April 27, 2017

An Open Heart

Jose Ortiz ’08 embodies the true spirit of a well-rounded, liberal arts education.

A Business major at Guilford, his career has taken a pretty traditional track. He first worked in sales and now serves as a vice president at Georgia Banking Company, where he is market manager overseeing the South Atlanta area. But Jose is much more than a banker. At the bank he also works on the Community Reinvestment Act plan, giving back to the communities where the bank operates.

He has recently embarked on getting his MBA through Emory University, furthering his education. “I’ve learned you can always benefit from learning new things and being exposed to new ideas,” he says. “After receiving my MBA, I hope to further my career in banking with a greater emphasis in technology. The banking industry is in a period of disruption and ready for a makeover through the use of technologies like machine learning, predictive behavioral analytics, digital currencies and peer-to-peer lending platforms. The merging of difficultly regulated technology and a heavily regulated financial industry will demand unique skills from those involved. I hope my MBA will prepare me to take advantage of the changes this challenge will bring.”

Jose also serves on the junior board for Project Open Hand, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help feed people suffering with chronic illness who are unable to provide adequate nutrition for themselves.

“I was introduced to this through a friend, but I was already familiar with a lot of the communities the project serves because of community work through the bank,” he says.

In addition to helping package and deliver meals, Jose brings in new members and sponsors Project Open Hand.

“When I reach out to people in the corporate world to ask for their support it brings much more than just financial assistance to our project,” he says. “They’re able to see first-hand the neglect in some of these areas, and it helps raise awareness with people who can really make a difference. Volunteering with Project Open Hand is very fulfilling because it allows me to make a positive difference in other people’s lives and the communities in which I live and work. I believe that continuous improvement towards making our communities better places to live strengthens the institutions within it and benefits all involved.”

Driven by Values

All of the things that are important to Jose now — his work, community outreach and studies — he tracks back to his years at Guilford College.

“At Guilford I learned to think critically. My time there prepared me to be a self-guided, disciplined and principled decision-maker, a skill that has been very important in making loan decisions. All course work emphasized a heavy written curriculum, which has given me the advantage of clear and concise communication. My work within my business major developed soft skills and logic that have helped me add value and provide strategic direction at work,” he says.

“When I was at Guilford, they really drove home the Quaker principles and core values, and I’ve taken that and tried to involve it in everything I do,” Jose says. “I’ve used it for making decisions, in my work and for myself personally.”

Learn more about Guilford's Business Department, including available majors and minors.