2022 Best & Brightest MBA: Fidel Gomez Torres, Boston University (Questrom)

Fidel Gomez Torres

Boston University, Questrom School of Business

Hometown: La Ceiba, Honduras

Fun fact about yourself: I’m a Brutalism aficionado and have visited all 40 brutalist buildings in Boston.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Fashion Institute of Technology, Fashion Business Management BS

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Hearst Magazines, Executive Assistant to the President

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? I worked as a Program Manager at Your Friends in New York (YFINY), a fashion business incubator conceived by Pyer Moss founder Kerby Jean-Raymond and French luxury giant Kering. At its core, YFINY functions as an accelerator and support system, helping brands with everything from financing to production and planning, and even psychological and emotional support. In my role, I oversaw an inaugural cohort of 10 brands, leading them through infrastructure development, business planning, trademark protection and accounting. Although my initial assignment was for 10 weeks, I was invited to stay onboard to support product development, sourcing and manufacturing for brands presenting at New York’s Fashion Week.

Where will you be working after graduation? Director of Production for YFINY

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • President of Questrom’s MBA Veterans Club (2021-2022)
  • VP of Student Engagement, LAMBA (Latin American MBA Association, 2020-2021)
  • Graduate Assistant of Programming, The Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (2021-2022)
  • Graduate Teacher Assistant, Team Coaching (2021-2022)
  • 2021 Prospanica Scholar

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Last summer, the Questrom Veterans Club launched “Operation Tobin”, a fundraising initiative aiming to pay for back-to-school haircuts for 199 boys at the Maurice J. Tobin K-8 School in the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston. While COVID-19 made school difficult for all families, data shows that those in economically disadvantaged households were hit the hardest. At the Tobin, 82% of the 408 students come from economically disadvantaged homes, with 86% identifying as high needs students. Our goal was to support economically disadvantaged families by eliminating haircuts from their long and often expensive back-to-school preparation list. Within 72 hours, 163 individual donations carried us to our $3,980 target. By the end of our fundraiser, we had almost tripled our goal, and were able to host a back-to-school field day where we presented families with the funds raised. This initiative was especially important to me because it allowed me and my fellow veterans to communicate with our community in the language that bonds us together: service.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? One of my key areas of focus during my summer internship was helping fashion entrepreneurs operationalize their business and build adequate infrastructures that could support their business objectives. For four of our designers, a short-term objective was to develop a collection in time for September’s New York Fashion Week. Over the summer months, I visited factories in Europe, and communicated with manufacturers in Asia, piecing together a supply chain operation that could provide solutions to the product needs of our designers. Notwithstanding the many disruptions to supply chains resulting from COVID-19, we sent four collections down the runway during fashion week and had prepared a production plan that could support the commercialization of our designers’ collections.

Why did you choose this business school? During my school search, I made sure to meet with second-year students and student club leaders who could speak to the good, the bad, and the ugly of the schools I was considering. I was impressed to hear about how encouraging Questrom was of its students and how eager the school was to get behind change when proposed by its students.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? This is tough, but if I had to choose I would say Professor Fred Foulkes who taught Leading Organizations and People during my first year. Professor Foulkes not only assigned the most interesting cases, but brought the case protagonists to class.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? LAMBA (Latin American MBA Association) hosts a virtual Spanish hour every week called “Cafecito”.  During my first year, Spanish speakers, as well as those wanting to better their Spanish skills, connected for an hour of laughter, Disney songs in Spanish, and profound conversations about reggaeton, Cardi B and Nad Bunny. At a time when most international students were still trying to make it to the states, the eagerness for connection and community was amazing.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I don’t think I would do anything differently.

What is the biggest myth about your school? While BU has an amazing roster of sports teams, and although Questrom is walking distance from Fenway Park, you would be surprised at how disinterested a lot of students in the MBA program are in sports (me included).

What surprised you the most about business school? I think I expected a much more competitive environment. I was always surprised at my classmates’ willingness to share their notes or offer study groups.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I spent quite a bit of time soul-searching, and understanding my impetus in wanting to apply. When it came time to write my essays, I rejected the urge to write what I thought admissions would want to hear.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Shayla Cataldo. There isn’t one thing I’ve seen her be bad at.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? As an Executive Assistant, I had the privilege of working for really smart leaders. I would say that it was their examples of exceptionalism and ability to envision success for their organizations that influenced me to pursue business school.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I’m currently pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management.

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? Although I started business school with a huge interest in Operations, it was the many disruptions resulting from COVID-19 that allowed me to discover my passion for supply chain management. I’m excited to be graduating into a job market that has a renewed understanding of how vital supply chains are to our economy and society at large.

What made Fidel such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022? 

“With his community activism with the Questrom Veteran’s Club, his support for fellow students, substantial D.E.I. work, and deep commitment to our community, Fidel represents the values we espouse in the Questrom community.”

Catherine Fazio
Questrom School of Business, Strategy & Innovation Department


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