Serving as a contemporary culture volunteer for the Associated Students Program Board during her junior year, Angela Marcel-Gavin immersed herself in a new area of discovery while organizing the February 2020 Winter Soulstice concert for fellow students. “I helped set up and tear down equipment, helped run the event on the day, and really enjoyed the experience,” says Marcel-Gavin, who also watched an artist’s performance from backstage—a new perspective. “It gave me a lot of insight on what goes on in the background during these school concerts, and I learned about the logistical side of planning and executing an event for the entire student body.”
Making the most out of the opportunities at hand is among the things she learned from her family: “My grandparents moved from Africa to the United States to provide career and academic opportunities for my mom and the rest of the family,” she says. “They built an entire new life in a foreign country away from the rest of their family so that they could live a better life. They constantly inspire me to work hard and make them proud.”
Marcel-Gavin’s biggest inspiration is her mother. “Growing up in a single-parent household, there were times it was very difficult with finances and opportunities,” she says. “My mom sacrificed a lot to for me to attend a university as she did. She had multiple jobs to support my academic and extracurricular endeavors, and I certainly would not be the scholar I am today without her support over these past few years.”
With a concentration in information systems, Marcel-Gavin will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in business this year. While nearing the end of her undergraduate journey, she hasn’t let the pandemic slow her down: As she studies from home, she continues to be deeply involved in activities beyond the virtual classroom that have enriched her undergraduate experience and dovetail with her desire to continue to explore areas leading to a potential career path.
She’s filled differing leadership roles on the Highlander Orientation team, and as a member of Delta Gamma sorority, Marcel-Gavin was vice president of finance for two years and exercised her skills in finance and auditing. She is co-chief ambassador with the undergraduate UCR School of Business Ambassador program, a group of students who support the school’s many events for students, alumni, donors, and friends of the university; the ambassadors are also a valuable conduit for prospective students. Marcel-Gavin recently completed a marketing research internship with Phavour, a company that connects people with jobs (“A wonderful experience,” she says.), and she has been working for more than a year as a barista at the Starbucks coffee shop on campus.
What she most appreciates is the people she interacts with at the university. “I personally love how diverse and welcoming the UCR community is,” says Marcel-Gavin, who is from Torrance, California. “I am motivated to achieve and surpass my academic goals, and I’m surrounded by individuals who have strong academic achievements themselves.”
As she looks to the future, she is exploring all the options that her hard work, both academically and through her volunteerism, has unearthed during her time at UCR. “I am open and excited to experience various roles and careers within the business world until I find something that is the perfect fit for me,” she says, and is currently interested in international business and how global companies run their organizations in the U.S. and other countries. “I am looking for a full-time job within the information systems field so that I can jump right in and gain experience in positions as I find a job I am truly passionate about.”
During her studies, she’s explored accounting, finance, marketing, management, and more, and sees the value in understanding all facets of business, because she knows this preparation opens many career paths.
“I love learning about current business trends relevant to today’s society and the components it takes to start one’s own business,” she says. “Hopefully, I can use this knowledge to start my own small business one day.”