Location (New York or DC): New York
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: First-generation American-Filipino who leads with gratitude. Passion for cultures, dogs, fashion and connecting people.
Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
Fun Fact About Yourself: I have the cutest Shiba Inu, Koa, which means “brave” in Hawaiian. He has actually been featured on The Dogist!
Undergraduate School and Major: University of Hawaii at Manoa, Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing
Current Employer and Job Title: American Eagle Outfitters, Senior Brand Manager for APAC Licensees
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The first half of my corporate retail career was in buying and merchandising functions and I lived in amazing cities like San Francisco and Hong Kong. I finally had the opportunity to move to NYC and switch roles into brand management for a well-known global accessories company. It was an exciting time to be a part of this company as it was in the midst of a brand transformation. I managed our top travel retail account and my main responsibility was business development and launching new stores or markets from project conception to opening day. I still see these stores today as I travel around Asia and it’s amazing to know that I played a key role bringing the brand to life.
Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of the MBA programming that led you to choose this business school – and why was it so important to you? Besides NYU Stern’s exceptional reputation, honestly, it was the EMBA’s class schedule. I frequently travel to Asia for work trips. Having class every other week allows me to fulfill and balance work and school responsibilities.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Going back to school has always been on the back of my mind. Now, it finally seemed to be the right time in my career where I could manage both. I felt a strong desire to expand both my network and professional outlook.
What has been your biggest difficulty in incorporating MBA studies into your professional and personal responsibilities? It’s difficult living in NYC when there is always something going on! Once school started, it was an added layer. I’ve had to prioritize skipping out on a social dinner or activity to get a paper done or study for an upcoming exam. Now that I am ending my first semester, I feel more confident with my time management. It also gives me comfort to know that I’m not the only one going through this!
What do you enjoy most about business school so far? I have really just enjoyed learning again. Stern’s EMBA program requires at least six years of professional work experience, and I have 15 years, so I’ve been out of a classroom setting for quite a long time! The courses and discussions are more relatable to real work experiences, which makes for some interesting class dialogues. I’m also grateful to have an amazing cohort to learn from as well!
What percentage of your program cost is being paid by your employer? My company offers a yearly tuition reimbursement based on performance, which will end up contributing about 10% of the total program cost.
What is the top item on your career bucket list? Be my own boss — one that inspires, motivates and promotes my peers.