Meet Carnegie Mellon’s MBA Class Of 2018

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Luis Garcia Jurado

Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Someone who thinks positively, has a thirst for knowledge, and enjoys the details in life.

Hometown: Cancun, Mexico

Fun Fact About Yourself: Last year, I became a “Dual Pilgrim.” A Dual Pilgrim is someone who has walked both the Kumano Kodo trail in Japan, and the Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago) in Spain. These are the two UNESCO World Heritage pilgrimage routes. I was originally attracted by the concept of the hike itself but what I remember the most is the people I met along the way and the amazing food! Both routes offer fascinating spiritual journeys, wonderful landscapes, and a great culinary experience.

Undergraduate School and Major: Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), BA in Financial Management

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Bloomberg LP – Sales Associate

Analytics Representative

MSCI – Riskmetrics – Hedge Fund Analyst

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The relationships I’ve developed in my career are by far my biggest accomplishment. I believe the quality of your life (in all aspects – career, personal, financial, etc.) is very much correlated with the relationships in your life. I met really interesting people along the way, most of them are part of my network and some of them became close friends. Both types of relationships (career and personal) are priceless.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? It’s all about time management. The sooner you start your application process, the better. Since you are working full time while preparing an application. you have to set up specific goals and timelines. For example, you can first focus on the GMAT since most business schools require it. I took the GMAT two years before I sent my application. This allowed me to immerse myself in the GMAT world without worrying about any essays or recommendation letters. I was still able to perform at work and enjoy my free time. You will definitely have to make some sacrifices regarding your leisure time, but you can scale down the impact it has on your free time if you plan it ahead. Here is a list of suggestions based on my experience:

  • Few people nail the GMAT the first time. Don’t feek discouraged if you don’t get the score you were looking for. Take it as practice in order to get to your target score.
  • Set up a calendar alert for a daily application preparation session before or after work. I tried to get to work before everybody else and study in a meeting room where it was quiet before the day started.
  • I can’t stress enough the fact that the GMAT is only a part of the application. Schools will see the application as a whole, so focus your energy on the other parts of the application as well.
  • It’s not all about the rankings. Apply to schools that make sense to you and that are aligned with your goals and values.
  • While you are working, search for mentors in your desired career path. Their wisdom and experiences are really valuable in order to get where you want to go and to see which program is the right fit for you.
  • Talk to alumni or current students to get information about the school. LinkedIn is a great way to ask for information and most people are willing to help you out if you are really interested. You can also mention this on your essays. I believe schools really like the fact that people have done their homework and went above and beyond.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? One of my college finance teachers (Homero Zambrano) attended Carnegie Mellon for his Ph.D. degree. He was really passionate about finance and was able to share his passion and knowledge effectively in class. That was the first time Carnegie Mellon caught my attention. I truly believe Tepper’s smaller class sizes are an immense benefit. This allows you to not only network with your classmates but hopefully build good long lasting relationships.

During my interview visit, the admissions team and the students made me feel very welcome. I also took a corporate finance class and I was amazed by the strong quantitative approach Tepper has.

Lastly, I’ve been a Steelers fan for as long as I can remember, so Carnegie Mellon had an advantage over any other school from day one.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? My dream job would be a portfolio management position at a pension fund. In a low interest rate environment like the one we see today, pension funds all around the world face huge challenges in order to achieve their return requirements. In most countries, pension funds are the backbone of the financial markets and play a huge role in the economy.

There are different types of skills needed depending on the size, type, and focus of the fund. However most of the “PMs” are highly analytical people and are passionate for financial markets. This position also allows you to have a significant impact in your community. Helping other people achieve their retirement goals should be really fulfilling.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? If there is a chance they would mention I had any positive impact in their lives, either as a classmate or friend, I would be really happy.