“I am driven to explore and passionate about making a difference.”
Hometown: Bakersfield, CA
Fun Fact About Yourself: I completed a two-month solo backpack trip through Central and Eastern Europe over the summer of 2019.
Undergraduate School and Major: University of Southern California, Mechanical Engineering
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Staff Engineer, WZI Inc.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: For about five months, I was tasked with becoming the lead hazardous waste specialist for the environmental team at the largest open-pit mine in California. Knowing nothing about hazardous waste or about how the team operated on-site, I was able to learn the required skills for the job, work effectively with the environmental team, and keep the mine out of trouble during my time there.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? My classmates are all very highly motivated individuals. Everyone I have met has incredibly diverse backgrounds, ranging from the non-profit space to engineering. Yet, it is clear that no matter where they are coming from, they all have the motivation to make a difference in the world.
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? I chose Carlson mainly because of the experiential learning Enterprise program. I believe that I learn best by doing, so the opportunity to apply concepts from the classroom to real-world situations before starting an internship was highly important, especially coming from a non-business-related background.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am most looking forward to joining the Net Impact club. I think it will be extremely interesting to discuss how different industries and roles are making differences in the Twin Cities.
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The most challenging question was one that I kept asking myself: “Are you sure you want to move away from sunny California to somewhere completely new?” Now that the program is getting started, I am excited to dive in and learn as much as I can.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Ultimately, my long-term goal is to start my own business. Through my engineering background and career, I have not really learned the kinds of skills needed to become an entrepreneur. I hope through the MBA program and jobs after graduation that I can slowly start building a toolkit of skills needed to accomplish my goal.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? University of Washington (Foster School of Business), University of Texas (McCombs), and University of Pittsburgh (Katz).
How did you determine your fit at various schools? There were three main things I was looking for when applying to MBA programs. First, I wanted to go to a school with a smaller class size that puts an emphasis on collaboration rather than competition. Second, I love to travel, so I wanted a school with an international offering and am looking forward to hearing about more of the business side of intercultural relations. Last, I wanted a program that emphasized a more hands-on approach outside of the classroom and internship, which is accomplished through the Enterprise program.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? My first job out of college was working as an engineer on a frac site up in North Dakota. As I was traveling to location from the “man camp,” I began to really question my role in the energy industry and if I enjoyed what I was doing. Since then, I transitioned to environmental engineering and aspire to use my MBA to go into sustainability.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? In ten years, I see myself in a managerial role working to acquire the skills needed to start my own business.