was an easy choice, then, to pursue her undergraduate degree in finance when she first came to the University of Florida Heavener School of Business. Since the completion of her undergraduate degree in December 2018, she’s even more satisfied with her decision to pursue her passion for challenges and problem solving in the business world.

“I’m so thrilled with the skillset I gained at Heavener and that I’ll be able to put everything I’ve learned over the past four years to use,” she said.

In addition to her finance knowledge, Charco credits the Heavener School’s emphasis on leadership development and teamwork for helping her land her first post-college position as a financial analyst with P&G.

“I love the emphasis Heavener puts on teamwork and being involved,” she said. “When you join a [student] organization, you aren’t just responsible for yourself. You’re responsible for helping others in Heavener succeed as well.

“After working with students from other universities through my [student organization] involvement, I’ve seen that [the emphasis on teamwork] is something special at Heavener. We really do learn the importance of community and how successful we all can be when we work together.”

Charco is also grateful for Heavener’s resources in helping her find the right job for her.

“When I began looking for a job my junior year, the CAPs not only helped me in the job search, but also helped me understand how to get the type of job that I wanted,” she said. “Unlike some of my peers, I wasn’t interested in going into investment banking. I wanted to be in corporate finance, so I networked with others who wanted roles in that sector, too.”

Warrington’s Business Career Services (BCS) team was also crucial in Charco’s job search, she said.

“The BCS team was really instrumental in checking in on me,” Charco said. “Michelle [Bloom-Lugo, Director of Undergraduate Business Career Services] was a great resource to bounce ideas off of, and Katie [McCarville, Associate Director of Undergraduate Business Career Services] gave me the confidence to negotiate my offer. She taught me to be aware of the skillset I was coming in with and how to use that in the negotiation process.”

With the confidence, leadership and teamwork skills Charco developed at Heavener, she’s ready to take on her role at P&G upon the completion of her Master of International Business degree in May 2019.

“I’m excited about this new stage in my life,” she said. “I’m ready to embrace the challenge.”