Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Carlos Delfino Sotelo, University of Michigan (Ross)

Carlos Delfino Sotelo

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

“Driven by equity and stewardship, road trip and karaoke enthusiast, and intentional bridge-builder”

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Fun Fact About Yourself: I slept outside of Broadway for two nights to watch one of the last Hamilton shows with the original cast.

Undergraduate School and Major: Princeton University, Public & International Affairs

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Houston Independent School District, College & Career Readiness Senior Manager

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Michigan Ross’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The focus on experiential learning that is baked into the MBA program. It’s easy to talk about MAP (Multidisciplinary Action Projects) but I think learning about Ross Open Road really solidified how Michigan’s MBA program would provide some incredibly unique learning experiences I didn’t find elsewhere. For me, Ross Open Road exemplified the many experiences Ross provided that were at the intersection of business and impact and blended it with my love of road trips. Essentially, after the academic year ends, students embark on a drive across parts of the country to enable socially-driven entrepreneurs to scale their impact with solutions or recommendations to one of their business problems on-site for a week at a time. Open Road fellows organize into teams and map out the entire month’s logistics while selecting which theme for the types of companies and organizations the team will work with.

What has been your first impression of the Ross MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best Ross story so far. Ross MBA students and alumni are so sincere in supporting others along any part of our MBA journeys. I left nearly every conversation and interaction with students and alumni feeling their authentic willingness to help me even if I ended up deciding Ross would not be the best fit for me. Coming from a professional background in education, the application process was already a big financial investment, so I wanted to be budget-conscious while attending different admit days. I felt comfortable reaching out to current students to see if anyone could house me for Go Blue Rendezvous admitted student weekend and received multiple offers from students. I believe this speaks to the safe spaces they created to come as my full self.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Michigan Ross ? The breadth and depth of programs from the Sanger Leadership Center is especially exciting and will be conducive to intentional and transformational leadership development. I am most compelled to complete Leader Experience with an intimate group of peers and strategize in a simulated high-stakes business and media crisis and present to business leaders and faculty experts during the Crisis Challenge. I think the feedback loops I’ll engage with these two Sanger leadership programs specifically will help me iterate my leadership style.

When you think of the Michigan Ross MBA program, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why?  Purposeful. I have been impressed with the degree of greater purpose students and alumni are driven by and how they seek to make a positive difference in the world. I also believe it’s a fitting word to describe the intentional programming and experiences Ross offers students to tap into our many purposes. Staff are also very purposeful with nurturing student-driven spaces, where prospective students build authentic connections at every level of our application journey.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Managing a team of 13 incredibly passionate folks and being able to launch and scale new initiatives in Texas’ largest school district that focused on supporting students of Latinx, immigrant, and LGBTQ+ backgrounds. Starting my first management role at 25 yielded a lot of self-doubt, but working with people who trusted in my traits and willingness to innovate is something I’m very proud of.

Specifically, I’m proud to have lead teams that created resources and events to help empower undocumented and LGBTQ+ students, staff, and allies, communities I belong to, by helping found the first-ever Hispanic Family Summit and Pride Summit in Houston ISD.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? RuPaul’s Drag Race Lip Syncs. I am always inspired by the level of charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent put on by the queens. There’s so much of ourselves we put up during the application and there can be a lot of second-guessing with what we choose to put or not put into these applications or say or not say in our interviews. I challenge all prospective MBAs to dig deep to express yourselves in authentic ways. So if drag race lip syncs aren’t your thing, find something that will inspire the authenticity in you and go to that often during your application season.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? It was seeing how data and technology can be better leveraged as tools to drive equity in education and career outcomes for students in minority communities. An MBA was the ideal accelerator for the growth of my skillset and toolkit and to open more doors to career paths that would facilitate me becoming a more effective leader. I aspire to go into tech but also open to management and consulting roles.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Stanford GSB, Berkeley Haas, Duke Fuqua, University of Texas McCombs, University of Washington Foster, HBS

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Michigan Ross’s MBA program? Take the time to truly reflect on your life journey and how the MBA program will serve your future development. Ross students and staff are here to help and are eager to connect you to the people who have shared goals, interests, and backgrounds. Gaining a sense of the student culture and why Ross is best done by engaging in the multiple access points Ross provides to prospective students so tap into these and you will get a high level of insights and support to navigate the application process.


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