Meet Rochester Simon’s MBA Class of 2019

Adrian Gallardo

Simon Business School, University of Rochester

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A multicultural and problem-solving entrepreneur who is passionate about finance and technology.

Hometown: Tijuana, Mexico

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have trained with a couple of current UFC fighters before they turned professional.

Undergraduate School and Major:

CETYS Universidad, BS in Business Administration

City University of Seattle, BS in Business Administration

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Endeavor Mexico, Jr. Analyst

Lerenit, Co-Founder

PwC, Asset Management – Tax Associate

PwC, Transfer Pricing – Experienced Associate

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My most significant accomplishment so far has been quitting a good job with a steady paycheck to launch my own company. I took the entrepreneurial leap of faith, moving to a new city for incubation, and experiencing things that only happen once in a lifetime. In a couple of months, I learned more than what I had in my previous job. Understanding the importance of having a highly motivated team, how everything needs to be perfectly connected, and how financial forecasting can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Would I do it again? Definitely! It was an amazing experience, and I hope that if I ever have the opportunity again; the skills that I am developing at Simon Business School will help me succeed.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in the MBA program so far: Making history within the Simon Business School community by being part of the first team to ever win the regional finals for the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC), the world’s largest venture capital competition where students get to be a venture capitalist for a day. We’ll be making our way to the global finals in April 2018.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? My recommendation is to not be afraid of sharing with your employers your intentions of attending business school. My previous manager wrote the best recommendation letter I received, and it was based on my performance at the company. He wrote a compelling and realistic letter stating the reasons why I was a perfect match for Simon Business School. believe this helped position me ahead of many other applicants during the selection process.

Another piece of advice is to take advantage of your network and find someone who has already attended business school to be your mentor. Having someone who has been in your shoes before as a mentor is a significant advantage because he or she can guide you on the steps to follow to reach your goals after business school.

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? Before coming to business school, I knew three things:

  1. I needed to develop and master financial skills.
  2. I had the interest to live and experience life on the East Coast of the US.
  3. I always wanted to participate in real-life venture capital deals.

After a long search, I came up with a few schools that met my requirements, but after having the opportunity to talk with current students, alumni, and faculty members from Simon, I fell in love with the school, and that made my decision a lot easier. Fast-forward eight months and I’m sure I made the right decision, especially because of the Simon Venture Fund, which is a student-managed venture capital fund that invests real money in entrepreneurs and their startups.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? As of now, I believe part of my success already happened. When I started business school, one of my goals for my first year was to build strong relationships with my classmates. I can already tell that I have friends whom I will be able to count on in the upcoming years, not only in professional matters but also in personal life. The second element to have a successful first year is to expand the Simon School Venture Capital Fund’s network, especially in southern California, where I was born. I started on this initiative a few months ago and have managed to develop a few partnerships already, but there is still a lot of work to do. I am sure this work will pay off not only for the fund but also for the school.

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