Margarita Villacampa ’90
- Senior vice president and private client advisor, U.S. Trust Bank of America
- FIU Bachelor of Business Administration
Q: What are your fondest memories of FIU?
A: My fondest memories revolve around the friends I made while I was there and the professors who taught me. It was a very nurturing environment.
Q: Did you have a mentor at FIU?
A: My mentor came in the way of a fellow student. I had put my schooling on hold while living in Switzerland. When I returned after more than two years, I was feeling lost and not very motivated as my friends had all graduated. Lupe Pimentel [class of 1995] and I met in a finance class and she immediately recognized that I needed help. She quickly became my encouragement, my support and my guide.
Q: Why is it important to find mentors as you make your way in the world?
A: In life we are better connected than alone. There is always something new to learn, some better way to do something and someone out there that may have the answer that we are looking for.
Q: Why do you choose to mentor others?
A: I feel that it’s crucial to give back in whatever way one can. I have been very fortunate to have individuals along the way that have guided, encouraged and supported me, and without them my career path would have been much more difficult. So it’s natural for me to want to do the same for others. I also feel that we have a responsibility to help guide and teach the next generation because these young professionals ultimately will be our next business and civic leaders.
Q: What do you hope to share as a mentor?
A: I’ve tried to give others the wonderful advice that I’ve been given – believe in yourself, speak up, try something new. But I also try to instill in them the sense of responsibility to pay it forward, not only in the business world but in their communities as well. I encourage them to find a cause that they feel passionate about and to become involved. It’s important to really know the place one calls home and to be a part of what happens there.
Q: What is your proudest accomplishment, professional or personal?
A: Without a doubt it’s my family. My husband Jorge and I have been blessed with two wonderful children, Gabriella and Daniel, who thrill us and challenge us every day. Watching them grow and succeed and start making their own mark in life is humbling.
Q: You contribute locally by serving on several community boards. What diversions do you squeeze into your free time?
A: Traveling with friends and family, and photography, are at the top of the list. ♦