Growth mindset

Helping others achieve more is a fundamental principle for Brian Salvador (’10). As Microsoft’s Senior Finance Manager in Operations Finance, Controls & Compliance, Salvador designs processes and systems that help the business manage risks and grow the organization. “I love working at Microsoft,” he says. “The culture here is strong, and I believe in our mission to empower people and companies to achieve more. Knowing that I can make a difference keeps me motivated.”

Salvador is attaining an MBA at Seattle University but still makes time to mentor undergraduate students. He also volunteers at Donate Life Northwest to support patients who need kidney transplants. “I was a kidney donor to my mother in 2015, and that had a huge impact on me,” Salvador affirms. He serves as a personal sounding board for people who are waiting for a kidney transplant and keeps their spirits up through difficult times. “I also raise awareness through community events and fundraising, and I connect with donors to share the stories of those in need.”

Strong foundation

Interested in business concepts from a young age, Salvador obtained his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. A first-generation college student, he was surprised to receive a full scholarship based on his deep involvement in extracurricular activities rather than academic performance. “PSU recognized my drive, determination, and ability to be really connected with the community,” Salvador recalls. “My education helped me challenge ideas and norms, and look at things more holistically. That laid the foundation for who I am and who I want to be.”

Salvador became a PSU Student Ambassador and Program Coordinator, which exposed him to different disciplines and populations within the university. Then, he expanded his world further by studying overseas in Copenhagen, Denmark. “Copenhagen helped me understand my own culture from a new lens,” Salvador says. “I developed an intense sense of curiosity to learn about people, hear their stories, and share a human connection.” He maintains relationships with the people he met on his travels, which now cover more than 30 countries across four continents.

Further education

College gave Salvador a career advantage too. “PSU's accounting program greatly helped me develop strong analytic skills and understand the language of business.” Now, these attributes are being publicly lauded. The Institute of Internal Auditors recognized Salvador as a 2017 Emerging Leader, and Internal Auditor Magazine published his essay, "How can business acumen help internal audit?" in 2018.

Eager to fulfill a passion for teaching, Salvador would like to be an adjunct college instructor in business courses. “Maybe I’ll even teach at PSU someday. It would be the greatest way to give back,” he muses. “I’d like to share the knowledge I’ve gained in my career and hope to encourage professionals and soon-to-be graduates to give to a cause in the community.”