University:California State University, Long Beach
Position Title:Manager, Career Services
Organization:Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Gabriel Montoya began his advanced education while still in high school, where he says he was fortunate to participate in a program that allowed him to take college courses for credit. “Being able to pass these classes, my confidence grew, and I knew I could tackle the next step in my education,” he recalls.
After graduating from high school, he enrolled at California State University, Long Beach, though it meant contending with a daunting one-and-a-half to two hours commute, each way, between his home and the school’s campus. Instead of letting that discourage him, he turned those hours of potential down time on trains and busses, into study periods that helped him complete a BA in Economics and Sociology.
Gabriel notes that his long commute was just one of many obstacles he faced at the time, but that he was determined to always seek “creative ways…to turn those situations into positive outcomes, by embracing the challenges.” He adds that this approach led to victories, and also helped him build strength and resiliency, along the way.
After earning his bachelor’s degree, his first job was at National Debt Relief, where he began by performing analyses and consulting with clients on debt resolution options. After a year, he moved on to recruiting, taking on a role that allowed him to gain experience in accounting, marketing, and human resources. He says, this trajectory “strengthened [his] work ethic,” and grew his passion for “helping others progress in their careers and lives.”
Today, Gabriel is a manager in HSF’s Career Services group, where he manages Career Coaching and the day-to-day operations of MentorMatch and Scholar conferences, as well as working closely with corporate partners to develop recruitment strategies that support their talent acquisition needs. He says that his prior work experience enhances his ability to serve in this role, particularly in working directly with HSF Scholars and Alumni.
He elaborates on his position, saying, “I love having a positive impact, whether that is giving simple advice on a phone call regarding interviewing, or being able to match talent with their dream opportunity, I feel best when I am able to help others reach their full potential! By enabling our Latino youth,” he explains, “and engaging with our partners, we can fully tap into talent that is currently under-utilized. As we grow these leaders, the ripple effects will continue to be seen for generations to come.”