Student Spotlight: Rogelio Rangel, MBA Candidate 2015

Rogelio Rangel

Weekend - MBA Candidate 2015

Concentrations: Finance / Management

Industry: Financial Services

Undergraduate Degree In: Industrial and Systems Engineering

Undergraduate School: Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education

Career Goal: Continued growth in the financial field

Interests/Hobbies: Watching sports and going to concerts

Internships: American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico, Landstar

Favorite Chicago Restaurant: Portillo’s

Favorite Part of the Day: Relaxing after a long day of work

Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico

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Tell us about your personal and professional background.

I grew up in Monterrey, Mexico where I went to an American school from kindergarten all the way through high school.  After graduating, I attended Monterrey Tec for Industrial and Systems Engineering, and spent a year abroad at Michigan State University while concentrating in Supply Chain Management.  After graduating college in 2008, I worked as a Commodities Trader where I concentrated on importing and exporting steel and other raw materials.  Eventually, I focused on logistics which brought me to the Chicago area in 2011, and I just recently switched over to the financial sector where I hope to continue my career.

What prompted you to return to school to achieve your master’s degree?

Although most of my professional experience since graduation has been in business, most of my education was focused on heavily technical and mathematics based material.  Although that strong mathematical background has helped me tremendously in areas of finance and economics, I realized I was still missing something.  I have only ever taken a couple of business classes, so I wanted to be able to complement everything I’ve been able to learn while on the job with the theory behind it, as well as broaden my understanding of the business world as a whole.

What factor(s) did you consider when choosing a master’s program and why did you choose UIC Liautaud for your graduate study?

I was looking for a program that would give me a good return on my investment, that was close to the city, and would provide me  with a quality education that I could be proud of.  I work full time, so I also needed a program that could be flexible with my all around schedule.  UIC Liautaud met all those criteria and became the obvious choice for me once I started the interview process.

We all know that people pursue graduate school to increase their business knowledge, but since you have started the program, what has been the most unexpected gain the program has given you?

I did not expect to meet people from so many different backgrounds and career choices.  While I expected to form friendships while in school, I underestimated how strong some of those relationships would become.

Which class/professor has been your favorite thus far and why?

I really enjoyed my Organizational Behavior class with Professor Goran Kuljanin. He was very good at engaging the class and having us all open up and share our experiences with each other.  I was always used to taking classes in a much different structure and had never taken any class remotely resembling psychology or explaining human behavior.  I honestly learned more than I thought I would have and had fun doing it.

What is your favorite aspect of the UIC campus and why?

My favorite aspect would have to be the central location. There’s nothing better than having that famous view of downtown Chicago right as you’re walking out of class.

What advice would you provide to incoming UIC Liautaud students?

While doing well in class is obviously a huge part of school, don’t lose sight of the fact that getting to know your peers and making connections is equally as important.  You will be meeting people from all different walks of life and there are things you can learn from them that you will never be able to get from reading a book.

Tell us about your internship experience?

The reason I initially came to the Chicago area was to intern at a logistics company.  I was eventually hired as full-time employee and stayed with the company for almost three years.  Needless to say, my internship provided me with a great opportunity to get my foot in the door with an important player in the industry, and I’m glad I took it in the first place.

What is the best part about your UIC Liautaud experience?

I’ve had some great professors and I’m enjoying the classes I’ve been able to take so far.  I’ve also met some great people, especially those that are with me in the weekend program.  We’ve taken every class together in the last year so we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well and have formed into a tight knit group.