Mike Lopez

Occupation: Senior Director - Central Region, Salesforce.com

First Car: Used Chevy Chevette (a graduation gift) - It could only get better!

Favorite Restaurant: Cafe 36, LaGrange, IL

What are three things most people don't know about you?

a). I speak only a little Spanish, despite my surname (1/8 Cuban with a remaining ancestral make-up from Europe (Irish, Italian, Dutch, English).  This created quite a bit of explanation when consulting for Banco Central de Venezuela. 

b). I started in Software Development for the first 8 years of my career. 

c). I have been dragging my aged body out of bed at 8 AM for Saturday Morning basketball for almost 20 years.

What's been your greatest adventure in life?

Parenthood - It’s a ride where you are constantly learning and evolving.

What's your best childhood memory?

Bat Day at Old Comisky Park with my father and brother.

If you could have a conversation with a person of your choice, past, present or future, who would that person be and why?

Thomas Jefferson.  His impact on the United States would make for a fascinating interview.

What's the hardest thing you've ever done in your life?

-- Parenthood (see above answer).

-- Another one I climbed to the summit of Mt Kinabalu in East Malaysia, the 3rd largest mountain in SE Asia.  I was dating a female consultant working in Thailand and had no idea what I had signed myself up for with this climb.

Tell us about your favorite hobby.

Basketball.  It’s the carrot that keeps me focused on staying in shape.

What are you currently reading? What is your favorite book?

I’m currently reading- Partners in Command: George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower in War and Peace by Mark Perry.

My favorite book is - A Prayer for Owen Meany- by John Irving

Is there a particular place or thing you want to see?

Italy.  Growing up, I was surrounded by my fun, Italian relatives.  Despite having visited/worked in a number of countries throughout the world, I have yet to see Italy.

If you could give $10,000 to a charity, what would that charity be and why?

A High School or College Scholarship Program with a focus on minorities.  Education is the great enabler to providing opportunities for people that may not have been in a position to benefit without an advanced education.

If you weren't on the professional services career track, what would you be doing?

Investment Management

What is the path that led you to Professional Services/Consulting?

After I completed my MBA, I had a strong desire to move out of software development and start traveling the world.  I stayed with my current employer (Walker Interactive Systems), transferred into consulting, and was placed on my first account in Nottingham, England for 3 months.

What advice would you give to a recent graduate who just took a job in professional services?

  • Listen, listen, listen
  • Learn your clients business and Go-To-Market Strategy regardless of your role with the account
  • Mentally consider yourself being employed by the company where you are consulting.  This state of mind will allow you to put your best foot forward when providing guidance to your customers.