2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: Peyton Gomez, University of Washington (Foster)

Peyton Gomez

University of Washington, Foster School of Business

“A strong Latina striving to empower all people to push past the constraints limiting them.”

Fun fact about yourself: I grew up playing seven different sports (soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, golf, volleyball, and track and field).

Hometown: Lakewood, WA

High School: Covenant High School

Major: Finance and Information Systems

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Corporate Social Responsibility (MGMT 320)

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Leadership Roles

  • Young Executives of Color (YEOC)
    • Volunteer: 2019 – 20
    • Mentor-in Training: 2020 – 21
    • Mentor: 2021 – 22
  • 2019 Business Bridge Participant
  • 2020 – 21 Undergraduate Diversity Services (UDS) Graduation Committee Member
  • 2020 – 21 Dean’s Diversity Subcommittee Member
  • Association of Latinx Professionals for America (ALPFA)
    • VP of Communications: 2020 – 21
    • Senior Advisor: 2021 – 22
  • 2021 – 22 Undergraduate Business Council (UBC) VP of Diversity:
  • 2021 – 22 Hovind Global Leader (HGL)

Honors

  • Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Recipient
  • Women’s Western Golf Foundation Scholarship Recipient
  • GE – Reagan Foundation Scholarship Recipient
  • Burger King Scholarship Recipient
  • Coca-Cola Academic Team Silver Scholar
  • Fred O. Paulsell Endowed Diversity Scholarship Recipient
  • Elks Most Valuable Student Scholarship Recipient
  • Jerry Beckendorf Scholarship Recipient
  • All Washington Academic Team

Where have you interned during your college career?

American Lake Veterans Golf Course in Lakewood, WA as a Digital Marketing Intern

Nordstrom in Seattle, WA as a Summer Technology Finance Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? Nordstrom in Seattle, WA as a Financial Analyst in their Finance Rotational Program

Who is your favorite professor? I took ACCTG 215 (Financial Accounting) with Christina Nichols during my first year at Foster, and I feel as though she created an environment for students that was super welcoming. It was our first online quarter, and somehow, she was able to still teach effectively and keep students engaged throughout the class. It was also one of the first times that, as a student of color, I felt like a professor recognized the difference in experience between students based on the identities that students carry.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Businesses set the tone for the values and actions of a society, so we as future business leaders need to recognize the power that we hold in these positions and strive to empower others to do what is ethically right to support the members of our society.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to you. You never know when a connection you make in a role or program will result in the next step in your career. There are also so many lessons that can be learned by participating in different activities, even if in the moment they are hard to find.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Being a school that is working to create leaders that better humanity, I expected that the curriculum was going to be more innovative and embracing modern thought, but I found it was still stuck in traditional ways. However, within my three years at Foster, I have seen the transformation of the curriculum and programming to be more welcoming to all students. I have faith that within the new few years, transformations will be made to make students more well-rounded leaders.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I’ve always been a student that is hesitant to ask questions of professors and Often times, I did not utilize professors’ office hours. I would advise taking some time to connect with your professors because in the long run, it is helpful to have the extra support from them.

What business executive do you admire most? Oprah Winfrey has been a trailblazer in her line of work and has shown that, despite the setbacks and obstacles that you face as a woman of color, you can make your dreams a reality. I admire the work that she continually does to give back to her community, and she continually does work to ensure that others are afforded the same opportunities as their counterparts. She is a representation of my own personal values, as I hope to open a non-profit organization to support underserved youth within my community.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of the work that I have been able to do as a Mentor for the Young Executives of Color Program. I get to support ten high school students of color as they transition from high school to college, which has been very fulfilling. I am appreciative of the fact that I can support my mentees in whatever ways they need, and I feel inspired by all the accomplishments of my mentees. They continually push me to do better and to do more work to create an equitable society.

Which classmate do you most admire? David Melgoza has been a pivotal piece of this last year. I only met him in January, but since then, he has been nothing but supportive and encouraging to me. His determination and ambition inspire me as I continue to pursue my own goals.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would never have been afforded the opportunities that I have now pursued without my grandparents immigrating to America. I work every day to ensure that they didn’t make the difficult migration for nothing. I hope that I can continue their legacy through my life and work.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. I want to live abroad at one point. While being in the Hovind Global Leaders Program, I have learned what it would be like working abroad and interacting with those of a different background. I would love the opportunity to learn more about a culture while also living in that environment.
  2. I hope to start a non-profit organization that has a space for underserved youth to gather and receive support with their schoolwork and job/college applications. With this organization, I want to stop the cyclical pattern that results in youth following the path of their parents and rather have them strive for their own goals and help them achieve those accomplishments.

What are your hobbies? Having grown up playing seven sports, I have always been extremely active, and as I transitioned out of high school, I took to working out. It helps my mental as well as my physical health. I also have come to really enjoy cooking and baking. It is a way for me to give back to the people in my life who continually support me.

What made Peyton such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“Peyton Gomez is the chair of the student Diversity Committee at the Foster School and is also my student in the Hovind Global Leaders program. In both of those capacities, I’ve been able to bear witness to Peyton’s sharp intellect, charisma, and character. Peyton draws from a vast toolkit of contemporary leadership skills: deep reflection and introspection about how her identity informs her leadership and professional development, an intentional and empathetic commitment to building authentic and diverse relationships, and critical thinking to analyze how to affect change in large systems. Peyton inspires fellow students to speak up, speak out, and get involved by creating safe spaces for sharing, building collaborative relationships with faculty and administrators, and a compassionate and caring approach to everyone she meets. With this approach, she has driven real change at the Foster School and has moved us closer to our goals of building a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse community.”

Christina T. Fong
Associate Dean for Inclusion and Diversity
William D. Bradford Endowed Professor of Management

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