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Meet Douglas Rivera ’16, Marketing
Meet Douglas Rivera ’16, Marketing

Douglas Rivera is a second generation Salvadoran American whose parents fled the civil war and came to the United States to pursue opportunities for a better life. They don’t regret this decision when looking at their son’s achievements: graduating with a BA in Business, Marketing with a job lined up as an assistant buyer at Fred Meyer.

Douglas was always interested in human minds and their functions. This was the reason he started his PSU journey as a Psychology student where he enjoyed learning about the external factors that affect our behavior and personality. He thought a Psychology degree was the only way to learn about social factors that can help him give back to his community; but, it was the “Intro to Business and World Affairs” (BA 101) class that changed his views and ignited a passion for the business field, and ultimately convinced him to change his major.

“I find the world of business very intriguing. It’s amazing that an idea can become a profitable product or something as big as an international brand.”

After his freshmen year, Douglas opted into the School of Business and continued to pursue his interest in human minds by analyzing consumer buying decisions.

Aside from academics, Douglas is an effective contributor and leader who deeply cares about the Latino community. He calls it his personal mission to help Latino students who struggle and face obstacles. He can relate to their problems and knows how crucial a supportive environment can be.

Joining the TRIO program provided an opportunity to get involved in the community and build relationships with a diverse student group. The Federal TRIO Programs are designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds such as low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs.

As an Outreach Mentor with TRIO, Douglas not only set up social events such as study breaks and bowling nights but also provided life advice to young students when needed. He vividly remembers a particular group of teens from an alternative high school who visited the campus to listen to PSU students’ individual stories. After this event, Douglas received a letter from the students stating that they identified with his personal story and promised to work their way to college. For Douglas, it was the best reward for his altruistic work.

Douglas remembers many fulfilling moments looking back at his four years at PSU.

“My Business capstone class BA 495 with Dr. Melissa Appleyard is a class that I will never forget. Dr. Appleyard made the class so interesting and so much fun. I was excited to attend every class. I loved the hands-on experience and I loved that we had a chance of putting our knowledge to the test.”

His marketing degree has equipped him with the necessary knowledge and research skills to begin his career. Douglas is ready to apply his education in the procurement department of Fred Meyer, negotiating with vendors, updating product information, and setting up planograms.

He is also grateful for his multifaceted experience at PSU that introduced new ways of giving back to his community.

For Douglas, being a hardworking and passionate student has paid off. He is determined to continue his professional path in exactly the same manner by kicking off his career at Fred Meyer and returning to graduate school for the master’s degree soon.


>> Learn more about the Portland State undergraduate Marketing program here.