Francis Gabriel Mendoza, MS ’17, is constantly looking for an opportunity.
“I’ve always been an entrepreneurial person,” said Mendoza, a native of Santa Maria, Bulacan, Philippines. “I would do simple jobs for my family when I was a kid to earn my money.”
In addition to those odd jobs, he sold jerseys to schools to extra cash.
“[I did] whatever I could to earn more so I could spend for myself, rather than getting money from my parents,” he said.
That desire for financial independence eventually led him to start his own trucking business, delivering frozen dressed chicken to factories in the Philippines. And it is what has led him to Fordham University to study business analytics.
Since graduating from Ateneo de Manila University in 2011, Mendoza has held an array of jobs, including at a petroleum company and a telecommunications company in the Philippines. In those jobs, he learned to talk to all manner of people — customers, business owners and others — a skill that has helped him with his own venture.
He also learned about marketing and about the role data plays in business.
“I really appreciated what data and analyzing it thoroughly, making it a basis for decisions, can bring to the table,” he said. “I felt I needed to specialize in this in order to make more effective decisions in the future for myself and my business or my company.”
It’s no surprise, then, that he chose the Gabelli School of Business by gathering available data. He searched the web for the best data-science programs, narrowed that search to one-year programs, and then zeroed in on Fordham, which had the added benefit of being in New York City.
One of the student success stories he read on the Fordham website talked about learning by doing, and that impressed Mendoza.
“It was important for me to not only have the theoretical knowledge, but also to have the practical experience, because I think that’s what matters,” he said.
As an avid soccer player, Mendoza said he knows the value of practice and hard work.
“It showed me that, although you make a lot of mistakes, as long as you admit your mistakes and learn from them, you’re going to get better,” Mendoza said of soccer. “That’s my perspective on things.”