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John Gormley

Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking at BBVA Compass

I feel very fortunate to have been able to attend the local University, graduate and find solid employment where I choose to live. I was told that there weren’t many jobs available here and that I would need to move. I disagreed with that, because I saw so many successful people here.

How did you wind up in finance after earning your degree in marketing from UWF?

A local bank was the first place to offer me a job. A few years later, an opportunity came up for an extensive training program in commercial banking. There were 25 people in my class, all from larger schools like Florida State University and some Ivy League schools, who were mostly recent grads with better GPAs. I had learned sales skills, and I was able to sell myself. That’s how my marketing degree helped. I’ve always liked numbers and people, but I never thought I’d be in banking. It’s been 19 years now.

What do you believe sets UWF apart from other universities?

I really attribute it to the smaller size. In the College of Business, we did presentations, hands-on group activities and papers. We received a significant amount of feedback and interaction with our instructors that I don’t think the larger schools provide. It was really beneficial. I had good, quality professors, and I had access to them.

Why do you choose to give your time and talents to the UWF Foundation?

I think there are a lot of people like me at the University who need to know there are opportunities here. You can make your way in Pensacola, have a career and raise a family. I feel I have achieved that success because of UWF, and I want to help others do the same.