Benefits in the Corporate World: Army ROTC

MAJ Otto Padron explains how having an Army background gave him a competitive advantage in the corporate world.

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My name is Otto Padron. I'm a Senior Vice President of Programming and Promotion here at Univision. I'm also a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve. My MOS, 11-Alpha, Infantry. My informal introduction into television was at a very young age. My father was an engineer so I got to see a little bit more of the technical side of the house. I realized that I didn't want to go in that direction; I wanted to go into the creative direction.

I didn't think a community college was sufficient enough to make me competitive in the corporate world. I wanted to move to a better school; I wanted a higher education. I quickly realized that the ROTC program was going to give me an opportunity to attend the school that I wanted to go to, and not just the school that I could afford.

ROTC is a program that a college student can participate in if either they want to become an Army Officer or they want to improve their leadership skills, team building, mentoring, coaching and decision-making skills to help them after they graduate. The ROTC program was my solution and it was a change of life for me. The only regret I have about ROTC is that I didn't find it earlier.

One of the things that many companies look for when they're recruiting is whether you have some type of military experience. Having done ROTC is only going to help that future college graduate. I definitely do see the effects of his Officer training and his career in the Army in what he does here. He's an extremely dedicated and disciplined person. The ROTC program is much like an MBA.

All my employers see the skill set that having an Army background brought to the team. Leading is a perishable skill, if you don't do it enough, it goes away. Your ability to motivate, inspire and push people to do things that they wouldn't otherwise do is an incredible thing.

It's not often that you see someone like Otto that consistently shows that leadership quality. He's a tremendous executive and we've seen him grow over the years. Major Padron is a graduate of the UM program who is a great example of someone who participated, graduated and went on to be a great success story. Which makes me very proud of our program.

You're the first son who makes it to a big university; I felt accomplished. When I think of myself, I try to define myself as a citizen and as a Soldier. As an immigrant coming to this country, you are eternally grateful and my way of giving back was serving.