Meet Vanderbilt Owen’s MBA Class of 2019

Jose Espinosa 

Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: I am constantly seeking new ways to help people.

Hometown: Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador

Fun Fact About Yourself:  When I was just 18 years old, I realized that my city needed to improve, so I began working with a political party. I helped them design a plan for the inclusion of young people in the decision-making process while running for one of the counselor spots in the municipality. Even though I was not elected, this experience allowed me to become a better leader as I improved my persuasive skills, public speaking skills and teamwork skills.

Undergraduate School and Major:  San Francisco de Quito University (Ecuador), Economics and Finance

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:  

Biocells Discoveries Internacional S.A – Controller

La Flia Holding – Business Analyzer

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far:  After college, I decided to work in an Umbilical Cord Stem Cell Bank in Ecuador called Biocells Discoveries because that was a way to help people get treatment for diseases that previously had no cure. However, due to the high price of the service, it remained inaccessible to the vast majority of the population.

Consequently, the CEO and I worked on a project to implement a direct financing program to expand our client base. The program was extremely well received, as our service became much more accessible and financially comfortable. Currently, 1% of all new births in Ecuador hire the service of the Umbilical Cord Stem Cells Bank. This number is a great accomplishment for an underdeveloped country such as Ecuador, considering that in the United States only 3% of births each year store umbilical cord stem cells. My financial and economic knowledge allowed the company to create a financial service that created value for society while also increasing our sales by roughly 200% in the past 4 years.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants?  The GMAT is tough, especially if you are from a country where standardized tests are not normally administered. For me, GMAT was the first time I ever came in contact with a standardized test. You should study for the exam for at least 6-12 months and not be discouraged with your first result. It is not bad to take the exam two or three times until you get the score you really want.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I was looking for a school that was interested in knowing me as a person and not just in my resume. When I applied to Vanderbilt, the admissions team was great and they were genuinely interested in my life and my personal goals. They knew I was applying with my wife and they helped us a lot throughout the process. Now I am in this MBA experience with her and I could not be more happy and grateful.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school?  Getting an internship for the summer and having great friends.

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