Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Nahum Armas Fuentes, UCLA (Anderson)

Nahum Armas Fuentes

UCLA Anderson School of Management

“Passionate social-minded human pursuing ways to make this world a better place through technology.”

Hometown: Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love analogies. I love the power they have to clarify complex concepts and ideas in a simple way. My favorite ones are sports references, which I commonly use as a means to connect with others. For me, sports are a synonym of passion, hard work, and teamwork – values that I try to pass on to my internal teams and clients. I enjoy watching how their faces change when we start talking about sports, even though we solve work issues at the bottom line. The most memorable moment is when I listen to my team members, and strategic partners build and use their analogies to make themselves understood. That something from me can add value to them is priceless, as a well-known credit card company states.

Undergraduate School and Major: Tec de Monterrey ‘14, BSc in Telecommunications and Microelectronics Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: NetPoint, Strategic Account Manager

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? As a socially-minded tech person, my dream is to found a high-tech enterprise to carry out enduring solutions that positively impact Mexicans’ living conditions. Thankfully, I discovered in UCLA Anderson’s MBA a particular balance between a strong tech program and social awareness activities. The blend between the Technology Management Specialization and the strong alumni network in leading tech companies brings out a unique experience for those who seek a path in this industry. On the other hand, Anderson offers mentorship programs, which allow me to give back and help underprivileged students achieve their goals. For me, it is of great value that Anderson envisions itself as part of a virtuous cycle to build up a better society.

From an international student’s point of view, I wanted to be sure to take the maximum value from the MBA experience and contribute to my classmates’ experience. I realized that Anderson was the place in which I could smoothly adapt to a new environment and achieve my personal and professional goals. During my visit to Anderson, both international and local students highlighted how significant Parker Career Management Center’s support was in their path to find an internship or full-time job. I understood that Parker’s recognition as a top career center among business schools was well-earned.

What makes Los Angeles such a great place to earn an MBA? Los Angeles has countless advantages that I will not finish naming them all!

First of all, it is the location. People looking to pave their way in the tech or entertainment industries will have plenty of opportunities to put their skills in practice. Similarly, the Los Angeles location makes the perfect spot to have the best weekend getaways with such different options within hours drive distance. Secondly, as a sports fan, I do not recall any other city with such a number of sports teams. I am eager when this pandemic gets over to attend each of the stadiums, prioritizing the new SoFi Stadium! And last but not least, as a lover of learning different cultures, Los Angeles’ multicultural society makes it a unique place to have the opportunity to learn from different heritages without the need to fly all over the world.

As a bonus, there is a fun fact that Los Angeles has the second-highest Mexican population in the world, after Mexico City. I am privileged that I would not miss Mexican food with so many Mexican restaurants spread around LA!

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Family. I am impressed with their support, commitment to do their best and willingness to share success. It is not a secret why the Anderson community names themselves as the AnderFam. Their vibrant essences make me realize that I made the correct decision and that Anderson is where I belong.

As I tweeted some weeks ago, I feel blessed to be part of a strong, resilient class such as #Anderson2022. People are flying to other countries on the other side of the world to issue their visas, living day-by-day not knowing how the pandemic will hit while the local students help to make distance not an issue for our experience. I am sure that something good is awaiting us.

What makes you most excited about getting your MBA at UCLA Anderson? What makes you most nervous about business school? I am pretty excited to meet all of my extraordinary classmates. I am eager to hear their stories, motivations, and dreams – and why they decided on Anderson among other schools. I believe that one must surround himself/herself with amazing people that push you to become better. I hope that as they will indeed contribute to my experience, I can contribute to theirs.

As an international student, I am nervous about the recruitment process as it is different from what I am used to. I trust that the Parker Career Management Center will offer me the necessary resources to polish my skills and succeed.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Giving back to my college in a short time after my graduation. I am proud that I have been part of the digital transformation that Tec de Monterrey has been undergoing in the last years. What makes it so special is the opportunity to do my bit for current and future students, delivering them the best digital experience. My most memorable input was to lead the IT solutions team during the construction of the New Library, which is the most modern one in Latin America.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Although I have grown professionally, I am aware that I need to still develop skills in data analytics, global marketing, and multicultural business. Furthermore, I want to increase my interpersonal skills and multicultural management knowledge to enhance my leadership in business. An MBA will provide me the knowledge and enhance my skills to pursue my goals.

What other MBA programs did you apply to?

Stanford Graduate Business School

MIT Sloan School of Management

Kellogg School of Management

UT McCombs School of Business

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The most challenging question was, “If I asked your colleagues about you, what would they say?” This  one placed me in a vulnerable situation because I didn’t feel I had the authority to speak for my colleagues.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? My priorities were as simple as how strong the technology curriculum, the school’s values, and the alumni network is – and how its MBA program would help me be closer to my goals.

Therefore, I wanted to have the most information possible to know where to apply. I decided to attend the admissions sessions that they offered in my city to meet the admissions team, alumni, and current students, if possible. Then I researched the schools on different websites and forums, including Poets & Quants. While doing exercise, I listened to podcasts regarding b-schools. I reached out to current students with whom I shared similar characteristics.  I also decided to visit each campus to meet current students, visit classes, and take the school tour. I usually stayed the whole day on campus.

I encourage prospective students to visit the campus when things get better. For me, it played a prominent role in making my final decision.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? My defining moment was after I took my first GMAT exam and the results were not what I expected for my standards. On the bright side, that episode made me reflect on why I wanted to go to business school and if it was worth the sacrifice I had to make. I decided to keep going, having in mind that hard work pays off. That failure became my daily reminder that what makes impressive a goal is the challenges of a journey. I am sure that there would be moments during b-school that would not turn out as I wish. Still, it is in me how I will react towards them and use them as motivation to become the social business leader I want to be.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? My favorite company is Apple. I place it at the top of my preferences for so many reasons, but something we can learn as business students is to pay attention to the most meticulous details that can impact the user experience. I believe that details are what make the difference between an ordinary and an extraordinary product. Apple has understood this concept by building a unique experience around its products, causing people to desire to be part of it.


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