Student Spotlight: Omar Navarro

Graceland agricultural business student Omar Navarro

Business Administration and Agricultural Business major Omar Navarro `20 completed his first internship over the summer with Sierra Gold Nurseries in Yuba City, California, just 15 minutes from his home town of Nicolaus. The nursery has been providing top-quality fruit and nut trees to orchardists throughout the western United States since 1951. 

Omar was able to secure the four-month-long internship through family friends, and he gained experience in both their agricultural and business/sales departments. In the nursery’s test plots, Omar completed field work by taking inventory. On the business side, he learned the importance of building client relationships by shadowing a sales person on visits to current customers. The internship made such an impact and helped Omar discover what he truly wants to do when he graduates.

Based on his hard work and success at Sierra Gold Nurseries, Omar was recommended to two other companies and has his business internship for next year secured with 115-year-old High Liner Foods based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

Omar admits it was a little tough at first finding a university that would accept his ACT scores. He had a rough start in high school, but with a state championship his senior year and the desire to continue playing football, Omar received several scholarship offers from recruiters in the Midwest. Discovering the high ratings of the C.H. Sandage School of Business and national qualification of the ENACTUS program, Omar and his family believed Graceland was a good fit.  Not only did Graceland offer better academic and football opportunities, the small community was also a plus. The transition was easy.

He credits being a member of the Yellowjacket football team with teaching him how to transition and adjust to competition throughout all aspects of his life. It has helped with prioritization. After a visit to a much larger university to see some of his friends, he discovered though they have very nice sports facilities, the class sizes and size of the campus made college life impersonal and distracting. Omar has an appreciation for Graceland’s small class sizes, incredibly helpful faculty, and friendly and personable student body as the best positive learning environment to keep him focused on his studies and achieving his goals.

Omar admits it he feels overloaded at times, but he gets through it. He has turned to Cathie Hosie and the TRIO Center for help and support on several occasions. He expresses, “Ms. Hosie and her team are wonderful, amazing. I honestly don’t know what I would do without their guidance. They have helped with finances, books, classes and personal stuff.”

When he graduates, Omar will be a first generation college graduate. “That’s very cool, and I feel very proud about that. When times get tough, I just remind myself of that, and it gets me through.”

Omar is a recipient of a Leadership Grant from the Bruch Family Scholarship Fund for Agricultural Business majors. Graceland is proud to shine the spotlight on Omar and his accomplishments.

"Omar Navarro is a leader and is becoming a global professional in agricultural business and business administration. Omar's consistency in the classroom and in athletics has earned him the respect of his professors, his classmates, and his teammates. Most importantly, Omar is using Graceland's Essential Education to build confidence in himself to be a global professional who makes the difference in our world one action at a time."

- Max Pitt, MBA
Associate Professor of Business