Patrick Findaro ‘10
Current Job: Founder and Commercial Director at Visa Franchise
What has your career been since graduating from Colby?
Currently, I advise foreign nationals on U.S. franchise investments that qualify for investor visas. My brother and I started our firm, Visa Franchise (www.visafranchise.com), last year and currently we have 35+ clients from 9 countries.
Prior to founding Visa Franchise, positions have included: Area Director/ Partner at LCR Capital (private equity firm), Client Services Director at Frontier Strategy Group (emerging markets consulting) and Analyst at JPMorgan. Working at JPMorgan provided key financial training that I leveraged as I moved from smaller firm to smaller firm, eventually starting my own company.
How did being a Global Studies major give you advantages for after you graduated?
Being a Global Studies major provided me with the foundations to work in a international setting and leverage the critical thinking skills acumulated throughout my coursework.
Studying across disciplines like economics, sociology and anthropology have enabled me to better understand people of different cultures and tailor business solutions accordingly.
Where did you study abroad, and how did that experience impact you?
I took advantage of Colby’s academic calendar to study abroad multiple times throughout my 4 year tenure at Colby. I spent 3 summers in South America (between Argentina and Brazil), one Jan Plan in Costa Rica, and my entire Junior year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
I was able to become fluent in Portuguese and Spanish throughout my time abroad. This further openned and strengthened relationships with people I wouldn’t have otherwise met. Being outside my comfort zone fine tuned my street smarts which have complemented well my academic background in business settings.
How did Colby in general help guide you in your career?
I was extremely fortunate to have an academic advisor, Patrice Franko, who guided me throughout my academic and business career. Taking her course on Economic Policy and Performance in Contemporary Latin America and having her as my advisor on my independent project: Roots of Brazil’s Capital Market Success, was fundamental to my Colby experience. Much of my critical thinking and analytical skills can be attributed to those economics and latin american courses by Patrice Franko and her peers. Take advantage of the small class sizes at Colby and get close to your professors!
What advice would you give to Global Studies majors at Colby about their experience in college and their future careers?
Study hard on Mayflower Hill about subjects you are passionate about then go out and apply them in the real world. The Global Studies major is truly a liberal arts degree in the 21st century. Experiment with different course work, internships and independent studies to find out about what you love then go out and do it!
Are there any websites, links or other tools you would recommend to Global Studies majors for career planning?
I would leverage the Colby alumni community to learn more about potential fields of interest. I’m sure many alums are open to having a 30 minute phone call to talk about their experiences and offer some guidance.
Linkedin is a powerful tool and it is how I found my second job. Global Studies majors should we be well versed in Linkedin. You can search for jobs by language requirements, geographic locations, etc.