David Gutierrez believes “education is the best way to get ahead in life, and further one’s personal development.” That principle, coupled with a desire to develop critical thinking skills, formed the basis of his motivation to work toward a college degree.
Both of his parents earned bachelor’s degrees in Colombia, but when it came to David’s own pursuit of higher education, he recalls facing a number of challenges connected to his experience as a low-income, first-generation US college student. He says he has had the “blessing and fortune” to have found teachers and mentors who were able to advise and encourage him, highlighting the opportunities available, and enabling him to forge his own path.
With this support, he earned a place at Harvard University, where he is now a senior. He is actively involved in Harvard’s student-run nonprofit, Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA), where he serves as the Assessment and Evaluations Chair. Additionally, he is a member of the Harvard Men’s Soccer Club B Team.
In October, David was one of 118 Scholars invited to attend HSF’s annual Finance Conference. The program exposes HSF Scholars interested in the field to specialized industry knowledge and career opportunities in finance, including commercial banking, investment banking, asset management, private equity, and other finance-related fields. He says that being part of the HSF network is something for which he is “deeply grateful.” He adds that he appreciates the opportunity to learn from accomplished leaders in the Hispanic community, and to build friendships with like-minded peers.
David was also invited to attend the Forbes Under 30 Summit, which provides accelerated networking opportunities to tech and business students from underrepresented backgrounds. Additionally, he is a PBHA Priscilla Chan Stride Service Scholarship recipient.
After college, he plans to pursue a career in management consulting and, perhaps, politics. He believes that self-confidence, determination, hard work, and discipline are important aspects of success. And, he encourages those pursuing higher education to remember the community that raised and supports them, and to gain confidence in knowing, “many people want you to succeed.”