In order to complete his dual degree in accounting and finance and a minor in economics, Javier Perez Navarette, former captain of Mason’s Men’s Volleyball Team, had to find a way to fund his education after his athletic scholarship terminated with his NCAA eligibility in the spring of 2013. Upon receipt of the weekly School of Management student e-newsletter, Perez Navarette learned of the Emerging Business Leader Award, a scholarship given to one graduate student and one undergraduate student each year, to which he promptly applied. Funded by the School of Management Alumni Chapter, the award seeks to recognize distinguished representatives of George Mason University and its School of Management who demonstrate a desire and aptitude toward becoming an outstanding business leader upon graduation.
In the summer of 2013, a committee made up of former EBLA recipients Tamena Aziz and Alka Papreja, MBA ’13, Assistant Professor of Finance Steve Piloff, and School of Management Alumni Chapter President Polina Zhuravlev, MS Technology Management ’05, convened to review the EBLA applications and make their selection for the 2013 award recipients.
On October 4, 2013, Perez Navarette and graduate student Seth Whetzel were honored with the Emerging Business Leader Award at The 8th Annual Business Alumni Celebration in the presence of 150 School of Management alumni and friends. When reflecting on the event, Perez Navarette spoke about sharing the excitement of the evening and the honor of his achievement with his uncle, who gave him the means to stay in the United States over the summer of 2012 to work as a credit risk analysis intern at Morgan Stanley rather than returning to his home in Puerto Rico.
In addition to earning the Emerging Business Leader Award, as a top-performing accounting student, Perez Navarette has earned the coveted James R. Beers Endowed Scholarship for three years running. The scholarship not only provides tuition dollars for its recipients, but provides them the opportunity to meet Beers himself at an annual reception and awards ceremony sponsored by Baker Tilly. Perez Navarette takes full advantage of his time with Beers by seeking his views on success and getting ahead in the business world and actively seeks to infuse Beers’ advice into his daily routine.
Perez Navarette is set to graduate in the spring of 2014 at which time he will start full-time as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a position granted to him with the help of former accounting adjunct professor, Suzanne Hubbard, an Assurance Partner at PwC. He attributes his success to the genuine thought and care his Mason professors show when shaping course materials and lectures to give students the tools and knowledge need to succeed in the professional world.