From Goldman Sachs to Westwood: Mr. Orlando Andrade


Mr. Andrade enjoys some quality time with his four kids after a long but enjoyable week at school. Photo Courtesy of Mr. Orlando Andrade

Mr. Orlando Andrade has a diverse career experience, from working 72 hours at an investment banking firm every week, to teaching business and Spanish classes at high schools. He got his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Mr. Andrade received his Master’s in Business Administration and completed the Master of Arts in Latin American Studies program at the University of New Mexico. Now, he teaches Pre AP/IB Spanish 2, On-Level Spanish 4, Entrepreneurship, and Business Management.

“I began my teaching career in Michigan [after resigning from The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., a huge investment banking firm], in the Ann Arbor public schools,” Mr. Andrade said. “I taught at Pioneer High School, which is a very well regarded school – kind of like the Westwood of Michigan.”

Mr. Andrade resigned from Goldman Sachs after realizing it was not for him. He was missing the teaching experience he received before, as he was much happier in the classroom.

“I didn’t feel like being in Goldman’s environment was my cup of tea, so I made a decision before the financial crisis,” Mr. Andrade said. “I had no crystal ball in front of me. But I think that the timing couldn’t have been better to leave that industry, and go back to really where I thought my heart was- in teaching and working with kids. But I’m fortunate, and I’m happy to have had the experience.”

In his pursuit for new horizons in his career, Mr. Andrade applied for a job as a high school teacher. Since he had a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies, he started teaching at Westwood as a Spanish teacher. 

“My experience in teaching had always been in Spanish, but I [decided to try] a different [route] in [teaching] business,” Mr. Andrade said. “So it was really just a matter of taking the certification exams, and also encouragement from principals and other staff here at Westwood, who said, ‘Hey, you ought to give business a try. I think you’d make a good business teacher’, and I couldn’t be happier. I really enjoy being a part of two awesome departments – LOTE and CTE.”

Now, Mr. Andrade really enjoys being part of the Westwood community.  He acknowledges that the homework and stress level are issues here, but hopes that the Flextime will alleviate some of that stress. 

“It’s hard to find something that I dislike [about Westwood],” Mr. Andrade said. “I think that we’re very lucky and fortunate to be in such a great school. I guess I dislike that maybe because it’s so big, I don’t know as many of my colleagues here as well as I would like to. But I think that, you know, it’s kind of the nature of the size of our organization. I feel fortunate and blessed to be a part of the Westwood family.”

Mr. Andrade has four kids, ages two, four, six, and eight. So, he is always very busy trying to balance school with spending quality time with his kids and wife. They were part of the reason he left Goldman Sachs, as he wanted to spend more time with them. 

“[Time for myself is] just going for a walk or just taking some time to relax and think clearly- it could be a drive home,” Mr. Andrade said. “We spend our summers in Canada. And so it’s a great place to cool off from the hot summers, and spend time there with friends and family. On the way to Canada, we spend time in Michigan too, where I still have family.”

Inspired by his family and experiences to become the person he is, Mr. Andrade is glad to have found his home in the Westwood community.

“I met a lot of amazing people, and did a lot of great things [in life],” Mr. Andrade said. “But sometimes you just have to experience things before you fully understand how you feel about them. It’s in every experience I realized that my place, my passion, and my mission is in the classroom.”