Giving Back and Getting Back
R.D. Castillo, Eller Evening MBA ’12
Business Development Manager, Mastek-Innerstep
By Liz Warren-Pederson
Straight out of high school, R.D. Castillo began working full-time. He was also playing golf for Pima Community College and taking classes, but as his career with Wells Fargo got more demanding, he put his education temporarily on hold.
At Wells Fargo, he began as a teller, then worked his way up as a personal banker, then on to management. As membership banking manager, Castillo oversaw the UA employee program at 20 different branches. Over his nearly ten years with Wells Fargo, he earned his undergraduate degree, but he had his sights set on more growth.
“I was trying to get into business banking,” he explained. He brought a friend’s business into Wells Fargo. While the achievement didn’t advance his Wells Fargo career right away, it did lead to advancement of another kind. “When my friend’s business development guy left, he thought of me,” Castillo said. He joined his friend’s company — Mastek-Innerstep — three years ago, and now he is managing business development for the contract manufacturing company.
“It’s still a sales and marketing role,” Castillo said. “I figured that as long as I got to know the business, I could sell anything.” In his new role, Castillo works with aerospace defense firms, for which the company builds electronics systems.
Castillo applied for the Eller Evening MBA program last year. “It was always something I wanted to do,” he said. “I grew up in Tucson and always dreamed of going to the UA.” With his wife also in school, and kids not in the picture yet, the timing seemed right. “With the Evening MBA program, I thought, ‘Finally, I can do this,’” he said.
The National Society of Hispanic MBAs thought he could do it, too: the organization selected him as the recipient of a $10,000 scholarship.
Castillo is already seeing the benefits in his job. “Working for a smaller company, I really can apply what I’m learning,” he said. “In a larger corporation, that’s not always possible.” Just a few months into the program, he said he’s already brought MIS material into real-world use, as well as group and team work. “Much of the material is delivered at a 50,000-foot level,” he said, so I need to scale it down to my industry. How does a manufacturing company use social media? What incentives can I offer?”
In addition to his work in the program, Castillo is active in the community. He has been involved with Junior Achievement since his Wells Fargo days. “Once I got into the classroom, I could really see that I could make a difference,” he said.
He’s continuing to do so at Mastek-Innerstep, too. “I’d like to stay here after I finish the program and continue to use what I’m learning to grow the company.”
The Eller Evening MBA program is offered in both Tucson and Phoenix: learn more.