For some children, it’s a good cartoon that occupies their time. For others, it’s a favorite book.
But for Xavier Garza-Gomez, associate dean of administration for the University of Houston-Victoria School of Business Administration, it was the daily movement in stock prices that caught his eye.
The childhood pastime – tracking the companies and their changes – was the first hint that business was in the young boy’s future.
Garza originally got his start in the engineering world but made the leap to finance during graduate school. He said the change wasn’t as extreme as some might think.
“As an engineer, I had a background in statistics, and finance uses those same basics,” he said. “I loved it and knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
Garza was born in Mexico and earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tecnologico de Monterrey at Laguna. He went on to earn master’s degrees in systems and quality control, and finance from Tecnologico de Monterrey at Monterrey and Laguna, respectively. He earned a doctorate in economics from Japan’s Nagoya City University.
That time spent living and studying in different countries made a difference.
“I learned a lot – not just about the subjects I was studying but the culture, customs and environment, too,” Garza said. “Everything is different when you live in another country, but it’s a great experience.”
Garza joined UHV’s School of Business Administration in 2002, originally serving as an assistant professor of finance. He said the school has seen its share of growth and change with time, and he’s proud of the things it’s achieved.
Those accomplishments include recognition from the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s top business schools, and accreditation by AACSB International, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which is the top accreditation agency for business schools worldwide.
“Every time we get an award or recognition from a national organization, it’s great news,” he said. “It makes me proud of what we’re doing.”
Looking ahead, Garza said he expects to see the university continue down its current path. That path includes advancing with the times and finding new ways to incorporate technology, such as the online courses that have proven popular among students.
“There’s a lot of competition moving into Houston, and so we have to stay on top of things,” he said. “It’s definitely a challenge, but I know we can do it.”
The Faculty Feature is an online feature highlighting faculty members from each of the University of Houston-Victoria’s four schools. To nominate a faculty member, contact Paula Cobler. UHV interim director of marketing and communications, or call 361-570-4350.