2021 Best & Brightest EMBAs: Pedro Xavier Larreal Noguera, Brigham Young University (Marriott)

Pedro Xavier Larreal Noguera

Brigham Young University, Marriott School of Business

Age: 44

Hometown: Lehi, Utah

Family Members:

  • Sariah Larreal, Wife
  • Abraham Larreal, Son
  • Sofia Larreal, Daughter
  • Rebeca Larreal, Daughter

Fun fact about yourself: I had a final presentation in the strategy and simulation class; when it was my turn to present, I spoke my 8 minutes in Spanish. The teachers present were surprised and did not want to interrupt me. In the end, they said to me, do you want me to ask you the questions in Spanish or English? Since only two of us understood his message, everyone in the room laughed. How sorry I felt

Undergraduate School and Degree:

Simon Rodriguez, University, Caracas-Venezuela. Bachelor’s Degree in Business

Santa Maria, University, Caracas-Venezuela. Education Science

Where are you currently working? Director regional management Mexico, Central America and The Dominican Republic at Nature’s Sunshine Products Inc., Lehi-Utah

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:

Platelet donor to support COVID patients

Member of the Venezuelan community who live in Utah, to collect clothing, food, and meals for children in need and send to Venezuela

For nearly three years, I served as an area seventy in Utah for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, focusing on the Latino community. Meeting with the consul from Mexico, the current COX governor, to encourage and support the youth who have just arrived as well as the Venezuelans who arrived in Utah.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school?  One of my assignments as area seventies and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was to visit Hispanic elderly and youth who had tried to kill themselves. There was a call from a desperate relative telling me that she wanted me to see and give a Priesthood blessing to a cousin. That Sunday, I met with that relative. I will be able to provide her with the name of Young Susana; after speaking with her in the same language for more than two hours and giving her a blessing, the young woman, thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ, began a miraculous recovery. She always asks her family member how she is and she told me the same. A few months ago, I had the privilege of receiving a call inviting me to tjhe wedding and forming a new life. I felt grateful for the Holy Spirit and much of what I learned in the MBA in so many classes.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? When I received the LATAM Market, it was negative.

Sales -8%

OI -25%.

Thanks to what we learned in the MBA, we were able to tour the market where we ended up with a sales growth of + 18% and OI + 9%, without counting on other numbers that made me worthy of this outstanding award.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Paul Godfrey. Paul is a teacher with an excellent teaching method; in all cases in class, they are almost 99% of those faced as general manager in decision-making. Additionally, it teaches you valuable skills when preparing presentations for a board director or CEO.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? Take time to evaluate the following points: The quality of the teaching, the level of experience of the teachers, the optional courses and their content, travel or experience abroad, and the days of classes.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? Cash is king. In your career, ethical dilemmas are inevitable, but they’re not insurmountable. The key is being well-prepared. That means knowing the dangers you’ll face before you face them. Managing Latin America, where it is a market with the highest level of corruption, these two principals have helped me as the polar star to guide any situation that I present at my desk.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? Starting the program was the most challenging part. First, I had to check my calendar and add a new student role. I spent hours trying to reorganize my schedule, family, work trips, and family matters. Of course, I concluded, I could not be in all the meetings I wanted, so my wife and I made the necessary priorities to finish the MBA. It was not easy; I often saw my family go out to parties, family events, or simply to the movies. But without sacrifice, there is no victory.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Don’t waste your time on analysis by paralysis. Just do it.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? There are so many myths such as starting a new career after forty. If you believe them all, you will never do anything. Each case is unique; remember that now you have an experience and maturity in your favor that you did not have when you started a bachelor’s degree. Believe me, it will play in your favor more than you imagine it. The great philosopher Heraclitus said: “No one bathes twice in the same river.”

What was your biggest regret in business school? Due to the COVID situation, we had to switch to online classes. Consequently, face-to-face participation was limited. Each session you have, you can learn from your peer’s many things that will serve you in your life and your professional career.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Scott Christiansen. I love him, his way of working and the incredible way he handles finances. He is very detailed and organized. Whenever I need his support at any time, he was smiling to give me his support.

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? Due to my responsibility as Regional Director of Mexico, Central America, and the Dominican Republic, it was not easy to think of a change, where I would study online in addition to my ecclesiastical responsibilities. I have a strong belief that sharing with different members of your classes, with other careers and experience, will add countless value to your program.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? Do a PhD in Business

What made Pedro such an invaluable addition to the class of 2021?

“Pedro’s classmates describe him has “unbelievable” and an example of what a dedicated individual can accomplish with hard work. In addition to his full-time job, Pedro fulfilled a significant volunteer leadership assignment in Utah and Mexico for the religious organization that sponsors the University. His positive attitude and hard work ethic were contagious to his fellow students who all understood the extra demands that were placed on him, and he managed all of this in his second language. Pedro is from Venezuela and never hesitated to share his international perspectives with the class.”

Michael Drake
Glenn D. Ardis Professor of Accounting at the BYU Marriott School of Business


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