Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Maria Carolina Travieso, UCLA (Anderson)

Maria Carolina Travieso

UCLA, Anderson School of Management

“Curious, passionate, and self-driven Latina, balancing running and entrepreneurship while enjoying the journey.”

Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela

Fun Fact About Yourself: I run a Half Marathon every day.

Undergraduate School and Major: Business with a M.S. in Finance from IESA (Caracas, Venezuela)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Veltra Capital, Founder and Investment Advisor Representative.

UCLA Anderson is founded on the Three Pillars: Share Success, Think Fearlessly, and Drive Change. Which pillar resonates most with you and why? The pillar that resonates the most is “Drive Change”. I was raised in a society where “girls should not talk about money” and “investing was similar to gambling”. Most of the people I know didn’t have savings for retirement, much less a financial plan. Being the curious and passionate person I am, I decided, from a young age, that I was going to study finance and follow this unconventional path for a Venezuelan woman. Now I have my own Investment firm and I’m determined to help Hispanics, especially Hispanic women, gain financial knowledge so they can make better financial decisions. I hope that during my MBA and beyond, I can create ripple effects by inspiring and empowering others, driving change for the better of society.

What makes Los Angeles such a great place to earn an MBA? It was the diversity of its population. This provides a rich and well-rounded experience; the proximity to all major industries with a big focus on Tech, Entertainment, and Real Estate; the numerous startups, and Venture Capitals make it the perfect place to build a strong network, especially as an entrepreneur. The amazing weather doesn’t hurt, either.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of UCLA Anderson’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I’m very interested in the entrepreneurship career path that UCLA Anderson has to offer. The curriculum includes assessing potential opportunities and simultaneously managing organizational operations, transitions, and growth. It will help me develop skills as a leader in this evolving market and provide me with resources and opportunities to pursue my dream job.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at UCLA Anderson I’m excited to become a member of the Entrepreneur Association and meet like-minded entrepreneurs. This will lead to opportunities for collaboration, partnerships and ultimately develop a strong network and support system. And I’m also excited to be part of two of my most valued Identity clubs/Professional clubs: I’m also excited about the Alliance for Latinx Management at Anderson (ALMA) and Women’s Business Connection (WBC), where I’ll be able to share ideas with other influential and inclusive leaders and promote gender equity and diverse, collaborative spaces in the business world.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The most significant accomplishment in my career so far has been starting my own business. I founded a Registered Investment Advisor focused on facilitating access to the US and global markets for Hispanic clients. I’m passionate about providing financial literacy and helping people, especially from my community, gain financial control. While it has been challenging to start a business in a foreign country, it has also been very gratifying to see it grow and to realize how it’s helping many Latinos invest their savings.

What do you hope to do after graduation (at this point)? After graduation, I hope to continue to grow my Registered Investment Advisor, leveraging the resources, network, skills, and advice I received at UCLA Anderson with a clearer vision of the next steps for my venture.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into UCLA Anderson’s MBA program?  I would encourage potential applicants to consider the different fellowship opportunities, like Forté and Consortium. These are amazing resources that will weigh in your application and give you access to a valuable network of alumni and advisors. I applied through Consortium, which is a non-profit alliance of top-tier business schools and corporate partners dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in the business world. I was honored to be accepted with a full-tuition merit-based fellowship and benefit from an amazing network of 10,000 alumni who share my same values and aspirations.


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