By McKenna Samson
Students and members of the College’s Entrepreneurship Club welcomed entrepreneur, political consultant and former business owner Glenn Parada to the Business Building on Feb. 6.
Club members — many of whom are aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners — hoped to absorb bits of Parada’s wisdom as he detailed his journey as a businessman from humble beginnings.
Parada and his family’s immigrated to the U.S. when he was a young child in the 1980s, during the civil war in his home country of El Salvador.
For as long as Parada could remember, his father instilled the importance of financial independence in him.
“My father was a minister. He always talked about the importance of a personal income,” Parada said. “The offering money went directly to the church, and the money he made, came directly to him.”
As a young adult, Parada joined the military. Following his service, he became intrigued with the mortgage business and shadowed his brother, who worked in the mortgage industry. After six months of experience in the mortgage field, Parada became his own boss.
Throughout his speech, Parada pushed the importance of corporate dominance, networking and not taking “no” for an answer. After losing his job as a stockbroker on Wall Street due to the stock market crash of 2008, Parada networked with the nearby street vendors and started selling alongside them, maintaining his do-it-yourself entrepreneurial mindset.
Parada credited risk-taking for much of his success throughout his 15-year career in finance and marketing.
“You don’t go where everyone is creating something, (you) go where others aren’t,” Parada said.
He now works as a political consultant, which involves networking and making significant connections for politicians.
Parada’s lecture drew interest among non-business majors as well. Matthew Koch, a senior criminology major and the chief adviser of the Entrepreneurship Club found value in Parada’s speech.
“I was referred by a friend to join the club,” Koch said. “Although I’m not a business major, I benefited from many of the events and speakers.”
Jesse Stiller, a sophomore journalism and professional writing major, felt inspired after hearing Parada speak.
“He didn’t hold anything back. He told it like it is and I respect that,” Stiller said. “The fact that the gentleman that spoke tonight started from nothing and made his way to Wall Street –– it’s something I hope to accomplish.”