Cerritos College News Release, November 2009

Business Alumna’s Got Competitive Edge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 10, 2009

Media Contact: Aya Abelon, Public Affairs; (562) 860-2451 ext.2287

Patty UriasNORWALK, Calif. - November 10, 2009 - Patricia Urias was born in East Los Angeles and grew up in Lynwood to a very traditional Latino home.  Her parents both emigrated from Mexico and her father worked as a foreman for a cold storage company and supported the family, while her mother stayed home and took care of Urias and her three younger sisters.

While the girls were still young, her parents decided to go to school and get a degree.  Her mother attended Compton College and earned an associate degree in child development.  She started working as a preschool teacher and is now a social worker.  Her father also attended the college and received his real estate license.  He is now a real estate broker for Prudential Realty.

Thanks to her parents who showed her the way, Urias knew that education was important, but had no idea what to pursue.  After graduating high school she attended the University of California, Irvine, as biology major and failed miserably.  She wanted to make her parents proud by pursuing a pre-med degree but her heart was just not in it. She dropped out after her second semester and began working for UPS.  She worked as a part-time supervisor for about two years and she was terminated.

Urias was left to think about what she was going to do with her life.   The only things she had to fall back on were her two-year work experience and a high school diploma.  It did not take long for Urias to realize that this was not going to get her through life and decide to return to school.  After about a four year gap in her education she was ready to finish what she started many years earlier.

While at Cerritos College she was involved in the accounting club as database manager.  In addition to maintaining a 4.0 GPA and keeping up with club duties she also worked part-time at Costco Wholesale.  She credits Kamal Demian, instructor of mathematics, and Debra Schmidt and Peter Moloney, professors of accounting, for her academic success. “If I ever needed any help or advice they were always there for me,” said Urias.  “They went above and beyond their duties and played a major role in my success at Cerritos.”

She transferred to the University of Southern California in 2008 as a business major with an emphasis in marketing.  She was initially torn between accounting and business and after her first semester at USC, she “just loved and enjoyed entertainment and decided to pursue the business side of it as a career.” 

“I am most attracted to marketing because of the thrill.  Trends are constantly changing and I love having to be on my toes thinking of new ideas,” she says.

In Spring 2009 USC had a panel discussion with top executives from the entertainment industry where Urias met the CFO of Chivas USA, the major league soccer team, among other executives.  He mentioned to her that Chivas was looking for summer interns and asked if she had a resume.  Urias gave him a copy of her resume and got a call a week later.  She thought it was a great way to get experience and decided to apply.

“It was a little competitive because it is sports entertainment, but I felt confident that I would get the position,” said Urias.

Since then, Urias has been interning at Chivas USA, located at the Home Depot Center in Carson.  Under the direction of special projects coordinator, Urias is involved in planning special events on game day and filling requests for sales staff members.   She also helps organize special requests, events and player appearances.   On game days she acts as a liaison between sales staff and clients.  She helps ensure that things are running on schedule, assists at half time, and helps make sure that everyone has the best possible experience.

Armed with valuable experience at Chivas, Urias is ready to work in the competitive entertainment industry.  “I don’t know what exactly I will be doing, but I do know that whatever it is I will definitely enjoy it.”

“If I have learned anything from my experiences, it is to follow what you love.”


Cerritos College serves as a comprehensive community college for southeastern Los Angeles County. Communities within the college’s district include Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, La Mirada, Norwalk, and portions of Bell Gardens, Lakewood, Long Beach, Santa Fe Springs and South Gate. Cerritos College offers degrees and certificates in more than 180 areas of study in nine divisions. Annually, more than 1,200 students successfully complete their course of studies, and enrollment currently averages nearly 23,000 students. Visit Cerritos College online at http://www.cerritos.edu/.