New university-wide PAW program brings alumni for classroom visits.

The College of Business at Florida International University (FIU) has a strong reputation of inviting successful alumni into the classrooms, to share their experience and knowledge with students. So it wasn’t surprising that it was a distinguished business alumnus who had the idea for a university-wide Panther Alumni Week—PAW–launched the week of February 3, 2014.

Gerald C. Grant Jr.

“The caliber of our alumni is excellent, thanks to how well FIU prepares students for the workplace,” said Gerald C. Grant Jr. (MBA ’89, BBA ’78), explaining why he suggested the program that was later developed by the Office of the Provost and the FIU Alumni Association. “PAW was a way to get even more alums engaged with the university.”

In addition to Grant, these alumni shared their knowledge and experience with students in business classes during PAW:

  • Leslie-Anne Triana (MACC ’07, BACC ’06), currently employed by FIU and formerly of Deloitte and of Ryder System, at Izhar Hag’s Accounting class
  • Mario Trueba (MBA ’87), CEO and president of Sabadell United Bank, at Marcos Kerbel’s Finance class
  • Victor Valdiviezo (MSF ’11), senior financial analyst at FP&A Latin America headquarters at Spectrum Brands, at Suchismita Mishra’s Global Financial Strategy class

Grant brings his own world of experience to a Finance class.   

Students in Flavio Carillo’s Finance class were fortunate to have a visit from Grant, who recently, along with his wife, created an endowment to establish the Gerald C. Grant Jr. and Jennifer Adger Grant Scholarship Fund. He shared perspectives on the business world and also offered personal advice.

“I told the students that while it’s wonderful that they’re in school, the important thing is to graduate,” Grant said. “I reminded them that resources are available on campus and they should get involved with study groups and take advantage of tutoring and networking opportunities.”

Grant reported that the students were very engaged in the discussion and he was impressed with their worthwhile questions.

“At the PAW reception at the conclusion of the week, I heard very good feedback about this initiative,” he said. “I hope PAW will continue in future years. We have outstanding alumni and the students benefit from getting to know them.”

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