2015 MBA To Watch: Pato Bichara

Pato Bichara

Pato Bichara


Harvard Business School

Many MBA graduates ride off to ‘safe’ careers in consulting and banking. Increasingly, you’ll find more brave souls launching companies. And that’s Pato Bichara’s dream. Seeing entrepreneurship as a “driving force behind economic development,” Bichara will be training the next generation of Latin American entrepreneurs through his Collective Academy. Known as a student who tirelessly connected students (and faculty) across the school, Bichara also worked as the student association’s chief community officer and the social chair of his section. He also organized HBS’ Biohacking Conference as well as the Latin American Conference.

Age: 29 years

Hometown: Monterrey, México

Undergraduate School: Tec de Monterrey (ITESM)

Undergraduate Degree: Industrial and Systems Engineering

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? IGNIA, Senior Analyst – Monterrey, Mexico

Where did you intern during the summer of 2014? Polymath Ventures – Bogota, Colombia

Where will you be working after graduation? I am launching Collective Academy, a new university in Mexico City, with plans for expansion soon to Tijuana as well. My colleagues and I are trying to rethink higher education, teaching business and technology via a model that will leverage online content from the likes of EdX and Coursera. Classes will be held in spaces alongside entrepreneurs. The goal is to welcome our first cohort by January 2016.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…my dad told me he would never be considered to succeed the CEO of his company because he didn´t have a business degree. He was the General Counsel and personal confidante of the CEO and knew the business from head to toe, but he just didn’t have the credentials.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…an architect – maybe one day I’ll make it to design school.”

What are your long-term professional goals? Tackle poverty and inequality in Mexico. I believe that entrepreneurship will be a driving force behind economic development in Latin America, and I want to dedicate my life to it.

Favorite Courses: LEAD (Leadership and Organizational Behavior), The Entrepreneurial Manager, Entrepreneurial Finance, and Strategic Marketing in the Creative Industries.

Which academic or professional achievements are you most proud of? [I organized] the HBS vs. MIT Battle of the Bands with the HBS Student Association and the MIT Senate. With almost 1,000 attendees, it was the first time we brought both schools together and the beginning of a new tradition!

Who would you most want to thank for your success (and why)?  Success is (hopefully) still to come but my mom and my sisters will deserve all the credit, together with my professors and Section I!

Why did you choose this business school? First, it was the people. From Admit Weekend until today, I have met some of the most impressive, humble, talented, and fun individuals from around the world. This applies to my classmates, the faculty, and the HBS staff overall – it’s an incredible community!

Second, it was the case method. HBS takes the classroom experience to another level. Every class is intellectually stimulating and relies on the contribution of your fellow students to elevate the level of the discussion. The professor is the director in charge of bringing out the best in the students.

What did you enjoy most about business school? The diversity of experiences I’ve gone through in the past two years – from launching a startup in Colombia, performing on-stage at the HBS Show, eating samosas on a street cart in Mumbai, and hearing Mitt Romney’s advice on how and when to go into the public sector. I am extremely lucky to be here, and I have tried to make the most of out my time here.

What is your most memorable moment from business school? Filming a video for the introduction of our Beyoncé case in Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries and getting a shout out for my moves after Beyoncé saw the intro video – I really hope she invites me to dance with her in the next tour.

Fun fact about yourself: I love singing at weddings and have been to weddings in over eight countries (and counting).

Favorite book: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story by Don Miller – a great story about how to live a meaningful life.

Favorite movie: Ocean’s 11 – An A-team working together to make some money, while having fun (though they should have stuck to legal activities).

Favorite musical performer: Jamie Cullum – British modern jazz star. If you ever have a chance to see him live, you’ll understand.

Favorite television show: I haven’t watched TV in years but probably “24” – who wouldn’t want to be Jack Bauer?

Favorite vacation spot: Playa del Carmen, México

What are your hobbies? I love bringing people together – that typically includes cooking, singing and dancing.

Twitter Handle: @PatoBichara

What made Pato such an invaluable addition to the class of 2015?

“Pato is a community-builder in the truest sense of the word. He speaks daily of his admiration for his HBS classmates, faculty, and staff members; yet nobody has done more in their last two years to connect individuals in all of these groups to one another than Pato.  He has enlivened the community and knitted us together in a manner that will live on well after he graduates.  Five years from now, current students may not know Pato’s name. That will not be his legacy. His legacy will be the spirit that he imbued into our community, influencing the way students, faculty, and staff relate to one another. He is leaving HBS as a better place than when he arrived.” – Mike Murphy, Associate Director, MBA Student & Academic Services