Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Alejandro Cherem, USC (Marshall)

Alejandro Cherem

University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business

“I’m an ambitious entrepreneur with strong financial skills who’s ready to make a change.”

Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico

Fun Fact About Yourself: Husband to my high school sweetheart and parent to a “Limited edition” (mutt) dog.

Undergraduate School and Major: Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM); Finance

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Founding partner at Wert Capital

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Marshall’s focus on entrepreneurship. I’m an entrepreneur who’s looking for his next venture. The Lloyd Greif Center, USC Incubator, Blackstone Launchpad, Troy Labs, and the Startup Garage are only a few of the many tools Marshall offers future entrepreneurs. No other school has that much to offer.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? I’m most excited about being an active member of the Entrepreneur & Venture Management Association. Being able to network with so many amazing people will help me to find my next business idea and, hopefully, my next business partner.

What was your first impression of USC Marshall? How has that changed or been reinforced since then? “We are a tightly connected family.” – I must have heard this a million times before enrolling at Marshall. It has been a month since I started classes and I never imagined how deeply I would connect with my classmates.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The idea of leaving everything behind and quitting my job to follow my entrepreneurial dreams is one that terrified me. My biggest accomplishment to date has been overcoming that fear and following my dreams.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? You don’t need an MBA to have a successful business. However, is “successful” the most superlative adjective I wish to use to describe the effect of my efforts? No. I am looking to create something transcendental. An MBA will give me the tools I need in this quest.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The interview was pretty relaxed. It felt more like a conversation than an interview. At the end of the interview I got asked a simple question: “Do you have any questions for us?” This is where the school tests your preparation. You better bring your A-game and show that you’ve done your research.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? The best indicator of whether a school will be a “good fit” is how you feel about the school after talking with current students. By doing so, I ruled out more than half of the schools that I was previously interested in. Rankings will give you a good idea of what business activities and disciplines the schools favor, but it is my belief that rankings are not as crucial a determinant of school culture as is how the university community functions. Go on campus tours, talk to alumni, start NETWORKING.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? There was a devastating earthquake in my home country in 2017. It was there and then that I knew I needed to change my career path to make a positive change in the world. I went into healthcare consulting as a result. Although I don’t regret the experience, it took less than a year for me to realize that I need to follow my own mission to create something that can truly make a difference.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? Shake Shack. In a brief, 20-year history, its founder has accomplished what most of us entrepreneurs dream of – taking your passion company public and becoming highly successful. Shake Shack also has a clear mission and deliberate strategy to change the way its industry operates. Plus its food is just delicious.

Picture yourself in two years graduating from business school. Looking back, how would you know your experience has been a success? I currently have a list of goals – both personal and professional. I know that if after a few years none of those goals remain on my list, then I’ll have judged my time spent at Marshall to have been a success. The simple act of adding new goals to my list will allow me to conclude that business school will have helped me grow as a person and will allow me to achieve even greater things.


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