When Andrew Baca graduated from UNLV in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in global company, he thought he was set. And with his own effective web and mobile development and style company, 3rd Estate, why wouldn’t he be?
But then the clock struck midnight of 2008. The Great Economic downturn turned Baca’s company into a pumpkin. He volunteered with the Lee Canyon ski resort’s mountain patrol for a while and after that spotted a market need in rehabilitation services for the sudden surge of foreclosed residential or commercial properties. But he knew that wasn’t sustainable. Yet he couldn’t find the more standard job in hospitality he was most thinking about because those companies just weren’t doing a lot of employing then.
Baca understood he had to alter the method he was requiring to his profession, so with some income from rehabbing houses, he went back to his university. He decided to pursue a master’s degree in informatics, which combined components of computer science and infotech with outdoors disciplines such as criminal justice (cybersecurity), biology, healthcare, and even arts.
“It was a little divergent from my undergraduate business and marketing background, however informatics is a very promising academic area for somebody who wants to work in technology, even if not in an engineering function,” he said.
Baca studied informatics with a focus in new endeavor management and completed his degree with a certificate in service intelligence. By 2011, his in 2015 in grad school, he ‘d landed a job with the Las Vegas Sands Corp. as a business e-commerce task manager.
“The task was a great way to take what I was discovering in school and what I wished to do and integrate them with my marketing and retail background,” he said.
Meanwhile, a trainee team led by business teacher Andrew Hardin had actually been provided a $500,000 endowment to begin a venture fund, but they needed some assistance on the tech side to launch it. Hint Baca.
Drawing on his marketing background from his bachelor’s and combining it with his master’s training in informatics, Baca assisted establish the Rebel Endeavor Fund, UNLV’s student-led venture capital fund. He developed the logo design and website, dealt with the tech migrations with investment platforms, determined the governance structure, and more.
The Rebel Endeavor Fund released in 2012, after Baca had actually currently graduated, but he has stayed involved. He helped put together the very first student board, developed a business and succession plan for the fund, and took part in the recruitment process for new students to handle the fund– trainees from all disciplines.
“It’s important to the success of the fund that other point of views belong of the discussion,” he said. “Working on the fund is hands-on learning, and every trainee ought to have the opportunity to benefit from that.”
After graduating from UNLV a 2nd time, Baca worked his method as much as senior supervisor with the Las Vegas Sands, and from there entered into the start-up world to launch what ended up being the world’s biggest Western hunting site, goHUNT.com.
Now, as the director of service development and technology strategy for Caesars, he becomes part of a team that examines emerging innovation and company models for the business, including blockchain technology and esports. He works carefully with UNLV’s International Gaming Institute and has also hired among his interns from the Rebel Venture Fund.
Baca’s still doing a little of this, that, and the other on the side as well– like volunteering as a board member for the Nevada Medical Center and beginning his own Hatch green chile company. The New Mexico native launched Enchanted Chiles a couple of years back due to the fact that he still feels a strong connection to his native state … and he just actually likes the Hatch green chile. He offers 20 percent of his gross revenues back to companies that support New Mexico’s farmers.
“I believe it is essential to do as much as you can,” he stated. “I attempt to do things outside of what would normally be anticipated, and I motivate everyone to take as numerous chances as they can to take a trip, to volunteer, to attempt things outside of their areas of research study, to get included. That sort of comprehensive interest is an exceptionally appealing quality to see in someone, not just in the task world but in basic networking and on a personal level.”