September 15, 2021 • By Brian Nguyen
Danny Granados MFin ’20 grew up and spent most of his life in Miami, Florida. For his bachelor’s in business administration, he decided to stay close to home and attended Florida International University with a full academic scholarship.
Once the time came for him to move on to graduate school, Granados sent out his applications far and wide, ultimately deciding on the UCI Paul Merage School of Business. Granados, who had never been to California before, was impressed by the Merage School’s prestige and rankings.
When he arrived in California and started attending the Merage School, Granados was determined to make his mark.
He said: “I learned that networking is really important. When I moved here, I promised myself that I would seek out new opportunities and spend much more time saying yes.”
Moving to California inspired Granados to make new connections: “I was going to take advantage of every networking opportunity that I could get my hands on in California because I didn’t do that in Florida and I regretted it.”
Granados’ resolve in getting himself and others out into the business world was one of the reasons that led to him becoming the founding president of the Merage School’s new chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA). ALPFA is the first national Latinx professional association in the United States and has an active network of over 95,000 members.
Granados wanted to build a community for Latinx students at the Merage School to aid in professional development.
“Many students, especially first-gen college students, can benefit from mock interviews, resume building workshops and networking,” he said.
Though the advent of the pandemic made it difficult for Granados and his cabinet to achieve many of the goals they had set out for themselves, his team was able to lay a solid foundation for the organization.
He explained: “It turned out to be a sort of blessing in disguise. The founding board and I were able to operate a bit more deliberately and plan out events for the following year in more detail. We weren't able to hold many events before we graduated, but we left the second board piles of notes, schematics, blueprints, templates, contact lists, mailing lists and speeches, and were able to coach them for about a month before we graduated.”
Burt Slusher, director of recruitment and admissions of specialty master’s programs and staff liaison for ALPFA said: “Daniel and the founding board were able to lay the groundwork for the next generation of Latinx leaders at the Merage School. We will continue to build on that momentum to inspire and empower our students.”
The Merage School will be holding its inaugural LatinX Iniative (LX1) conference with the theme “Embracing Community, Leading to Inspire” on Oct 15.
After graduation, Granados is now working at Goldman Sachs AYCO as a financial analyst and coach.
“I’m receiving great support from peers and managers every step along the way at AYCO,” said Granados. “There is a significant Merage School alumni presence and three of my coworkers are from my graduating class alone.”
His advice to business students is to seek out opportunities and projects where your personality and skills can truly shine. He also mentioned the importance of getting a securities industry essentials license. “If you’re looking into a career handling securities for clients then having the SIE under your belt while applying will make you stand out.”