While in college, Luis Meza made out a road map to professional success for the next 10 years. While his route may have gone in different directions, his growth as a professional is evident.
The 2005 Marshalltown High School graduate works in global mobility for the Human Resources Department at Emerson in Marshalltown. He is in charge of international assignments for employees of the leading global valve manufacturer. He is in contact with more than a dozen countries regularly as part of these placements.
“It’s fun and rewarding to work with other cultures and leverage our differences and similarities in ways that promote the overall business objectives,” the 30-year-old said.
Arriving at MHS
A native of Mexico, Meza moved to Marshalltown with his parents and family and began at MHS as a sophomore. He said it was difficult to make that transition, but sought help when he needed it from a dedicated MHS staff. He remembers Deb Holsapple and Kirk Niehouse as two MHS staff members who are still at the school who helped him.
“Their support and availability really helped,” Meza said. “You can tell teaching is their vocation and they are passionate about it.”
Niehouse, an art instructor at MHS, said Luis made an impression on him as well.
“I remember him as a nice, pleasant young man working hard to learn everything he could and that he always had a smile,” Niehouse said. “He was one of those students that you knew just from meeting him that he would do well in life and be successful.”
College and starting a career
After MHS, Meza stayed in town where he attended Marshalltown Community College and then received a degree in banking and finance and a degree in human resource management from Buena Vista University. The field of human resources intrigued him.
“People-related problem solving really interests me,” Meza said.
He has been at Emerson for more than three years after working in human resources at JBS.
Advice for high school students
He said if he could go back and talk to the “high school Luis” he would have several pieces of advice to impart. Here are a few:
– Have determination: “It doesn’t matter where you come from, you must have the determination to succeed,” Meza said.
– Seek out opportunities: “Look for opportunities, find them and make them happen,” he said.
– Use your resources such as teachers, counselors, and neighbors and ask questions.
– Listen, observe and act.
– Plan ahead and make a road map. “With something as important as your future, you can’t do anything less than make a map with short, medium and long term goals,” Meza said.
– Be action and results oriented.
Since his days at MHS, Meza had the desire to build his career at Emerson.
“I used to drive through Center Street on my way home from school, and often pondered about the possibility of earning the opportunity to work at Emerson,” he said.
Valued Emerson employee
Paul Gregoire, Vice President of Global Human Resources for Emerson and Meza’s supervisor, said Luis is a great example of a local success story.
“He’s a classic case of finding success in education and coming back to Marshalltown and showing that’s a great idea as we’ve got great jobs and great companies,” Gregoire said.
Giving back to MHS
Meza also gives back to MHS as he serves on the Student Partnership Program of the Marshalltown Business Education Alliance, which helps students interact with businesses to learn about careers and inspires them to begin their career planning early.
“It’s been really rewarding seeing students engaged and brainstorming about potential opportunities career wise,” Meza said.
He also is a former board member of Child Abuse Prevention Services.
“I like to be actively and constructively involved in the community,” Meza said.
As Meza reflects on his career path, he would like to thank those who inspired him along the way.
“I would like to extend my utmost gratitude to the faculty at MHS, MCC and Buena Vista University for all the support I received,” Meza said. “I also wish to thank my parents and my late mentor William Tempelmeyer for the relentless support and love they have provided me during this journey.”