MBA Alumna stays committed to her community and heritage
August 27, 2012
Patricia Wescott, GB ’11, grew up in Gloucester, Virginia, and has resided in Richmond for more than a decade, but Ecuador feels like home to her. “During my childhood summers I traveled to Ecuador to be with my mom’s side of the family. Those were the years I treasure the most—summers without homework or work! Today I still visit Ecuador every year to visit my family for a few weeks,” Wescott said. While she still packs her computers, phones and other technology devices, she says, “work seems easier and less stressful when I’m around my wonderful Latin family.”
Her passion for learning about other cultures and her Latin roots, along with her commitment to the community, is what drew her to The Richmond MBA. It has also earned her recognition in Hispanic Executive’s monthly magazine. She will soon be featured as a successful Latino business leader in their “Next Generation” series. “I love learning about new cultures and the way business is conducted in each one,” she says.
After earning her undergraduate degree in economics and Spanish from the University of Virginia, Wescott thought she would pursue a profession in international business. Instead, she found a position with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and has been with the organization for 13 years. “I found a job that was exactly what I wanted—it challenged me each and every day to learn and grow,” Wescott said.
She began her career at the Federal Reserve as a research assistant in the research department. Shortly after, she moved into a managerial role overseeing the antitrust side of mergers and acquisitions among financial institutions. While in this role she gained broader responsibilities that included legislative and banking policies and regular briefings to the president of the Richmond Fed. Her new role allowed her to work with economists, lawyers, accountants, financial analysts and IT specialists, among others. Her interactions with her colleagues from different departments allowed her to continue her education while on the job. “I cherish my years in our research department, and thoroughly enjoyed learning new and exciting topics each and every day,” she said.
Wescott now serves as special assistant to the president, a position she helped develop. “It wasn’t until after I finished my Richmond MBA that I was able to help create my current position. I tried in years past to make a case for having a special assistant to the president but could never strike up the appropriate plan. I remember going to several Richmond professors for advice. What they gave me was more confidence and advice, and a true passion for learning and attaining your goals in life,” she said.
In this position, she has continued to develop a broad understanding of financial market policy and detailed institutional knowledge while working with senior leadership at the Federal Reserve. She said, “It is fascinating to work directly with our president, who also serves on the Board of Trustees at University of Richmond. Each day brings interesting learning opportunities and challenges involving operational excellence and communicating complex information in a well-organized manner to a wide range of individuals, including senior management, regional executives, coworkers and external groups.”
As special assistant to the president, Wescott has gained much insight that has helped her continue to develop her career. “Learning to think quickly on your feet, planning ahead to what our president may need for the future and ensuring topics are brought to light at the appropriate time only scratch the surface of my current role,” she said. “Within any given day I work closely and seek input from many brilliant individuals. My interactions with these people involve a wide range of topics, including research on banking and monetary policy matters and system activities across all 12 Reserve Banks and the Board of Governors.” Because she serves in such a public role, Wescott is also charged with upholding the mission of the Federal Reserve, which is to “foster stability, integrity and efficiency of the nation’s monetary, financial and payment systems and, in doing so, inspire trust and confidence in the U.S. financial system.”Wescott credits The Richmond MBA with helping her attain her goals. “Our professors are top-notch, and the course work was definitely challenging,” she says. “I have made wonderful relationships at Richmond, and I’m currently on the MBA Alumni Society. The friendships I have made are absolutely priceless—I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Wescott said. “What can I say? I love interacting with my fellow Spiders.”