Trailblazer

Pedro R. Guirola is accustomed to being first. In 2009, he was the first to graduate college in his family. A native of Miami, Guirola, 31, was also the first in his Cuban family to be born in the United States. As he continues to pursue his MBA—and accomplish another first for his relatives—he aims to never forget his roots and empower others. “My experiences from Cuba have stayed in the forefront of my mind throughout the years, helping to mold my ideas and develop a better understanding of my dreams and purpose,” says Guirola.

Career goal

My career goal is to become the CFO [chief financial officer] and then the CEO at a global company. I want to be immersed in the challenges of the company and witness my decisions come to full fruition.

Education

Master of Business Administration
Simon Graduate School of Business,
University of Rochester, June 2013

Bachelor of Arts in Economics
Binghamton University, State University of New York, December 2009

 

Work experience

Summer 2012: Finance Analyst (intern)
PepsiCo Inc., Frito-Lay division

April 2010 –March 2011: Senior Client Associate (Team lead)—Assistant VP
Wells Fargo Private Bank

January 2010 –April 2010: Personal Banker (Training)
JPMorgan Chase Bank, North America

May 2007–August 2008: Client Management Associate—Assistant VP
Wachovia Wealth Management

September 2006 –May 2007: Client Management Associate—Officer
Wachovia Wealth Management

December 2005–August 2006: Acting Financial Center Manager—Officer
Wachovia Bank, NA

November 2004–December 2005: Service Banker (Assistant Manager)—Officer
Wachovia Bank, NA

June 2001–August 2004: Personal Vacation Planner
Carnival Cruise Lines

Role models

My parents
As hardworking immigrants that made many sacrifices to leave Cuba and survive in the United States, they impressed upon me a strong work ethic, sense of curiosity, and a mind-set that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to. With these values continuously influencing my life, a personal goal of mine is to develop and implement a mentoring program within schools and community-based organizations.

Dream job

My dream is to one day own a business that makes a significant impact in helping to rebuild Cuba’s shattered economy. About 10 years ago, I was able to visit my extended family still living in Cuba. The conditions that they tolerate to live in changed my perceptions about the world and the opportunities available to me in the United States.

Define success

Throughout the years I have passed on many opportunities because I was scared of making a mistake. Now I live by the quote of Thomas J. Watson, former chairman and CEO of IBM. “… Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But, it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it. So, go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.”