“I am a servant leader passionate about increasing access to quality education for underrepresented communities.”
Hometown: Whittier, CA
Fun fact about yourself: I am 17 years older than my youngest brother. This made for many interesting conversations when he was mistaken for being my son.
Undergraduate school and degree: BA in economics and BS in business administration from California State University, Long Beach
Where are you currently working? Program Coordinator Sr., Youth Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of my work as a high school math teacher in an underrepresented community, South Phoenix, where I taught Geometry to students in grades 9, 10, and 11. Given that geometry is a ninth-grade class, my students in grades 10 and 11 had the unfortunate experience of having four different instructors the year prior that resulted in roughly 20% passing the course. With some hard work and perseverance, I was able to achieve a 90% passing rate for the class. This allowed students in the upper grades to fulfill their math requirements and be eligible for college, and lower grade students could take more challenging math courses and be able to pursue higher-paying careers in STEM.
Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I chose this program because it allowed me to continue to manage my work responsibilities. I don’t think I would have been able to balance work and school as well if I had chosen an in-person program.
What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? I really enjoyed working in a group for my core classes. My team and I have had to change to learn and grow together in the past year and a half.
How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? My online experience was better than my in-the-classroom experience. I was a bit worried before starting the program since I knew that I would have to be very diligent about planning time to study and completing assignments. However, I found that there was a great deal of clarity on class expectations from day one, and I was able to plan at least two weeks in advance for most of my classes, which allowed me to balance my work travel schedule and still get the opportunity to spend time with my wife and family.
What would you change about an online MBA Program? I know the MBA program has now changed to the Pro-Flex schedule, where students take two classes every quarter. I would change that back to five-week classes with a one-week break in between. I really enjoyed this schedule since I was able to be completely focused on one class at a time and get a deep understanding of the topic. I think having multiple classes to balance at once would lead me to have a more basic understanding of each course.
How has your online education helped you in your current job? My online education has paved the way for more responsibility at work including training others and being brought in as a team expert in areas such as operations and finance. In addition, I will be receiving a promotion in less than a month because of the knowledge I’ve been able to gain and apply in this program.
If you had to do it all over again, would you? Why? I would definitely apply to the online MBA program again because I have been able to develop myself professionally and personally more in the past year-and-a-half than I did in the previous six years of professional experience. This program has encouraged me to find my niche in the realm of education and continue to pursue certifications that will help me make it a reality.
What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I want to ultimately help school districts and departments of education make decisions in the best interest of students. I’ve been a teacher and understand that the current system set in place is archaic, and we will need to make decisions regarding funding and processes put in place in schools. I know that most administrators and education leaders don’t have a deep understanding of finance or operations. That’s where I want to come in and help leaders have a clear understanding of choices they are making and how each one will affect student outcomes.
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