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Sam Guevara '93 BBA

Sam Guevara graduated from the University of San Diego’s Business School in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Now living and working in Chicago, Sam has recently been named Partner at KPMG's Chicago Office.

1: What have you been up to since graduation? 
After graduation I went a completely different route than many of my classmates by swearing myself off of working with a Big 8 Firm (at the time) and worked as a Senior Sales Tax Auditor for the California Board of Equalization. However, after eight years I jumped over to KPMG to discover new opportunities for Tax Technology in the Global Indirect Tax arena and have been recently promoted to partner with KPMG. 

2: What is your fondest memory of USD? 
My fondest memory at USD was sitting around some very disturbing looking couches in Olin Hall talking with people about all the group projects that were due for which we had not even started. Having projects performed by group participants was a new university learning concept at the time. It is a concept that I continue to see value with since all working environments in today’s environment involve a group dynamic and the management of personalities to achieve a common goal.

3. What is your favorite place on campus, why? 
This has changed over the years but I definitely believe the Alumni Center has evolved into my favorite facility.  It provides a former student whether they have graduated or not from the USD community to locate much of the information that is needed for locating friends, family and benefits from USD. It has developed into a location that for many will be a home away from home which means a lot to a university that is not a commuter school within San Diego. This also provides a stopping ground for those that come back and visit the campus which is always changing and developing year after year. 

4. Who was your favorite USD professor or class?
Cost Accounting with Diane Pattison. 17 years ago this would not have been my answer since it was one of my most challenging classes and I really didn’t see the value at the time. However, working for the Firm I work for now with the Fortune 500 clients I work with it definitely prepared me to always evaluate the business aspect from each clients operations with an accented focus on tax and process implications from change management. I truly believe now that Ms. Pattison really did prepare me and others for an extremely challenging environment.

5: How have you remained involved with USD since graduation?
When my wife, Olivia Gil-Guevara (USD Class of 2006-Masters) was hired and worked from 1997 to 2005 she continued to ensure that I remain committed to USD and participate in many functions that I may not have done without such “encouragement”. This included incredible events such as the Hughes Career Achievement, Bishop Buddy Award and Homecoming Weekend that all contribute to many of the new structures I have seen built and has transformed USD to a wonderful campus that I feel proud to compare to any other university nationally.  

6: If you could offer a current USD student advice, what would it be?
My advice to USD students is to recognize the value of your USD education. While other universities provide diplomas, USD truly provides a network of individuals that care about the success and well being of its alumni. I did not recognize this at the time I graduated but years later I can truly say that much of my success stems from my time at USD and definitely with the support of my family and Olivia who always encouraged me to finish my education at USD. Additionally, I understand that times in both life and business can be very challenging but your USD family will always be there to support you and that includes its alumni network, including myself.

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