Luis Eduardo Font
“Always looking to have a good laugh, Inquisitive, History Fan, Book Lover and Physics Aficionado.”
Hometown: Valencia, Venezuela
Fun Fact About Yourself: I played semi-professional soccer in Venezuela before coming to the United States to play at the collegiate level.
Undergraduate School and Major: University of Alabama at Birmingham – B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Cummins Inc. – Current Product Engineering – Team Leader
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: During the launch of one of our brand new engines, we were still working to validate a new machining location for one of our components. This new location would allow us to shorten our supply lead times over 30% and increase our current capacity.
As a the lead engineer of validation, I was in charge of making sure the new components met our engineering requirements; however after 75% of the testing was complete, it was clear that the new components would not meet the requirements. This is usually not a big obstacle; it would just require some changes to the manufacturing process and a new testing iteration. However, there was a breakdown in communication with our supplier and they had already instructed the old site to ramp down the production of our components and ramp up the new site.
Although there were several discussions to determine the causes for the communication breakdown, the team and I were tasked with not only improving the manufacturing process at the new site, but also developing a shortened testing cycle that would provide results with a high degree of confidence to the leadership team. It was then when the team and I developed a new testing approach using probability and reliability analysis shortening the testing time. Eventually, we were able to improve and validate a new manufacturing process that met our requirements and in the process save the company over $2.2 million dollars. It was fulfilling to know that I was not only able to help our company but gain the respect and praise of both leaders and engineers in our team.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? My classmates’ best quality is their passion. From a filmmaker to a fashion designer to a wine entrepreneur, I have found that in every conversation I have had with those classmates that I have met, they are truly passionate about what they used to do, what they are looking to accomplish while in school, and what they are looking to pursue after school. It is humbling and at the same time exciting to learn about their stories and what their goals are for the future.
Aside from your classmates, 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? The key factor was Georgetown’s global approach to business education. It is clear that the world today is more interconnected than it has ever been. Gone are the days where companies can conduct business as silos and protected from other events outside the borders in which they operate. From the possible effects of climate change to Brazil’s coffee farmers and the price of a cup of coffee in your local coffee house, to the effects of the price of metals in South Africa’s mines have in the car manufacturer’s supply chain, it has become imperative for companies to think globally and strategically about their operations, product development and investments. Georgetown’s approach to the MBA curriculum gives students the tools to not only navigate but to be successful leaders in a global business environment.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am looking forward to the Executive Global Experience where we get to take the lead on a critical project for a company and work with them for an entire semester and complete a residency in the company’s location, whether in the US or overseas, and present our recommendations and plan implementation.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? In engineering, I had become a critical contributor to my team. However, I knew that in order to become a leader in an organization I would not only need technical skills but also to further develop my leadership, strategy and business skills. It was then that I decided to pursue an MBA.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I looked at the knowledge, network and employment and advancement opportunities that an MBA would bring and it was instantly clear that the MBA would be worth the investment.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Cornell University and University of Michigan (Weekend Program)
How did you determine your fit at various schools? I made the effort to visit all the schools I was interested in because I felt by talking and engaging with students face to face would be the best way to learn about their day to day, their school and the interactions between classmates, faculty and staff.
At the start of my research, I knew I was really interested in a smaller class size because I felt it would give me the opportunity to meet, engage, and learn from all of my classmates. I also wanted to attend a school that would offer me the opportunity to experience a real world project engaging with real clients while enrolled in school. More importantly, I wanted to be part of a school that had an innate sense of community and camaraderie where classmates truly take an interest in everyone’s success and not just their own. It was these characteristics that drew me to Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? As a Venezuelan citizen, I have seen first-hand the struggles my own family and my country has had to endure due to erroneous political and economic decisions made by the country’s leaders. It was having family and friends who shaped who I am immigrating and spreading all over the world in pursuit of better opportunities. It taught me the value of perseverance and hard work as well as the true value of freedom and justice.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? My current plan is to work for a firm or consulting company where I can leverage my technical expertise and MBA into solving the current obstacles in the financial sector such as how to scale and provide accessibility of the financial markets to those with less resources and people in developing economies such as Venezuela.
Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself working with either a consulting company or government agencies across South America providing analysis, recommendations and a tailored product that brings financial products accessibility to the lower and middle class population.