From Georgetown University to Spain, London, New York City, and back to San Francisco, managing director and senior relationship manager for Wells Fargo René Picazo ’90 has had the opportunity to see the world and build relationships one partner at a time.

What are some of the most memorable experiences of your time at SHC?

I remember receiving my acceptance letter and being excited for a new change. Faculty members that were impactful for me included Dr. Ken Hogarty ’66, John Scudder ’73, John Vigo ’81, and Chuck Pardini ’75.

In 1986, the Honors Program was in its infancy. Eventually it became known as the De Paul Scholar Program. Many of us in that first Cohort were encouraged to apply to selective schools. We were the students doing double math, honors Spanish, English and applying to schools such as Georgetown, Stanford and Harvard. With the merger of Sacred Heart and Cathedral, the two schools grew academically.

On October 17, 1989, the earthquake struck. It shutdown St. Rose, and we had a good number of girls transfer. I was student body president at the time. I remember visiting St. Rose and talking to them about SHC and why they should transfer. We became a school of choice for many of those students.

I ran also ran track and competed in the 400m and 800m. I played running back and kick returner in football. My senior year, I was accepted to and chose Georgetown University because of my interest in politics as a student in high school. I eventually went on to study international relations.

How did you adjust to Georgetown?

I remember at orientation we were sitting with the president of Georgetown. In front of everyone he said, “You have 73 student body presidents among you, 50 football captains,” and continued down the list. It became pretty clear that I would need to operate on a different level and I was urged to excel because all of the students were high achievers.

I also studied abroad in Spain at the University Autonoma de Madrid and became classmates with then Prince Felipe VI, who is now King Felipe VI of Spain. Because I spoke fluent Spanish, I was able to get an insider’s view of the culture. I enjoyed seeing some similarities to my Hispanic upbringing, yet living abroad also helped me more deeply appreciate my own American heritage. When I finished my degree in government and international relations his father did the commencement address.

What did you do after graduation?

I stumbled into banking by accident. I did an internship for three years every summer in college at INROADS—an organization that partners with Fortune 500 companies to help underserved youth prepare for a business career. I worked at Citibank and the recruiter in New York City called me my senior year. I was happy to have had been offered a job, but it was very difficult in the beginning. I was going head first into Wall Street. It taught me how important hard work is and commitment to seeing something through. I focused on Latin America and was able to do a lot of traveling. After a few years, I then joined Merrill Lynch in London and covered Italy, Spain and Portugal from 1999-2002. My cultural background became an asset because I travelled globally, knew the languages, and appreciated the communities. I felt comfortable in those situations.

"SHC helped me excel by giving me a multidisciplinary attitude."

- René Picazo

I moved back to San Francisco in 2011 after being gone for about 21 years. Now at Wells Fargo, I am a managing director and senior relationship manager with the Global Institutional Capital Group. I work with the largest institutional relationships on the west coast, representing all the various businesses lines. We are 250,000 people and there is a lot to do. My role is to make the bank feel very small to a select group of clients.

We are blessed to live in San Francisco. Not just for the Bay Area’s natural beauty and mild climate, but also for the openness of our local culture to new ideas.  This is the essential ingredient for innovation and it’s no wonder that so much of the 21st Century economy is being driven from the Bay Area.

With programs like I2 and the DePaul Scholars, SHC is taking bold steps to embracing the world around us and ensuring our students are well prepared to ‘enter to learn and leave to serve’ in our local community.

SHC is a very special place to me. As the son of Mexican immigrants, I owe much of my success to my experience at SHC. Our school is diverse in thought and ethnicities and meets people where they are spiritually. For me this was the perfect environment to grow and learn.

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