Despite challenges as an international student, studying during the midst of a global pandemic, Castro’s experience is one that has made a positive mark on his life forever.
Castro, a native of Peru, began his professional life as a software engineer, but quickly moved into a human resource management role. With a flourishing career in the finance and consulting industries, but a limited education in HR management, Castro felt a strong desire to improve his skills and was looking for a program that would “not only allow me to learn, but to apply the knowledge.” He comments, “to be honest, I applied to a lot of schools in the States and Europe, but the curricula at UNO was one of the closest to what I wanted.” As an international student, Castro also was looking for a university with a great campus life and the opportunity to connect with others within the larger community. In spite of the Covid-19 pandemic and general challenges as a non-native English-speaking student, Castro persevered and touts his experience as a UNO CBA graduate student.
“Last year was difficult to be honest, and there was a point where I was thinking about turning back to Peru. But I came here for something important, and I met amazing people at school and was able to connect with people who were similar and experiencing some of the same challenges,” explains Castro. “The people in the international advising office were terrific, and I had amazing instructors.” Some of the notable professors in Castro’s program included Dr. Erin Pleggenkuhle-Miles (Strategy), Dr. Patti Meglich (HR Management) and Dr. Jeff Bredthauer (Finance). In discussing his finance course, Castro comments, “Dr. Bredthauer was amazing! He really wanted us to learn. He stayed in a problem until all of us understood it, and I use most of the things he taught us for both my personal finances and the business.” He continues, “all of the faculty members were really great.”
Castro also praises his experience in the MBA Capstone course. “I met a lot of friends, two of my closest friends are from Belgium, and I did work with them on the Capstone. Our project was with Bulldog Solutions, a start-up company, who wanted help with organizational structure and HR, and setting a mission/vision and goals.” Since completing the Capstone project, Castro has stayed in contact with his client, offering to provide additional HR guidance if needed.
As a recent UNO alumnus, Castro plans to settle in the United States while continuing to work remotely for a global consulting company based in Barcelona, Spain. Currently, he manages teams in the United States, Latin America, and Australia from his home office in Omaha, and is soon to be the director for the whole Americas division. Castro comments, “The MBA helped me to get the position because it gave me a new perspective in my work. Also, learning and studying with people from other countries helped me realize a lot of things I was doing wrong in management.”
Despite moving thousands of miles from home, working, and attending graduate school during unprecedented times, his experience as an MBA student has proven to be everything he had hoped for and more. When asked about his overall experience as an international student in the UNO MBA program, Castro expressed “I had a really great time at UNO. I made friends and gained a lot of knowledge that helped me with my development. It didn’t feel like I was a foreigner, it felt like I was part of it. I don’t regret coming to UNO!”