Hometown: Manila, the Philippines
Fun Fact About Yourself: At age 22, I started and managed the Corporate Social Responsibility department of a $50M professional service firm.
Undergraduate School and Major: I graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with Bachelor of Science degree in Management.
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: I worked as a Development Manager at a consulting firm called Smarter Good that served non-profits and social enterprises.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I helped a social, mission-driven consulting firm increase their profit margin by 500% over 2.5 years by optimising work systems, standardising service delivery, re-designing project leadership roles, and my personal favourite: developing internal talent into client and team managers.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? In a class where 99.3% are international, my classmates are all open, curious, globalized, and tolerant. I’ve learned so much about the world from being around them. Because people have such diverse experiences and backgrounds, there isn’t a pervading school of thought and this has allowed me to grow in my understanding of the world. Lastly, I can see how every person I’ve met is motivated by a sense of meaning and purpose in their careers. It’s a positive and stimulating environment to be around.
Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this programme for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I chose RSM because of the school’s focus on sustainability and social impact, as well as the Netherland’s commitment and breakthroughs in sustainable food production and clean energy.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I’m part of the Consulting Club and I’m excited about cross-overs with the Net Impact Club and the Energy Club. I look forward to solving problems in sectors that matter to me and align with my ideal career path.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? After eight years of work experience, I wanted to proactively prepare myself for higher-level leadership roles in the social impact space. I wanted an advanced degree, and I felt that a global MBA would be the best training ground to support my goals. It’s a pathway to gaining international business experience that also strengthens my hard skills, without the risk of focusing too much on a specialised degree.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I weighed my options and reconciled that I can accelerate my career growth and open up more opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have been available to me by getting an MBA.
What other MBA programmes did you apply to? I submitted applications to Harvard Business School and University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and was about to apply to IESE Business School.
How did you determine your fit at various schools? I focused heavily on the values and objectives of the school, quality of education, teaching method, and the experience and credentials of professors and lecturers.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I grew up in the Philippines where my parents consciously exposed me and my sisters to the impact of extreme poverty that burdened many Filipinos. I recall volunteering alongside Winnie, a general worker at our university. He didn’t have his own house, but he was helping build houses for displaced communities. He made no excuses and no compromises. In the two weeks that we worked together, he inspired me to use my skills and strengths to improve people’s lives and do something about systems that restrict access to basic needs.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? I want to stay in the intersection of business and social impact, which luckily has a growing number of opportunities now, much more so than when I started working eight years ago.
Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself leading a philanthropic or social impact fund, or helping grow a social venture.