Raul Figueroa is pursuing a degree in business management at Oxnard College while working full-time as a Logistics Manager for Mission Produce, a position that allows him to travel the world. It’s a lot to balance, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Figueroa’s career with Mission Produce started when he took a position as a forklift driver after graduating from high school. He quickly progressed through the organization because of his proficiency with technology.
“The hiring manager and supervisors came to an agreement and said I’m for the office, not the forklift,” Figueroa said. “They looked at my resume and saw that I was good with computers, which was something they were lacking.
Figueroa is responsible for logistics on avocado imports and exports, which includes everything from arranging freight to negotiating contracts and RFPs. The position has allowed him to travel across the U.S. and around the world to avocado-producing countries like Mexico and Peru.
He is fluent in Spanish, which has proven extremely helpful on some of those international site visits. He recommends that any student interested in the global trade field take classes in a second language.
“Taking global trade/business classes and speaking a second language played a big role in my success and can help others in this sector,” he said. “Not only by understanding the way global trade works, but it gives students an insight to what they will be faced with if they follow that path.”
Figueroa will finish his associate degree at Oxnard College this fall and start his bachelor’s degree at California Lutheran University next semester. He said Oxnard Business/Accounting Professor Ed Bassey served as a mentor to him and opened his eyes to the doors that a business degree could open for him.
He hopes to one day become an executive and knows that education is an essential part of getting there.
“The sky’s the limit on my end. This industry is something I feel very passionate about,” he said. “I can outwork anyone, but the degree is what matters. I have the work experience; now I need to validate it with my degree.”
Students – Apply for an Internship
The Global Trade Virtual Internship Program (VIP) is a virtual digital media and global marketing internship program. Led by an industry-certified digital marketing expert, students will perform project-based internships in support of eCommerce companies looking to expand their digital presence into overseas and/or domestic markets.