Alumni Stories – Giovanni Gonzalez

Business Administration

Graduate, 2006

Giovanni’s understanding of the positive impacts global investment and international business development can have on a community was instilled in him at a young age. Originally from the Philippines, he often tells a story from his family’s hometown by way of example. “TIMEX set up an outpost factory and headquarters in the area where my family was from,” he says. “It changed the community and the city as a whole. I thought it was a noble profession: to use business methodologies to empower a country, a region, a people, and provide them opportunities.”

After growing up in the Philippines and Hong Kong, where we watched his parents work in foreign investment, Giovanni decided to follow suit in his studies and arrived in Canada in the early 2000s. He studied engineering at Ryerson University—the traditional educational route to an international business career in Southeast Asia at the time, he says—before switching gears and enrolling at George Brown College’s Business Administration program.

“I really valued the hands-on training and meaningful learning experience I received from the Business Administration program,” he says. “Considering that management studies and international business are high-level and complex fields, the college’s holistic and hands-on approach to education enabled me to understand the various facets of business, how each facet related to one another, and key business drivers which are vital to growth and profitability.”

This ability to draw connections between the micro and macro has helped Giovanni in a number of ways in his career since. It landed him his first job out of school, as a research analyst: during the interview, he spoke at length about a single project he’d worked on in a management class. “The case study was looking at Samsung, the Korean market, and how the Korean government used theme parks to stimulate employment. But at the same time it was a way for Korea to open up as a country.”

It’s also proved helpful in his current role as an advisor. “In my case, it’s my job to get investments from other foreign countries, so it goes a long way to be able to put myself in other people’s shoes.”

Giovanni’s Advice for Success

“Failure is a great teacher. Don’t be afraid to fail. If you stumble and fall, get back up on your feet, learn from your mistakes, make sure it does not happen again, and keep moving forward towards the goals you have set for yourself.”