Name: Keith D. Garcia

Major at Baruch College: BBA - Management with a focus in Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Graduation Year: 2010
School within Baruch College: Zicklin School of Business
Company and Title: Northwestern University, Assistant Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life

1. Tell us about what you do in your role as an Assistant Director at Northwestern University.

My role includes advising local chapters of national fraternities and sororities, the Northwestern University Multicultural Greek Council, and broad responsibility for harm reduction education and risk management. My responsibility is to empower students to assume a leadership role in cultivating a positive experience with fraternity and sorority life at Northwestern University.

2. What made you interested in education and what drives you in your current profession?

My experience as a student leader at Baruch College was a catalyst for my eventual pursuit of a career in higher education. Joining my fraternity as an undergraduate member, being involved on campus to address critical issues, and proximity to campus administration was eye opening. Being part of the development of students is a passion of mine and continues to drive my work.

3. What were some unique challenges you faced throughout your professional career and how did you overcome them?

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of my career was settling upon one that I was passionate about and utilized my skills best. Prior to working in higher education I spent time working in marketing, IT, and secondary education. While the journey was a winding one the skills I garnered along the way have all been incredibly valuable. 

4. Can you tell us about some of the most meaningful experiences you’ve had throughout your career?

Perhaps the most meaningful experiences I’ve had are in the context of the classroom. While I am no longer at the University of Minnesota as a campus administrator I still teach leadership courses through the Leadership Minor. The class helps students explore their leadership capacities within a societal and institutional context. Contributing to their growth throughout the semester is a joy.

5. How was your experience at Baruch like? How did Baruch impact your life and career?

My experience at Baruch was one of finding myself. While not different from many students who enter campus the community I built through involvement with my fraternity, Latinx student organizations, and student activism were central to the development of my voice. The foundation upon which I do the work I do today was built at Baruch College, a place that was arguably the most diverse space in higher education in the country while I was enrolled. Learning in the context of such diversity was essential to my success.

6. What is one of your favorite memories you have from your time at Baruch?

My favorite memories all take place within the student organization wing of the 3rd Fl of the Newman Vertical Campus. I spent so much time there learning and growing alongside my peers. We studied, planned events, played games, and laughed more than I could have ever hoped for together.

7. Do you have any advice for current Baruch students and alumni?

Baruch College has a wealth of resources both formally and informally. From the faculty and staff who invest in students to your peers, you may never be in an environment where so many people want to see you succeed again. Take every opportunity to build those lifelong relationships -- I met my best friend in college -- and spend time cultivating your voice.

8. How can people contact you?

Anyone interested in keeping in touch is welcome to contact me via LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter -- it’s a roller coaster following me so prepare for the ride. I’m always open to building connections and relationships.