Growing up, every morning I woke to the crowing of roosters and the aroma of freshly-baked pandesal peddled on the streets. I lived in a town of 50,000 in the Philippine south, which had been my family’s home for several generations. My grandparents were at the center of the community: they devoted their time and savings to establish the town’s first bank, the Rural Bank of my town. The bank has grown from $20,000 to $1 million of capital, but is beginning to struggle due to lack of oversight, outdated lending policies, and operational and managerial inefficiencies.
In the long term, my goal is to return to the Philippines to continue my grandparents’ legacy. In the short term, I first need to deepen my knowledge of business fundamentals and work in banking so that I can effectively grow this bank into a formidable player in the Philippine and Southeast Asian financial industry.
As a next step, a Dartmouth MBA will help me build my knowledge of leadership, marketing, finance, and operations, and also create a strong network on which I can rely in the future. When I visited campus, I saw that the Tuck community is incredibly close-knit and inclusive. As a student, I am excited to participate in Tuck’s Small Group Dinners, where I can get to know students and faculty in a casual, familial atmosphere. I want to take “Decision Science” and “Competitive and Corporate Strategy,” where I will learn to identify industry trends and employ analytics for decision-making. I would also love to join the Tuck Social Venture Fund to understand the key social metrics and approaches that will positively affect the communities where I work.
In my second year, I would like to design an Independent Study focused on innovation in emerging markets with faculty like Vijay Govindarajan. Additionally, it would be fun to start a Southeast Asian club, where all students can connect over shared interest in the region’s culture, food, and customs.
After graduating, I plan to join an investment bank’s financial industry coverage team. In this role, I will learn how to advise financial institutions on growth and acquisition strategies. Once I hone my analytical expertise, I hope to lead a team within the bank and further develop my ability to manage and motivate others.
In the long term, I am excited to apply my knowledge of finance, leadership, and operations to the challenge of transforming this bank into the best bank for lower income consumers in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. I want to take a path similar to that of Carlos Pastor, a member of the Dartmouth Board of Trustees who grew Peru’s smallest bank into the most profitable financial institution in his country today. I believe that as Southeast Asia’s economy grows and as financial literacy increases, people’s need for small business financing and personal financial services will increase exponentially. When this time comes, I plan to be ready with an established infrastructure and model to serve the region. I can’t wait.