Just prior to the Memorial Day holiday, the California Employment Development Department released its latest labor market information for San Francisco. The sector with the largest gains in employment was business and professional services. This sector led all other occupations in both the month-over and year-over categories. While San Francisco business majors fresh out of college may have several local opportunities for a career, continuing students and those about to enter college can gain an edge by receiving advice from an expert in the field. One leading expert who took some time to share career advice is Uris Dacosta, VP of Design for PayPal.

(Photo Courtesy of Uris Dacosta)

(Photo Courtesy of Uris Dacosta)

What is your background and education?

“I have a strong international background: born in Angola, half Spanish and half Portuguese, fluently speak French, Spanish, and English, went to school in the U.K. and U.S., and worked in Mozambique, Russia, and Portugal. I have a bachelor’s in business administration from George Washington University. Before joining PayPal, I was the User Experience Director at Roundarch, and previously worked at Keane as a senior principal UX architect. Before coming to the U.S., I started my own digital design consultancy. I taught myself everything related to design, before user experience became a professional word.”

How has your education helped you in your current position?

“My international background helps me understand how to talk to businesses and gives me the ability to think about problems holistically. In order to be successful in the corporate world, every product experience needs to bring together customers and businesses’ needs. PayPal is a global company and with my background, it allows me to think about designing product experiences for people around the world.”

What career advice can you share to business students?

“It’s best to invest your money and time in one that fuels your hunger to learn and grow. Learn by doing. Fall in love with needing to make the world better by doing work that speaks to your sense of purpose and passion. Take opportunities presented to you, especially if you don’t feel you’re ready for them. Set the bar high, always do the best work, and remain humble. Go all in and put in the critical work it takes to become an expert. Most importantly, move away from doing work you ultimately aren’t l proud of.”

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.

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