Victor Polanco ’93 was already a seasoned traveler by the time he was in grade school. Though born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Polanco spent his summers in the United States visiting his grandmother and helping out at her store.
“She emigrated to the States when the opportunity to open a retail business in New York arose,” he says. “I guess entrepreneurial drive runs in the family. Each of my parents owned small businesses as well.”
While most children enjoy heading to the beach or playground in the summer, Polanco took pleasure in establishing a diligent work ethic that would serve him throughout his career. When he graduated from high school, he had a choice: work for a company in New York that had offered him a great position with tuition reimbursement for college, or stay in the Dominican Republic and attend college there. He opted to head to New York.
His decision and his hard work have consistently paid off.
“Most times, I loved where I was working and what I was doing,” he says. “I hadn’t been actively looking for other employment, but when the job offers for roles of increasing responsibility came, I couldn’t refuse the chance to gain valuable skills.”
One such opportunity led him to West Haven, working for U.S. Surgical, and to a BS degree in Industrial Engineering at the University of New Haven.
“The University of New Haven had a great reputation, A-1 faculty and the convenient location I needed.”
It wasn’t always easy.
“Trying to absorb knowledge after a 14-hour day on the job was difficult, and I was constantly seeking a work-life balance. I am indebted to my wife, Tanya, for enduring those years.”
Today, Polanco’s career has reached a whole new level. As managing director for True Partners Consulting in Chicago, a tax and business advisory firm, he merges his many years of experience and education with his entrepreneurial genes.
“Being part of a start-up has afforded me the privilege of changing responsibilities as the firm evolves,” Polanco says.
Now that his career requires less travel, Polanco is eager to become more involved with his alma mater. He’s currently trying to organize the first University of New Haven alumni gathering in the Chicago area.
“Being an active alumnus affords you a way to reconnect with others who are part of the same network,” he says.“Staying in touch with the University allows alumni to give back, financially or otherwise, to new generations of students and faculty trying to make our school, and our world, a better place.”
Posted Summer 2011