Gaby Villegas: Student Intern to Young Professional

Today, Gaby Villegas is excelling as a young professional in her career due to her hard work and taking advantage of resources throughout high school and college.

Well before graduating from the College of Business at Pacific University as a member of the Class of 2016, Villegas grew up in Hermiston, Ore. where she relied heavily upon her high school teachers for guidance in the college search process. These teachers created a club specifically for first-generation students like Villegas and her sisters. Through this club and her counselor, she visited many colleges, but she recalls, "as soon as I walked onto Pacific's campus, I knew this was the right place for me."

When picking her college, Villegas knew she wanted a school where she could start a new journey and build relationships outside of the community in which she grew up. She saw Pacific as the perfect opportunity to create these relationships with the smaller class sizes. Additionally, while visiting, she learned that at Pacific she would have the ability to not only learn from her professors but also get to know them on a personal level. When as she met more people at Pacific she felt that, “Everyone was so inviting and friendly that I wanted to start the following day!”

In high school, Villegas found that she was interested in accounting and chose it as her concentration in college. She also achieved her desire to work closely with her professors. She recalls how accessible the faculty were: “From staying late after class to visiting professors in their office hours…I felt how passionate each one of my professors were, which only made me want to learn as much as possible.”

While at Pacific, Villegas earned an internship opportunity at Chaucer Foods in Forest Grove. Villegas saw the internship as an opportunity, “to get my foot in the door in something that involved accounting at a place where I could see myself grow as a young professional.” When she began the internship, the company was a new start-up, which lead to her experience being heavily involved in constructing procedures for the firm’s finance department to help the department run smoother.

After graduating in 2016, Villegas turned the internship at Chaucer Foods into a career track. While working for the firm, Vegas has contributed to many positions from human resources to finance.

Villegas is exceedingly happy 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. She feels Pacific “…has given me such great opportunities and memories that I will never forget.”

Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019