When I had just reached elementary school age, I was given the opportunity to “unschool”, which is a form of homeschooling where the curriculum is very flexible and adaptable to each student. This type of schooling gave me the freedom and time to pursue my personal and educational growth and I became significantly self-directed very early on. Because I had been afforded these learning opportunities, my most ardent passion is to develop these opportunities for others – in the Latino community and in other communities – to spur personal, educational, and professional growth to others in disadvantaged positions.
Growing up, I gained a lot of experience with technology by undertaking self-directed technology projects, including creating websites, developing programs, and building my own hardware systems. Before I reached college age, I was already well advanced with my tech knowledge, so I decided to go into a business administration major to supplement my expertise in technology. While I was completing my Bachelor’s degree, I found a deep interest in business management and operations through undertaking successful internships with American Express and Morgan Stanley.
After I received my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Information Systems and Decision Sciences, I began seeking IT administration job opportunities. I found this field to be a great fit, as it allowed me to continue developing my strengths and further confirmed my life-long interest in technology. I was able to find a position in an employee benefits communication and enrollment firm as an IT Assistant. Thereafter, I was promoted three times: first, to IT Manager, two years later to Director of Technology Development, and post-MBA to Associate VP, Strategy and Innovation. In addition, I was given a post as the youngest member ever in the Leadership Team for my company. In this post, I led a company-wide leadership initiative each year through managing a cross-functional team of department managers.
To continue developing as a leader and manager, I decided to pursue an MBA from a top university. After being accepted with a full scholarship to the Full-Time MBA program at UCLA Anderson, I was able to gain expertise in creating business solutions through the core curriculum in the areas of finance, communications, marketing, and strategy, and through taking elective courses such as “Global Macroeconomy”. Putting theory into practice, the Applied Management Research program, which served as my Master's Thesis at UCLA Anderson, provided me the opportunity to create an organizational development strategy to increase employee engagement for a real-world client.
With my technology management experience, my project leadership experience, and my MBA education, I am excited to play a strategic project management role for a leading organization.