Adrian Gomez-Flores

April 21, 2023

Adrian Gomez-Flores, an Agribusiness Economics & Management (ABEM) alumnus, shares his recent personal and professional achievements in his alumni spotlight. Read about how Adrian’s experiences in the AREC department led to a pursuit of a pathway of financial management, meanwhile, he continued to embark on his personal journey as a barista. AREC congratulates Adrian on his growing successes. 


In Adrian’s words: 

Starting my time in AREC as a freshman I knew I wanted to pursue a career in Agribusiness, I just didn’t know what that would look like or where I would be working in the future. One of the many strengths of the AREC department and ABEM is that the coursework reaches many parts of the Agribusiness industry. Different courses specialize in a multitude of subjects that helped to pique our curiosity as students in specific parts of the industry. The AREC 450 course served as my introduction to financial management. Dr. Zuo does an incredible job in instructing the course by allowing us to work individually with our peers on our semester projects while providing guidance and feedback, as well as the additional assignments and exams throughout the semester reinforcing the topics we learned in the classroom. The quality of work that Dr. Zuo expected from us motivated my group to provide the best project we could and created such a fun experience that I looked to pursue further as a career. I spoke at length about how the AREC 450 course prepared me for my future job at Wells Fargo starting in July, in which I will be doing similar financial analysis as I did in the AREC 450 course. If it wasn’t for the quality of work expected from Dr. Zuo, I don’t think I would have enjoyed the class as much as I did and have gathered the experience and knowledge, I did from it. In job interviews, I felt comfortable communicating my experience with financial management, something I attribute to the thoroughness and extensive topics we covered in AREC 450. Looking back now, after graduating, the expansive coursework of the AREC department is of great benefit, as I have plenty of knowledge in the vast agribusiness industry to build off to catapult into a fruitful career.” 


Alongside Adrian’s professional career path, he finds himself still partaking in his interests and passions, as a barista. 


Adrian wrote: 

In the day-to-day schedule, it can become easy to overlook one’s overall aspirations in the grand scheme of things, in favor of the minutiae and trivial. I’ve always considered myself a barista, working shifts and serving people, while still completing my cleaning tasks that are required of a successful employee and coworker. It is not a glamorous job, there are many aspects of working at a coffee shop we all wish weren’t so. It’s a laborious job, but I always had a higher aspiration I wanted to pursue and experience, and it allowed me to make great friends and memories along the way. In finishing high school and now my university studies, I can reflect and appreciate how I have grown as a person. In the same way, I can point to how I have grown as a coffee professional over the years as well.” 


Adrian’s hardworking and star personality has also led him to achieve skillful and grand moments that were once a dream but are now a reality. He will go on to compete in the United States Barista Championship in Portland, Oregon in April 2023. 


Adrian explains: 

I’ve always wanted to compete in the United States Barista Championship. A rigorous and strict presentation where you serve 4 judges 3 courses of your coffee of choice, all while showing your professionalism and knowledge of the specialty coffee industry as you’re scored on your technical skills by 2 more judges all in no more than 15 minutes. A large part of your success in these competitions is based on your preparation, as well as the poise and presence required to beat the nerves you undoubtedly get on stage. It’s hard, by design. The people that make it to Nationals already have prior competition experience, they’re well known, and they know what to expect. It’s an exclusive group of competitors that make it to this stage. I’m in my first year competing, but that is not a limit I’ve placed on myself. Only 36 competitors qualify to the National Championship, and this year I am one of those 36. Starting in the Preliminary round and then to the Qualifying event the concept of reaching the National Championship looked insurmountable, but hard work, doing things the right way, and dedication have now allowed one of my longest dreams to become a reality. Sharing the coffee journey with the friends I have made along the way has become very gratifying, and receiving the support and care of my family and friends has warmed my heart and motivated to improve and excel even further. Sharing what I believe and making coffee in a big stage has been something I have been looking forward to for years now, and I am excited at the opportunity to tackle the challenge that is becoming National Champion.” 



Barista Competition 2023
U.S. Barista Competition 2023.
Barista Competition 2023
U.S. Barista Competition 2023.