Edwin Meza, BBA International Business ’13, Manager, Navarro Discount Pharmacies

During his time at St. Thomas University Edwin Meza amassed an impressive list of accolades and awards. He was named a Capital One All-American and NAIA Scholar Athlete, won second place in Strategic Analysis and Decision Making at the 2013 Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda State Leadership Conference, and was the 2013 School of Business Outstanding Award winner – all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. When Edwin was not training or practicing for an upcoming soccer game, he was at the Academic Enhancement Center tutoring his fellow Bobcats in math. If he was not doing either of those things, you could find him at the Phi Beta Lambda office, the university’s business club, where he served as President. In May 2013, Edwin graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business and began working as an Assistant Store manager at Navarro Discount Pharmacies in Coral Gables, FL. Within two months he was promoted to Store Manager, and is quickly moving up the ranks in the largest Hispanic-owned pharmacy chain in the U.S.

1.  You were involved in many extracurricular activities as an undergrad student. How were you able to manage your time so well?
I’m not going to lie, it was hard. I had to make a commitment to myself to be able to do it. However, I have always known that hard work pays off. I knew deep inside that the harder I worked, the better my future would be. Having personal goals, or what I call challenges, has always been exciting for me. I believe that it is the perfect way to learn who you really are. My accomplishments have made me stronger, happier, and most importantly have prepared me for the real world.

2.  In a short time, you went from being a recent college graduate to a store manager at Navarro Discount Pharmacies. How did you do it?

I was not afraid to show my supervisors how hungry I was for success, and still am. First, I injected a lot of positive energy to the company. Second, I went above and beyond the company´s expectations. Lastly, I enjoyed learning from the challenges that I faced every day. I like to think of these challenges as opportunities to grow.

3.  What did you learn while at STU, both inside and outside of the classroom that is helping you in your career?
I learned from Isaac Robes, Logistics professor, that there is always someone else out there who is working harder than you. If you really want something, you have to go out there and get it because nobody will give it to you.

Professor Gringarten taught me that you should never let an opportunity pass you by because once it is gone, it will never come back. You must always be ready. Last but not least, Professor Maxwell made it really clear that life is all about strategies. You have to always think ahead of the game.

4.  Even though you are just starting your career as a store manager, what is the ultimate goal you would like to accomplish in your professional life?

I think big, sometimes too big. I would like to have my own business abroad. I picture myself doing business in Brazil, China, India, Russia, etc. Maybe one day I will fly to Rio de Janeiro to close an important business and the next day fly to Beijing to sign my new brand.

5.  What advice would you give recent graduates and those who will be graduating soon about life after college?

Dream big and never settle for anything small. Be hungry and humble at the same time. Always believe in yourself no matter what. And my personal quote, “sacrifice for a dream” which means that hard work pays off.

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