Meet Arizona State’s MBA Class Of 2020

Jose Antonio Cerecedo Lopez

Arizona State University, W. P. Carey School of Business

“An enthusiastic and optimistic entrepreneur looking for better and new ways to impact society.”

Hometown: San Luis Potosi, Mexico

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a certified bartender and Master Mezcalier (like a Sommelier for Mezcals).

Undergraduate School and Major: Universidad Anahuac Mexico Norte, Finance and Accounting

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Founder & Partner of Mezcaleria Epitafio

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Being able to turn around and pivot the first business I started and successfully launch and establish, with my partners, our own restaurant and mezcal brand.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Collaboration, Everyone here at W. P. Carey starts the program with the idea of not only what can I get from being here, but also how can I give to the program and make it better – not just for themselves but for their peers. I really love this spirit of collaboration!

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? Knowing that Arizona State University was #1 in Innovation. I consider myself a person who will always challenge the status quo and will always look for new, different and better ways to do things. So, knowing that I had the opportunity that I could attend an MBA program that values innovations as much as I do was very attractive.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am part of the Entrepreneurship Club and the Toastdevils (Toastmasters). As members of the Entrepreneurship Club, I have the opportunity to attend due diligence meetings of a venture capital firm here, which is an experience I really enjoy. I am also leading the team that is attending to de VCIC (Venture Capital Investment Competition) and I am very excited for this opportunity.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I wanted a challenging experience that would help me grow. I also wanted to expand my network and to strengthen my leadership skills.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? For me, the greatest value is in the relationships I can build at business school and the exposure you have to unique activities and events you wouldn’t have anywhere else.

What other MBA programs did you apply to?  Washington University in St. Louis – Olin Business School and Notre Dame – Mendoza College of Business

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I was looking for a relative small class size. Building strong relationships is a priority for me so being a part of a small cohort would help me know everyone better and have more interaction with all my classmates. I also wanted a mix of college town atmosphere with the perks of a big city. Finally, I wanted a school that would value an innovative an entrepreneurial mindset.

For the evaluation of the schools, I relied heavily in the different rankings, P&Q, U.S. News, and The Financial Times. This gave me a general picture of the options available. I also attended to the MBA Tour at Mexico City, where I had the chance to meet the admissions team of different business schools.

For my research, I contacted and talked with alumni from the different business schools that interested me. I asked them about the atmosphere, the activities they did, what they liked the most, etc.

The quality of the admissions process with W. P. Carey showed me that they were a different business school with a more personal approach and that their focus was aligned with what I was looking for.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? It was my family’s work culture and my father’s teachings around business and investments. I have always found inspiration and support in my family to work hard for what you want, never give up, and always look and try for better way to do things.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? I want to gain experience in a leading company known for its innovation and its culture. I feel very attracted to the Bay Area, so I would definitely look for opportunities there. I would love to work in the business development, business strategy or corporate innovation area of a company helping them grow and improving the way they do business.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself in the venture capital world as a leader who has the opportunity to impact society finding and supporting new and better ways to do business.

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