2019 Best EMBAs: Víctor Durán Melgoza, Texas Christian University (Neeley)

Víctor Durán Melgoza

Neeley School of Business, Texas Christian University

“Loving husband, caring father and loyal friend. Passionate about helping people see better.”

Age: 42

Hometown: Fort Worth, TX

Family Members: Melissa Amezcua (wife), Danny (aged 8) and Chris (aged 3)

Fun fact about yourself: I used to have long hair and played in a rock band in college. Now I have very little time to play and very little hair.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Biomedical Engineering at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City

Where are you currently working? Have worked for the past 17 years for Alcon (NYSE: ALC). Today, I am a Global Product Director for our Lasers portfolio for cataract surgery.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles: I am a firm believer in diversity and inclusion, especially being part of one of the largest minorities in the United States. For this reason, I became one of the founding members of the Latin Employees at Alcon Driving Success (LEADS) employee resource group. Our mission at LEADS is to empower Latin associates at Alcon to develop their full potential and become active leaders who foster an inclusive culture inside and outside our organization. I am co-chair of LEADS’s communications group, where our team creates awareness inside our organization on the value that Latin employees provide by sharing success stories and the impact LEADS has on the community through activities in which we participate.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am proud on actively participating in establishing our LEADS resource group. It was a lot of work on top of my daily work activities, work travel, being a father and a husband, and going through the final stretch of my EMBA. However, our newly-established group has already started to have an impact on our Latin community. This past February, our group volunteered with Kids Vision for Life on their Kids Vision Fest, an initiative where more than 875 students in Tarrant County, Texas, ages five to 12 (many of them Spanish-speaking) received free eye exams, including providing 600 pairs of glasses that will help them improve their academic performance and open doors for better opportunities in the future.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am responsible for our laser technology for cataract surgery. It is a revolutionary and disruptive technology that provides more precision and reproducibility to traditional cataract surgery. I am proud to work for the past five years with a global team of passionate people establishing a new way of doing cataract surgery that provides additional benefits to patients. To date, almost two million cataract surgeries have been performed with the assistance of our surgical laser and it keeps growing year after year.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Although I was fortunate to have great EMBA faculty, my favorite professor was Dr. Suzanne Carter. Coming into this program, I was most interested in learning more about strategy, and Dr. Carter’s experience, the engaging and interactive way she conducts her classes, the number of discussions we had of multiple case studies, and the structured approach she teaches to analyze strategic issues, has been the most valuable learning that I got from my EMBA. It has made me a better leader within my organization.

What was your favorite MBA course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? It definitely was the Global Environment of Business course, which is our study abroad trip. We traveled to three very contrasting cities in three different countries: New Delhi in India, Dubai in U.A.E and Stockholm in Sweden. We visited multiple companies, from small technology startups to huge multinational companies. We learned the similarities and differences of these markets’ environments and reinforced that learning with a team special project that focused on a single industry throughout the trip. All of this while creating stronger friendships with my classmates and visiting some beautiful places for the first time, including the Taj Mahal and Abu Dhabi’s Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Amazing!

Why did you choose this executive MBA program?I was recommended for the TCU EMBA program by three of my work colleagues who went through the program themselves in the past. Their experiences of their study abroad trips and the long-lasting friendships that they created were the main elements that defined my choice for the EMBA, in addition to the great curriculum and faculty.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? Finding and keeping new friends for life. Not only did we all work really hard, but we also had a lot of fun during classes. No one was shy about giving honest and respectful feedback, which helped me become more aware of my strengths but especially my weaknesses. This has helped me become a better version of myself.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? You meet a lot of people throughout your life, but few of those people will become close friends. However, never underestimate the power of other relationships. Developing and nurturing a large network of relationships is the best way to tap into the broadest wealth of diverse knowledge and will help you achieve great things. Because we will never become experts on everything, the larger your network, the more chances you will know someone who can provide you the advice you need at the right time.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family, and education? There was a time where I had to travel to Vienna for an international business meeting for my employer. I missed being with my family along with the final classes of Business Law. I had to listen to the class recordings late at night during my trip and respond to the final exam during my flight back home.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Be sure that your family understands that is not only you who will sacrifice to go through the program. They need to all be on board because there will be hard times. However, if you all keep the end goal in mind and are aware that there will be an end to it, it will make the greatest difference in your success in the program.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? It is that you will have a really hard time managing the workload, your daily job, and your personal life. In the end, you will find a way to manage and succeed.

What was your biggest regret in business school? At the beginning, I would have said not doing it earlier in my career. Today, I can definitely say I have no regrets. This has been one of the greatest experiences I have had in my life.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Every one of my classmates is unique in his or her own way. I have a great deal of admiration for every one of them. The fact that every one of them wanted to become better professionals, made the financial and time investment, and put families aside for a little while makes them really worthy of admiration. I learned a lot from every one of them. Each one contributed to my learning in their own special way.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when I moved out of my home country for the first time and looked at the possibilities ahead.”

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? Becoming an enterprise leader who can help build a better future for my kids.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As someone they can trust and rely on whenever they need and also whenever they want to have a good time.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  1. I want to travel the world with my wife.
  2. I want to give my boys the opportunity to live in other countries and have a better understanding of the world and become better citizens of the world.

What made Victor such an invaluable addition to the class of 2019?

“Victor shaped the cohort experience through knowledge gained from his global corporate responsibilities, resulting in an appreciation of the impact of culture on marketing and product development specifically. On a personal level, he’s an exemplary student whose academic achievements raised the standards of the class. He was a great teammate and knocked it out of the park on all fronts.”

Dr. Linda LaCoste
Director, EMBA Program
Neeley School of Business at TCU

DON’T MISS: THE ENTIRE LIST OF THE BEST & BRIGHTEST EXECUTIVE MBAs OF 2019 or RANKING THE BEST EMBA PROGRAMS IN THE U.S.