Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Pedro de la Rosa Herrera, Cornell University (Johnson)

Pedro de la Rosa Herrera

Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University

“A very norteño Mexican economist, poetry enthusiast, self-taught guitar player and food lover.”

Hometown: Saltillo, Mexico

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m one the few people (at least that I know of) who doesn’t enjoy going to the beach for vacations. I’m very happy traveling to find the best and most representative places to eat wherever I go. I even told my girlfriend at the time that if we got married, our honeymoon would consist of a visit to the world’s top 10 steakhouses.

Undergraduate School and Major: National Autonomous University of Mexico, Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Embassy of Mexico in the United States, Senior Economist (First Secretary)

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Cornell’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? In my assessment, I realized that Cornell Johnson offers a whole ecosystem of resources and opportunities that can only be found in pieces elsewhere. Having said that, I found the academic curriculum and the top-notch faculty to be game changers. During the first year, students undergo a well-balanced core curriculum of hard and soft skills to then join one of seven immersions, which in my opinion allow you to tailor a unique experience to succeed in your internship and in getting the job offer you want.

In my case, since I don’t come from a business background and I want to pursue a career as an investment officer at one of the top finance development global institutions, I plan to join the corporate finance immersion to acquire the analytical and practical financial skills I need, which I plan to combine with my work experience to succeed in my internship.

What excites you the most about living in Ithaca and the Finger Lakes region? As someone who has lived in one of the world’s most populated cities — Mexico City — experiencing a small college town such as Ithaca, with its outdoors charm and friendly environment, will be a great opportunity to recharge my energy and build lifelong ties with my cohort and community. On the more romantic side, I also feel that Ithaca, and particularly Cornell, is like walking right into Robert Frost’s memorable poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” which captures not only the essence of the Finger Lakes region, but also the MBA journey and mentality. I´ll leave you with a few lines to enjoy and see what I mean: “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, / But I have promises to keep, / And miles to go before I sleep, / And miles to go before I sleep.”

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Cornell? The wide variety of specialized clubs and initiatives available at Cornell Johnson blew my mind. I was able to find activities very focused on my career goals such as the Emerging Markets Institute and the Old Ezra Finance Club. I even found a club that aligns with one of my dream projects of opening my own restaurant, which is the Johnson Food, Beverage, and Agribusiness Club.

On the other hand, I’m looking forward to making a positive impact within the school and my cohort, and I’m certain the best way to do it is through the student government. I believe I have the fit to work along with Johnson’s administration to improve our community as one of the representatives of my class. Moreover, I feel that my experiences from both my undergraduate university, where I co-founded and chaired the foreign students’ network, and my embassy work, where I participated in bilateral negotiations and cooperation initiatives between Mexico and the United States, have prepared me to do it at my best capacity.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: So far, the biggest accomplishment in my career has been the opportunity and the privilege of representing my country as a diplomatic official. Being part of the team responsible for overseeing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement implementation from Mexico’s side and dealing with high-stakes negotiations and cooperation initiatives among the world’s greatest trade partnerships really changed my perspective. It allowed me to give back and raise Mexico’s name on the international stage.

What do you hope to do after graduation at this point? Up to this point, I would say that championing prosperity has guided my career as an economist and public officer. More so, throughout this journey, I learned many important lessons. For instance, I learned that having an engaged private sector is essential to tackle social and environmental challenges — and therefore improve people’s lives — and that working at a global-scale leads to greater positive social impact. Moving forward, I plan to leverage my world-class Johnson MBA and my experience across economics, diplomacy, and development to pursue a career in international finance and development. In particular, I’d like to be part of the International Finance Corporation, which is the world’s largest private-sector development institution and a member of the World Bank, and the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Cornell’s MBA program? The first and perhaps most important advice I would give to potential applicants would be to just start doing it. The best way to accomplish something hard is by starting to do it. Once you do that, you will already be halfway there. The second piece of advice would be to have confidence in themselves, which will be key when they go out and tell their story in their essays and their interviews. Lastly, look for mentors and people from the programs and career paths you are looking to get into. They will always be willing to help, and their knowledge and perspective on the processes you are about to undergo are one of the most valuable inputs you can get.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.