Student gains personal connections, business skills in MBA program
Relationships are a key motivator for Victor Flores – from his early interest in teaching high school, to his career in higher education and now his journey as an MBA student.
During the day, Victor works at the University of Washington Tacoma providing campus support and disability services to the student body.
“I enjoy developing relationships with students – that’s the cornerstone of why I’m in the field,” Victor said. “I’m interested in how I can help them be a part of the campus culture and understand they have a voice in the university community.”
As he advanced through his career, he recognized that earning a graduate degree would be necessary for further growth opportunities.
“One of the things about working in higher education is that they look for advanced degrees in professional level positions,” Victor said. “I have many years of experience, but when I came into my current role in Tacoma, one of the conversation pieces was going back to school.”
As he was considering which graduate program was right for him, family friends encouraged him to pursue an MBA.
“I thought that an MBA would be a good track because I could use the theories I learned in higher ed., but it’s also transferable,” Victor said. “I’m learning a lot about entrepreneurship and systems.”
Coming to CityU to earn an MBA
“One of the questions I get is, ‘Why not UW?’ and the answer is I didn’t want to go full time,” Victor said. “When I met with my advisor, the program was so welcoming. I had the desire for an advanced degree without the pressure, and at CityU I can do it at my own pace.”
Since he works throughout the week, he chose to go steadily through the program at one class per quarter. In addition, he decided to take in-person classes rather than online.
“A value I have is developing relationships with people,” Victor said. “I enjoy being in class and learning from other people and hearing their stories and experiences. Even through people work at different places – at Starbucks or Boeing or in higher ed. – there are common things and we can learn from one another.”
The connections he’s gained is one of the benefits he’ll take away from his time at CityU.
“My experience here has exceeded my initial expectations,” Victor said. “I told my advisor, ‘four years is going to be a long haul,’ and now I’m already on the downhill trajectory… In two years I’ll walk away with not just a degree, but with knowledge from and relationships with fellow students.”
Looking past graduation
With the understanding he’s gained on a variety of business-related topics including project management, entrepreneurship, business communication and technology, Victor sees a lot of opportunities for the future.
“I’m looking at taking this experience and applying it, whether that’s continuing my career in higher ed. or starting a nonprofit or my own business,” Victor said.
The relationships he’s developed at CityU will continue to be helpful.
“A friend and classmate of mine and I have been talking about working with kids in diverse communities and starting our own nonprofit,” Victor said. “A classmate started her own nonprofit and I’m interested in talking with her to find out how she did it… There is another student who wants to work with international students, and we’re talking about relaunching a company he started years ago.”
Whether it’s a small business, a nonprofit or a college campus, there is no doubt that Victor will continue connecting the dots between people and making a difference in the community.