Senior in Philosophy and Economics
Hometown: Chino Hills, CA
Interned with Best Buy Corporate and Scottish Parliament
From CA to IA
A California native, Brian Garrido had no idea what to expect when he started his freshman year at Iowa State, but what he did know was that he wanted to immerse himself in a totally different environment than his hometown of Chino Hills, CA. Now a senior, Brian has successfully made a place for himself away from home here in Ames, Iowa. Oh, and Minneapolis, Minnesota and Edinburgh and Fife Scotland too.
Coming from an all-boys Catholic high school here philosophy was a major part of the curriculum, Brian knew he wanted to major in it in college, but he wasn’t expecting to add an econ major as well.
“I didn’t choose that until I arrived at Iowa State,” said Brian. “I originally entered Iowa State with the intention of going to medical school to train as a neurologist, however, fate, and a challenging chemistry course, intervened and I decided to drop my pre-med aspirations during the spring of my freshman year.”
With a father who works in finance, the financial markets have always been of interest to him so economics was a natural fit for Brian within LAS. This choice has led Brian to a number of career-related opportunities soon after a failure that ultimately led to a foundation of resilience.
After receiving a poor grade on an econ exam, Brian pushed past his feelings of discouragement and embarrassment, shelved his ego and went into office hours to figure out what material he was struggling with and how to get better.
“It was a salient point in time for me that I’ve continued to draw upon during the course of my college career,” said Brian. “Whenever I get challenged, I strive to ‘lean in’ and learn from the struggle, rather than get discouraged and quit.”
This resilience served him well, as he is now approaching graduation with a job offer lined up for June, and two internships from two different cities around the globe under his belt.
Around the World and Back
After many hours spent in the Honors Program, searching CyHire and getting resume revisions from Taren Crow in the LAS Career Services office, in the spring of 2016 Brian hopped on a flight to Edinburgh and walked into the Scottish Parliament building as the new Parliamentary Intern.
“My first day was alternately exciting and nerve wracking,” said Brian. “My experience at the Scottish Parliament was particularly challenging because I was being thrown into a foreign environment, into a political system that I had only recently begun studying. As a matter of fact, on my first day in Parliament, I was called upon by my MSP (Member of Scottish Parliament) to conduct an analysis of environmental policy in Scotland in order to prepare him for a debate on that topic in a week’s time.”
After ten full weeks of research and political campaigning across Scotland, Brian headed back to America and began a new adventure as a Demand Forecast Analyst Intern with Best Buy Corporate in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
While Scotland presented a slew of cultural and political obstacles, Brian’s time at Best Buy presented more technical challenges, such as determining how to make large sets of data ‘talk’ by turning them into workable recommendations for the company.
“In both places I was expected to come in and contribute at a high level, which really pushed me to perform well and bring my best every day,” said Brian. “I think the most rewarding aspect of both experiences was gaining that confidence that I could come into an unfamiliar environment, learn quickly and become an effective contributor.”
Intern to Entry Level
His internship experiences have made him realize how important his time as a college student has been, noting that teachers such as Kate-Padgett Walsh and Elanor Taylor in the philosophy department, as well as Terry Alexander and Peter Orazem in the economics department have challenged him to think harder and prepare better.
Heading into his last semester as a Cyclone, Brian is working hard to realize his potential as a scholar while making a few more memories at Jack Trice and Hilton before he starts a full-time role with Best Buy Corporate as a Demand Forecast Analyst.
“Iowa State is a special place, and I can’t underscore that point enough, I’m tremendously proud to be a Cyclone, and it’s an association that I’m going to carry with me for the rest of my life,” said Brian.