Time and again, UD grads have proven the versatile nature of a humanities degree. Two politics majors, Monica (Tomutsa) Molano ’07 and Carlo Molano ’06, founded their own successful commercial real estate business, Forum. The couple embodies the entrepreneurial spirit that UD instills in those who undergo her rigorous education.
Reflecting on her time at UD, Monica recalls: “At UD, for the first time, I fell in love with learning. Being a part of the educational tradition enabled me to realize that my education extends so much farther than myself. The books I read during my time here are so worthwhile that scholars have been studying them for two thousand years and will continue to study them for two thousand more, since human nature is unchanging.”
Much like Monica, Carlo “fell in love with the Socratic method and the ability to analyze issues through conversation, which has additionally proved to be essential in the world of real estate.” Carlo switched from a computer science major to politics after falling in love with philosophy, thanks to the beloved Fr. James Lehrberger, O. C., associate professor of theology.
Carlo noticed that UD’s campus life facilitated dialogue among the students, giving him the opportunity to converse with like-minded peers. He credits this continuous dialogue as what truly molded him into becoming the independent thinker that UD forms.
He recalls the complimentary practical aspects of certain UD courses such as economics. “One of the first things I learned in microeconomics was the definition of opportunity cost, and to this day I run our business by that definition,” he said.
Years after their respective graduations, the couple had a huge Mexican style wedding in Laredo, Texas, near Carlo’s hometown of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, in Jan. of 2012.
When they were only three months away from expecting their first baby, the soon-to-be-parents saw a golden opportunity to manifest their entrepreneurial spirit.
Carlo recognized the need for property managers in Laredo and accordingly he founded “Forum,” now eight years old, through inquisition.
Now Carlo and Monica are the Managing Principles of their rapidly growing team. “Forum” serves a wide variety of well known companies such as Domino’s, Loves, Spectrum and CVS to name a few and plays a significant role in the Laredo community.
Monica observed that UD students are primed to be entrepreneurs, even though we may not realize it, since the love of learning and desire to do excellent work naturally lead to entrepreneurship. In the Molanos’ case, property management happened because they saw a demand in the market; clients in need of property management on a local, regional, national, and international level.
Since the Molanos are self-employed, they can both work from home when need be. In fact, Monica often does so to spend the maximum amount of quality time with her three children: Massimo, Livia, and Lorenzo.
Now, over a decade after graduation, Monica and Carlo are able to see how the fruits of their UD education have manifested themselves over time. Since UD forms students holistically, success is not limited to work.
The Molanos spend significant time together as a family, from hosting lively gatherings in true UD fashion and cuddling with their kids, to camping in Yellowstone and rafting in Colorado. Monica also serves as a member of UD’s Alumni board and the couple frequently visits Dallas, reuniting with fellow alum.
The Molanos advise UD students to view our education here as a means, rather than an end. It is the foundation for what we will continue to learn throughout the entirety of our lives.
Carlo emphasizes the importance of broad undergraduate studies in order to have the maximum skills, interests and knowledge to choose from when it comes time to specialize after graduation. Monica stresses the necessity of seizing opportunities as they arise, and having flexibility career wise — never fearing or avoiding risks.
Most importantly, the Molanos highlight the value of cultivating gratitude and living in the moment; truly appreciating each stage of life rather than attempting to leap into the future or shrink into the past.