César Giralt '09 urges Trinity University students to pursue a subject or activity outside of their comfort zone, something he did while pursuing a bachelor's degree in computer science. Now a manager at Pariveda Solutions, Giralt also is a director on the Trinity University Alumni Association Board and an active member of the Houston alumni chapter. He solves problems every day. To learn how, keep reading.
What is your favorite memory from your time at Trinity?
We would always take couches from houses to the soccer games and pass around "libations" cleverly disguised as a two-liter bottle of Coca-Cola. I'm sure TUPD was very impressed with our subterfuge. After one of these games, two of us were struggling to throw a couch over the fence to get it back to the house. Who should show up to give us the extra push we needed? None other than Dr. (John) Brazil, the president of the University at the time. I learned two things that day. Help can come from unexpected places, and never rely on your friends to move a couch.
Is there something you regret not pursuing while at Trinity?
I never studied abroad. At the time, I made excuses about being too busy, and I lament not reaching out to the Study Abroad office and my adviser to see how it could have worked. I've recently made it a priority to nurture the travel bug, and I've enjoyed visiting different parts of the world. There just isn't a replacement for the educational value of meeting others where they are and the perspective that brings.
What was your favorite teacher/class at Trinity?
I keep in touch with several professors who might read this so I'll take the fifth if that's all right. [Editor's note: Yes, of course! Everyone is valued.]
Describe Trinity in 3-5 words.
Unique, nurturing, home.
What advice would you give to a Trinity student?
Do things outside of your comfort zone and your major. I didn't plan to go Greek and ended up being the president of my fraternity, a senator in student government, and connected in a special way to so many amazing men and women I now call friends. I cannot imagine what my Trinity life would have been like had I not taken that initial step of rushing, despite reservations, to see what it was all about.
On a similar note, take advantage of all the educational options Trinity offers. Are you a science major? Take some liberal arts classes. Finishing my major requirements my junior year allowed me to explore the rest of the course catalog my senior year (and take nine hours my last semester). We sometimes talk about education as a choice between the humanities and sciences. You are Trinity students; you don't have to choose. I'm a computer science graduate, and if anyone asks, I tell them I received a liberal arts education and I'm proud of it.
How did you get involved in your area of expertise?
Every job/internship I've ever had was through a Trinity connection. In this case, I was looking to move to Houston and sent out a request for leads. A Kappa ten years my senior (whom I'd never met) was in town and told me to meet him at Bay's (where else?) to discuss a little consulting company with a growing office in Houston. The rest is history.
Favorite color? Why?
Blue. Why? I couldn't say. Let's blame Eiffel 65.
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Am I too old to say astronaut? This was rekindled a bit after seeing The Martian, and the final scene where Matt Damon's character describes the importance of breaking down complex situations into a series of small problems you must solve until you get back home. Solving problems is at the core of what I do today and is incredibly fulfilling. Solving problems In Space! seems like the kind of adventure that would be hard to pass up. And who are we kidding? It would be awesome to ride in the spaceship.
What's your favorite expression?
"The important thing is to not die." My late grandfather would always say this whenever presented with a crisis, no matter how big or small. It served as a gentle reminder that the key to life is making it to the next day. It also makes for a great epitaph.
Least favorite expression?
Regular ones. Shout out to my Computer Science people.
What is your favorite word?
My favorite word is 'moist' because my ex (and still close friend) hates it.