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Class of 2024: Sergio Martin Garcia

Sergio Martin Garcia prepared for life after graduation in courses like Entrepreneurship, in the Honors Program, and in campus groups like the Hispano-Latinx Alliance. With a capstone on the food truck industry in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sergio applied techniques from his Business Administration major in ways that will carry into his career.

A student wearing a suit leans his elbow on a pedestal while smiling off camera.

Sergio Martin Garcia is a Business Administration major from Oakland, California.

When I took my first step on the Hill, I was: Uncertain of what the future held, but I was determined and excited to carve my own path and make the most of my college experience at McDaniel.

The me who will ring the Old Main bell on Commencement Day is: A person that is confident and equipped to go out and face the real world.

Real-world experiences: During my time at McDaniel, I interned at a small construction company in the Bay Area, where I worked on the operations team. It gave me real-life experience of how to manage different projects while also learning how to work with other people. I also studied abroad at McDaniel Budapest in Hungary, and I would say that was one of the highlights of my college experience. It helped me grow up and understand our interconnections as human beings. I highly recommend that program.

My aha moment: My aha moment was when I realized that it takes support from family, friends, and communities to get far in life. Having a support group or some sort of community makes life better and easier. There are people willing to help and it is just a matter of asking.

Footprints I’m leaving on the Hill: Include being a nice friend, and an understanding and dedicated student. I also hope I had an impact on other students who attended some of our open house events by embracing everyone and establishing a comfortable atmosphere for McDaniel students.

Faculty or staff member who most influenced who I have become: Lecturer Lori Hockley is one of the most influential people in my life. Her teaching style and content made me want to go to class every day. Also, she guided me in the right direction whenever I had questions, and she was always nice to talk to.

Best class ever: I took Dr. Hockley’s Entrepreneurship class, which brought everything I had learned together and allowed me to grasp the big picture of how companies worked. I really enjoyed collaborating with my classmates, and we developed a cool product that we worked on throughout the semester. It gave me a sense of what it means to be an entrepreneur.

Tell us a little about your activities, including sports, during your years at McDaniel: During my time at McDaniel, I was involved in several clubs, including Hispano-Latinx Alliance (HLA) and the President’s Advisory Council of Students. I was in the Honors Program and was a Dorsey Scholar. During my first year, I spent a lot of time outside, hanging out at Red Square and playing Spikeball. HLA occasionally organized soccer matches, which were always a blast. I recently took up golf, and it has quickly become one of my favorite activities. It’s fantastic because McDaniel has a golf course on campus, which I’ve been enjoying with my friends.

Took me totally by surprise: Liking the simplicity of life in an area like Westminster, which contrasts with my hometown of Oakland. Sometimes I just go for a drive and gaze at the scenery, especially around the spring when the flowers are blooming.

My favorite spot on campus: Harvey Stone Pavilion, near the golf course, is my favorite spot at McDaniel. It’s where I had my first class when I arrived, and I’ve always loved going there. Surrounded by trees, it’s a peaceful place to sit and relax on campus.

Most mind-boggling idea I learned at McDaniel: I took an Honors class my junior year and the topic was about how we know what we know, which is another way of saying epistemology. It was mind-blowing because I come from two different backgrounds: one where knowledge is passed down through stories and doing things, and the other where we learn from books and school. The class showed me that both ways are important, even though they’re totally different. Growing up, I learned a lot from my family’s stories and traditions, not just from books. It made me realize that there are many ways to understand the world around us, and each way is valuable. It was a light-bulb moment, helping me appreciate how diverse and cool human thinking can be.

A student in a suit sits outside on steps in front of white columns.

My capstone title: “Food Truck Insights: The Roli Roti Story.”

What my capstone is about in plain talk: I evaluate the Bay Area food truck market as well as the many components of a business. I had to apply all of the techniques I learned throughout my four years at McDaniel. It was terrific since the techniques, like PESTEL and SWOT analysis, helped me better grasp the industry and how it works. After completing the capstone, I felt confident that I could apply the techniques to other industries and start my own business.

What’s next: After graduation, I plan on going to see my family in Guatemala and traveling more before I start working. I will take a few years off and work, then go back to school and get my Master of Business Administration.

How will you stay connected to McDaniel? I will stay connected to McDaniel by donating and coming to alumni events. The football games were fun to see friends and be at the school, so I will definitely come to those.

If you received financial aid, what did that mean for you and your family? McDaniel gave me a nice package, which is one of the reasons I came to the school. It meant a lot to me and made my entire college experience enjoyable. It meant focusing solely on my schoolwork while also building friendships. I also had the opportunity to study overseas, which was incredible since it offered me a new view of the world. Overall, the financial aid helped me to be a full-time student and the impacts will be generational.

Are you the first in your immediate family to attend college? What has the experience meant to you? As a first-generation student, college has provided me with the chance to explore my interests and pursue a career path that excites me. I am glad that I was able be a kid for a few more years and learn how to be an adult while still attending college.

About Sergio

Name: Sergio Martin Garcia

Major: Business Administration

Class of 2024

"I studied abroad at McDaniel Budapest in Hungary, and I would say that was one of the highlights of my college experience. It helped me grow up and understand our interconnections as human beings."