Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Hector G. Moncada, MIT (Sloan)

Hector G. Moncada

MIT, Sloan School of Management

“Humble, hard worker fighting against imposter syndrome—setting an example for veterans, Latinxs, FLI personnel.”

Hometown: Chandler, Arizona

Fun Fact About Yourself:

1) I once stayed in a Swedish hotel room made entirely out of ice at the famous IceHotel. The gorgeous hotel is also an art exhibition with ever-changing art and design made entirely out of ice and snow. The ability to see and even sleep in the rooms of these phenomenal artists is incredible.

2) I’ve only recently seen the Star Wars movies within the past year – I now understand the hype.

3) I was involved in a reindeer race against my SO (also an incoming Sloanie)—unfortunately, I lost!

Undergraduate School and Major: United States Military Academy – B.S. Civil Engineering (C/o 2013)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: U.S. Army- 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division: I was the Chief of Operations for 2nd Brigade Combat Team for the last 18 months. I served the last nine months in Eastern Europe.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of MIT Sloan’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? A significant factor that played into my decision to choose MIT Sloan is the ability to “choose my own adventure” after I complete my first semester (Core Semester).  This is very important to me. At MIT Sloan, we can choose courses in topics that we, as students, are passionate about. I can take finance, marketing, strategy, entrepreneurship, and even advanced engineering courses if I really desire and meet the prerequisites. Even if I don’t meet the prerequisites there is still a chance to take a course as long as the professor/ Instructor is willing to issue a waiver.

Additionally, I can take courses on topics in which I lack experience. Coming from a non-traditional background in the Armed Services, I know I need to shore up areas of my business knowledge. This is particularly true as I have not been exposed to finance and business strategy in my previous career (we deal with a different form of strategy in the Army).

Lastly, while having the ability to choose courses may feel a bit too free-spirited for some, students who desire a bit more structure can enroll in up to two of the seven certificate programs offered at MIT Sloan. These include Enterprise Management, Finance, Entrepreneurial and Innovation, Digital Product Management, Sustainability, Healthcare, and Business Analytics.

So, whether I want to have a bit more freedom or structure in my pursuit of an MBA, MIT Sloan is really the best of both worlds, which drove my decision to attend.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at MIT Sloan? The social club I’m most excited about is the MIT Sloan Veterans Club. The ability to share and connect with people who have had shared experiences is really comforting, especially as I am pivoting to a completely different career. I also really look forward to mentoring and helping other veterans who want to apply to business school. Hopefully they apply to Sloan, but I am willing to help anyone, veteran or not, apply to B-school. I recently had the opportunity to help people in my last unit in the Army successfully apply and get into some really great schools, and I look forward to continuing to help and mentor where I can.

The course I am most excited about is 15.900 Competitive Strategy with Senior Lecturer Donald Sull. From my research and discussion with Sloanies who have taken the course and – more specifically – with Don Sull, it appears to be one of the more academically demanding and rewarding courses offered at Sloan. The course explores strategic problems with a concentration on competitive advantage and the intersection of industry structure and organizational capabilities, all of which is helpful to understand no matter what your post-MBA plans.

Action Learning Labs are one of MIT Sloan’s biggest attractions. Which lab interests you most? How does it fit with your interests? The Action Learning Lab that interests me the most is the Analytics Lab. In addition to pursuing the Enterprise Management Certificate, I intend to pursue the Business Analytics Certificate to understand how information data can help drive intelligent business decisions. I’m also really interested in better understanding machine learning through participation in the Lab with a focus on how results can identify and uncover a variety of solutions for a multitude of problems.

There is so much innovative technology being developed at MIT that I want to not only be aware of but also understand how to take the intersection of innovative technology, business, and analytics and best apply it to a future career and make a positive impact on the world.

When you think of MIT, what are the first things that come to mind? How have your experiences with the Sloan program thus far reinforced or upended these early impressions? When I think of MIT, I think of intelligent, driven individuals striving to make a positive impact. My interactions with my classmates have reinforced this thought. Everyone is so nice, welcoming, and genuinely cares about getting to know you as a person and how they can help you achieve your goals.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment in my career so far is having had the opportunity to lead soldiers as a Company Commander who was responsible for over 100 personnel. Nothing compares to knowing that I am accountable for the health and welfare of numerous individuals. While it can be a daunting task at times, it is also one of the most fun and rewarding times I’ve had in my life.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied to UVA (Darden) and Cornell (Johnson)

What do you hope to do after graduation (at this point)? Having spent a large portion of my career in government and defense, I intend to pursue a career in consulting to build foundational business knowledge as I become exposed to the corporate world and drive lean and sustainability initiatives to positively impact climate change, increasing social responsibility, awareness, and action worldwide.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into MIT Sloan’s MBA program? My advice is to be your authentic self. MIT Sloan values people of all backgrounds, ages, and experiences. Understand how your experiences and background can contribute to the collaborative environment and clearly convey the positive impact you intend to make on your classmates, your future career, and the world, and how MIT Sloan can help you achieve your goals.

 

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