What sets Saul Becerra Hernandez apart is his business mindset. “The more time and effort you put into something, the more success will come along the way,” Becerra believes.
This mindset started when Becerra worked at BMO Harris Bank through a corporate work study program while attending Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Minneapolis, Minn. Becerra credits learning the aspect of banking in creating his business mindset. “I noticed customers with a lot of financial stress often revolving around debt or bad credit. I wanted to have a better financial future so I decided to do my best in college so I would not have any debt.”
This led Becerra to major in finance at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, where he attends on a full-ride scholarship through the First Generation Initiative (FGI) program. “This semester I’m taking entrepreneurial finance and learning different viewpoints in the financial industry.”
In Fall of 2015 Becerra attended the Saint Mary’s job fair which led him to an internship with NorthWestern Mutual in summer 2016. “I was proud of being hired by Northwestern Mutual which is one of the top 10 best financial internships in the nation,” Becerra said. As a financial representative he got his internship contract extended throughout the school year. “I had to go through an extensive training and I had to be certified in health, life, and disability insurance in order to sell those products to current and future clients.” Becerra said.
Becerra would like to continue gaining experience with different financial institutions to find his career calling. The investment courses this semester may help Becerra find that calling. “I would like to apply for a financial analyst position because I like to see how companies make good investments,” Becerra said.
Becerra firmly believes he has the qualifications to succeed in the financial world. “One thing is that I know how to conduct myself professionally around individuals and help guide them through their financial process whether it is in the risk management side of finance or the investment side of finance.”
A big piece of advice Becerra received while working at BMO was to carry himself in a professional way in and outside of the office. “A CEO at the branch told me to always carry your brand with you. If you work alongside someone that tells you about their problems and what they did this weekend. When you become manager you will likely hire another person who barely spoke about their life but did their job right,” Becerra said. “So I carry my brand in everything I say, and do.”
The biggest thing becerra has learned at Saint Mary’s thus far is that “college is not meant for the ‘social scene’ but is meant to get you where you want to be in life.”
FGI has helped Becerra earn a good college education “When I first started here at Saint Mary’s the study hall was very helpful to me because it gave me a backbone to my education. It allowed me to have structure in my college academic career.” Becerra would love to change people like FGI has changed his life. “I want to make it to the top and when I make it to the top, I am going to change people’s lives. Nothing has changed my life more than the FGI program, so why not give back to FGI in the near future?”