Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Felipe Gomez, UC Riverside

Felipe Gomez

“Inspiring, resilient, and humbled: A man with unwavering optimism dedicated to the success of all”

Hometown: Pomona, California

Fun Fact About Yourself: My birthday is on St. Patrick’s Day, and I have moved 30 times in my life.

Undergraduate School and Major: California State University, Fullerton, bachelor’s in criminal justice

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: United States Marine Corps supply officer/supply chain manager

What word best describes the UC Riverside MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far?
Selfless. The students and alumni, including the staff, have a positive attitude that is contagious. No matter how busy they are, everyone is willing to offer their time and support with any personal and/or professional challenges you are working through. This is truly inspiring to see, and I hope their selflessness carries on to everyone they touch. I wish to do the same and help those that I can, which is why I have accepted a leadership position in the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management (AGSM) Student Association.

Aside from classmates, what was the key part of UC Riverside’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you?
Ultimately, the MBA concentrations available in the UCR program set it apart from the other universities where I applied. The MBA concentrations are beneficial in several ways, including the opportunity for students to refine their interests, while the core classes allow us to open our minds to other aspects of business. This is crucial for shaping our careers and future opportunities. I have served as a supply chain manager in the U.S. Marine Corps for the last seven years and would like to concentrate in supply chain to further expand my knowledge and apply it in real-world scenarios.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at UC Riverside?

Thus far, I have truly enjoyed UCR’s Business Ready summer program, where I connected with classmates, advisors, and staff, which has been extremely beneficial in preparing me for the school year. The activities I enjoyed the most were the reviews of my LinkedIn profile and résumé offered by AGSM’s Career Development Center. The career center staff are very dedicated to supporting students, and I have met with them on several occasions, including drop-in meetings, and they are always there to help.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far:
I have had an interesting career path and held several positions over the last decade, but the biggest accomplishment thus far was receiving a commission into the U.S. Marine Corps from the president of the United States in 2016 and my promotion to the rank of captain in 2020. Following my graduation from Cal State Fullerton, I was one of 11 selected to attend the Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia, for the Marine Corps. I went from working in a grocery store in high school to an oil well service company with 60- to 80-hour work weeks, then to folding clothes in retail, and was suddenly briefing executive and senior officers and leading 30 young service members in the Marine Corps! One thing that I have learned from my career is that kindness goes a long way in our daily interactions, whether it is in the workforce or in our personal lives.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far:
Honestly, it’s five words: Quantitative Methods with Knewton Alta.
The Knewton Alta course is an online class that allows you to take the required Quantitative Methods course and obtain credit at a discounted rate prior to beginning the program. It has been nearly 11 years since I have taken any math classes or needed to conduct any math at this level, and this was a steep learning curve for me and a major hurdle to starting my MBA. But I have been raised and trained to never give up no matter how hard a class or life gets, and I am glad that I was able to tackle the course over the summer so that I could enter the program and hit the ground running on the more interesting courses.

What is your class’s favorite hangout away from school? Why do you gather there?
I enjoy fishing and plan to coordinate fishing trips for my classmates who also enjoy fishing or would like to learn! Fishing is a great way to learn patience, perseverance, and problem solving!

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation?
After spending seven years serving our country, I have learned to grow where I was planted, which has been in the capacity of a supply officer in the Marine Corps, where I managed distribution, planning, and procurement. I have managed multimillion-dollar budgets and more than half a billion dollars in property, supported countless operations, managed warehousing operations, provided top-tier customer service, and most importantly, supported and developed my subordinates professionally and individually. This led me to pursue my MBA in hopes of serving in a position outside the military where I can continue to influence and contribute to the success of other people and organizations. I cannot express how much joy I receive from watching the progression and success of other people. After graduation, I will share my experience and knowledge from both the military and the MBA program to innovate within supply chain operations.

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