Daniel Garza – ELP Spotlight

What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this field? 
I am currently an Area Director for One Main Financial - a subsidiary of Citigroup. I always wanted to be in finance and in business management (helping employees and customer achieve their financial dreams). I started with Citi 20 years ago as a Customer Service Representative in a full service branch and worked my way up into management. I’m very passionate about what I do and I enjoy providing opportunities for others to be successful as well.

What is the biggest challenge of your work? 
The biggest challenge is attracting and retaining talent.

What is your proudest achievement? 
I am most proud of my international experiences and successes as a Managing Director in Mexico and President-Business Head in Puerto Rico. My family and I lived in both countries for over 9 years.

What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most? 
President Clinton, President Obama, Bill Gates, and our CEO Mike Corbat. They are visionaries, thinkers, philanthropists, and true leaders dealing with multi-faceted economic and cultural challenges.  They lead large teams/businesses in an ever-changing global economic environment while staying ahead of constant changes in the regulatory environment.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? 
I see myself continuing to excel in my development, career mobility, building and nurturing relationships, very close to retirement, and looking back at a successful 30-year career at Citi!

Did you have a mentor or do you mentor someone else?
Yes, to both. I have had several mentors from the CEO level down to a Manager in Training. I value those relationships and still keep in touch with them frequently. I have also been a mentor to a couple of hi-potential individuals inside and outside the firm. I am currently mentoring a couple of individuals across business lines.

How has that experience changed you?
This experience has allowed me reflect on my mentor/mentee relationships which have given me the ability to counsel others on potential challenges and risks that they may face or are facing in their career development. Subsequently, sharing my experiences around the risks one must consider and take advantage of as you move up to the C-Suite.

How has your participation in the Executive Leadership Program impacted the way you approach your day-to-day role? 
The ELP has allowed me to focus on what means the most to me (my family, a father/husband, my sponsors, and my advocates, and my career). The balance allows me to be the best that I can be in each of these roles. In addition, the series on brand management has helped me focus and take actions to improve my brand. The program has helped me reflect and clarify my ambitions. Frequent use of the ELP tools and connections help me to guide others as they navigate through their own career challenges and opportunities. I am very fortunate and appreciative of the networking opportunities that ELP has provided me.