Paola Rodriguez


Paola Rodriguez (Paola del Carmen Rodriguez Ovalles)
Marketing – Business Administration
4th Year (Senior)

Where are you from?

  • Family’s location in Florida: Tampa (Riverview)
  • Family background if family is from another country: I was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

What are your career/life goals?

  • I aspire to become a C level Executive in a Fortune 500 company and be a wife and mother to an amazing family.

As an undergraduate, how did you become involved on campus?

  • I started off as a member of the Hispanic Heritage Month 2009 Marketing Team and Ambassador of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs at the Institute of Hispanic-Latino Cultures and the Institute of Black Culture.

Did you do an internship/study abroad at some point in your undergraduate career.

  • Summer 2010: INROADS Internship – MetLife – Tampa, FL
  • Summer 2011:
    1. Study Abroad: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil: Business in Brazil Program: Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro
    2. INROADS Internship – Target Stores – Executive Stores Intern – Tampa, FL
  • Summer 2012: INROADS Internship - Target Corporation – Business Analyst Intern – Merchandise Planning – Minneapolis, MN

What was the most memorable memory about your trip/Internship?

  • The most memorable moment from my study abroad experience was our visit to the Favelas in Ipanema. I saw the disparity in wealth and living conditions that is present in the region and suddenly understood the effect that this had on Latin America. As the rich grow richer, the poor grow poorer, and the middle class diminishes, in part due to corruption, political instability rises and the economy suffers.  I hope to be able to work in Brazil and Dominican Republic and take steps to give the poor the resources they need to become part of the middle class.

What advice would you give students who are contemplating studying abroad or doing an internship?

  • Do it! Do not hesitate!
  • Prepare yourself by getting involved and do not be afraid to seek help.
  • Make personal connections with recruiters by attending information sessions and following up.
  • INROADS ( and MLP ( are two amazing programs that have helped me immensely and that I strongly recommend.
  • Look into semester-long study abroad programs and apply for scholarships.

How have your experiences at UF help you on a global level?

  • I have grown as a professional and have gained aptitude in foreign languages.

What are you planning to do after graduation?

  • I accepted an offer to join the General Mills sales team in August as a Business Management Associate.

Can you tell us how your experiences have given you this opportunity?

  • I have learned from my mistakes, grown in my professionalism, established meaningful professional relationships, led others and made a positive impact. My experiences have helped me build a skillset that will allow me to be successful in this position. I am confident that this is why I was selected.
  • MLT specifically helped me connect with General Mills and obtain an interview for the position.

How has your experience with MCDA influenced your future career?

  • MCDA is where I built my foundation. Social justice was something I grew a passion for in MCDA and I plan to carry this passion forward by impacting the lives my fellow global citizens. As I stated before, I hope to be able to work in Brazil and Dominican Republic and take steps to give the poor the resources they need to become part of the middle class.

How has your involvement help to shape you into the person that you have

  • I learned so much about myself – my weaknesses, my strengths, my likes and dislikes.
  • I learned the power of words and refuse to allow anyone to use the words retarded and gay in the wrong context no matter how annoying I sound.
  • I have learned from my mistakes and have grown in my professionalism.
  • I have been able to gain experience in leading others and have further affirmed my desire to be a leader in business.

Tell me one fact about you.

  • I am right handed but I can eat with both hands; I love to eat!


Paola Rodriguez