Gaby Villegas: Student Intern to Young Professional

Gaby Villegas '16, a business administration major, excels as a young professional  due to a strong work ethic and a keen ability to maximize available resources while attending high school and college.  

She grew up in Hermiston, Ore. where high school educators created a club specifically for first-generation students like Villegas and her sisters. Thanks to this club and an academic counselor, she visited many colleges, but as Villegas recalls, "as soon as I walked onto Pacific's campus, I knew this was the right place for me."

Villegas wanted to attend  a school where she could build new relationships outside of the community where she grew up. She saw Pacific, with its smaller class sizes, as the perfect place to create those relationships. “Everyone I met was so inviting and friendly that I wanted to start the following day,” she said. Villegas was also impressed by the accessibility of faculty, “From staying late after class, to visiting professors in their office hours,” she reflects, “I saw just how passionate my professors were, which made me want to learn as much as possible.”

While at Pacific, Villegas earned an internship at Chaucer Foods in Forest Grove. “I saw the internship as an opportunity, to get my foot in the door at a place that involved accounting, and where I could see myself growing as a young professional,” she said. Since Chaucer Foods was a new start-up, she learned the ropes handling construction processes for the firm’s finance department and contributed to other areas including human resources. She eventually turned that internship into a career.

Villegas feels fortunate that she made the drive from Hermiston to visit Pacific when looking at colleges, and that Pacific was the school she was able to attend. “Pacific has given me such great opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime,” she remembers fondly.


Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019