Next Up: Passion and Purpose
The connections Geovany Chavarria made at Tyler helped him reimagine what was possible for his future and include a bachelors degree in his career plan.
Originally from Guatemala, Geovany Chavarria is the first in his family to graduate from college. Initially intimidated by a four-year university, Geovany’s connections at Tyler helped him reimagine what was possible for his future and include a bachelors degree in his career plan.
After transferring to the University of Virginia, he studied international business in six different countries, gaining a diverse perspective and a passion for continued learning that he puts into practice in his job as an educational specialist with the VCU School of Medicine.
"I think my biggest discovery was the fact that I could do it,” Geovany said. “I didn’t believe that I could go on to a four-year university. But after just a few weeks at John Tyler, I believed I could do it — and I did it.”
Here’s how Tyler helped him dream bigger:
Get involved on campus
In his first class, Geovany’s professor recognized his budding leadership qualities right away, and she encouraged him to apply to become a student ambassador.
Serving in that role was his entry into other campus leadership. He presented to donors, attended outreach and recruitment events, assisted students with the enrollment process, and resurrected the Latin American Cultural Club.
“I started making those initial relationships that are very easy to make at John Tyler because the faculty and staff want to see you succeed,” Geovany said. “That's how I became involved.”
"I didn’t believe that I could go on to a four-year university. But after just a few weeks at John Tyler, I believed I could do it — and I did it."
Go after what you really want
His newfound leadership skills helped him the most when he moved to Charlottesville to attend UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce, which he had connected with at a Tyler recruitment fair.
“Making a transition to a four-year university, farther away from my community, was very difficult,” Geovany said. “Having that initial practice at Tyler helped me deal with challenges of balancing a social life with a demanding course load.”
At UVA, he explored all sides of business, specializing in finance, marketing, entrepreneurship and real estate. He won three scholarships to study business in England, Switzerland, Germany, India and the United Arab Emirates.
“I learned how governments play different roles in finance and marketing — what frugal innovation means to Indians, what consumption means in the UAE, how Europe and different financial centers affect the global economy,” Geovany said. “I increased my adaptability to different environments and cultures, and gained a broader perspective of what globalization really means.”
Gain marketable skills employers value
Now a graduate of Tyler and UVA, Geovany is using his diverse skill set as an education specialist with VCU School of Medicine, where he matches medical students with clinical preceptorship opportunities. “I am happy working in higher education because it is the perfect environment for helping students achieve their educational goals; I am overjoyed to be part of the future of medicine,” Geovany said.
“Working at VCU energizes me because of the space for personal growth, supportive relationships, and opportunities for giving to the scholarly and under-represented communities,” Geovany said. “There are many resources for continuous learning, and I plan on taking full advantage of them.”
After 15 years working in IT, one hospital stay inspired Anissa Ellis to change her career to help others. She earned her degree in nursing at Tyler, and is now a branch director with a home health company, helping nurses make an impact in lives across the area.