Paola Moraga Aguilera ’00
“Life Skills taught me so much about group work, how you interact with others, dealing with different points of view.”
“When you think about Crossroads, the last thing you think of is ‘corporate,’” acknowledges Paola Moraga Aguilera. Yet the School helped prepare her for a successful career in finance, thanks in part to what may seem like its touchy-feeliest offering. “Life Skills taught me so much about group work, how you interact with others, dealing with different points of view,” she explains. “Crossroads had people of all types of personalities and backgrounds. That diversity of ideas helped prepare me for college and those next steps in my life.”
Although Paola was interested in the world of business at an early age, she—like many Crossroads students—had other passions as well. In fact, it was her love of music that compelled her to leave the large public high school she’d attended and transfer to Crossroads. The transition was a smooth one, but there were some cultural differences to adjust to. “I came from a school that was 86-percent Hispanic with 800 students per grade, and suddenly I’m in these small classes and getting the day off for Rosh Hashanah,” she laughs.
Paola relished the chance to engross herself in the violin—an instrument she still plays—and appreciated the personal attention she received from teachers. After graduation, she attended Ventura County Community College and then transferred on a half scholarship to Cal Lutheran University, where she majored in business administration and minored in music. She earned her MBA at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management in 2010. Paola was recruited out of UCLA by Bank of America to join a two-year leadership development program and has steadily risen in the ranks since then. Since April 2014, she has served as vice president of portfolio reporting and analytics. She reports on Bank of America’s mortgage loan portfolio to the Federal Reserve Board and to the company’s executives to assist with their strategic planning, initiative execution and marketing campaigns.