Devin Grimalda '15: Opportunity to Learn to Think Critically

July 23, 2019 - 2 minute read


What led you to Concordia University Irvine?

Concordia’s central location in the heart of Orange County, proximity to my family, the ability to continue with my athletic career as a swimmer, and the nurturing religious culture paired with the ability to study economics. I knew for some time that I wanted to study economics, and that any school I chose needed to offer this major.

What influenced the choice of your major?

I think it was important to study the why. Studying economics I learned how to become a critical thinker as well as a problem solver. I believe other degrees may provide the skills to perform a certain trade, but these are skills that I could otherwise learn through experience. College provides the opportunity to sit down and review great questions and it acts as an incubator for tomorrow's great ideas. Having the time to breakdown and review why certain companies or governments act the way they do prepares us to understand how to fix those issues later.

Which faculty or staff member do you most admire?

Professor Grimalda for his ability to engage the class and facilitate conversations that allow students to drive the discussion to greater heights. Professor Mangum for his ability to break down complex ideas into bite-sized material while creating an environment where students are able to connect personally with the professor. Professor Nagel for his ability to related economics and business to global markets with real-life scenarios.

Where have you experienced growth as a student?

My growth has come from my ability to problem-solve. The economic professors bring modern-day problems to the class and use economic theories and other business models to create discussion and theorize possible solutions along with the impact these solutions would bear at an economic and social level.

What sticks with you from Enduring Questions & Ideas?

This quote by Zig Ziglar exemplifies my experience with Q&I "You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great."

How do you define vocation?

Vocation is someone's trade or occupation through learned training or mastering a skill.

What would be your ideal job?

I would define my ideal job as an opportunity where I can make an impact with different organizations through creativity and problem-solving. We live in a world that is changing by the moment, and where the jobs we will hold do not necessarily exist yet. It is critical that we learn to break down problems and use creativity to solve those issues while keeping in mind that everything we do has a greater social impact.

What is one thing you have most valued about your time at CUI?

I value most the relationships I was able to build with my professors. Concordia’s small class size creates an environment that fosters more intimate relationships where I see the professors value the investment in the work I produced. This was so impactful that I was able to find my first job out of college thanks to Professor Mangum.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Former Concordia University swim coach Jim Montrella.

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