Articles

Gabriel Rodriguez, High-Achieving Business Student Focused on a Career in Medicine

By Sandra Gaitán

Gabriel Rodriguez

TAMPA (August 29, 2018) -- Gabriel Rodriguez grew up in a family of doctors and his dream always has been to follow the family tradition. Although he knows his future lies in medicine, he wound up majoring in finance. Here's why:

He had spoken to more than 100 doctors over the past several years, asking them what they wished they knew before going into medical school or after their residency. Their answers surprised him. They weren't so much about the costs of malpractice insurance or the emerging medical specialties.

"Most of the doctors I talked to told me they wished they knew how to run a business before opening a private clinic," he said.

So, Rodriguez embarked on a path that would take him to that place where both business and medicine exist.

He enrolled in the University of South Florida's Muma College of Business as an undergraduate and majored in finance. He became a part of the elite Applied Securities Analysis class, in which he and his classmates researched real stocks and made recommendations to the Student Managed Investment Fund advisory board, made up of real brokers and advisors, who invested real money into those stocks. The class was made up of serious students, intent on making a career of investing, financial advising or asset management.

"I always felt that I was the only one in my class who never dreamed of working for a big financial company," he said. "I always had medicine in the back in my mind."

Rodriguez's path at USF was, at times, not that smooth. Initially, he struggled until the fall of 2006 when he made it his goal to become the best in his class.

"I realized that I was barely trying to get good grades," he said. "It was unacceptable that I was getting Bs on basic classes such as Principles of Finance."

When he realized, he needed to be the best student to fully achieve his goals, he became more focused and his star began to rise. He dedicated himself to his classes and worked as hard as he could to know everything he needed to know to run a successful business.

Rodriguez graduated this spring with a bachelor's degree in finance and immediately enrolled in the MBA program. Medical school was still the ultimate goal, but for now, he needed to put the finishing touches on his business education.

He also tutors USF students in finance, investments and advanced investments and financial statement analysis.

"In 20 years, everything will be normal," he said. "I will be a doctor who owns a medical practice."