Our Stories

Five-Continent Traveler Finds His Home

José Hurtado takes executive development to several new levels

José Ignacio Hurtado
Manager of Corporate Strategy, JCPenny

Vanderbilt MBA 2018

José Ignacio Hurtado’s first exposure to Owen came not through a campus visit but through the Vanderbilt Executive Development Institute. He and other executives from Nissan, an EDI client company, took part in a week-long program at the school. “That was a life-changing experience for me,” says José, a lawyer by training.

“It not only confirmed to me that my next degree should be an MBA but it also led me to fall in love with Owen, its faculty and the classroom experience.” Several years later, he applied to the Vanderbilt MBA program.

“Owen,” José says, “has allowed me to acquire the formal training and structure that I previously lacked. Not only has my understanding of marketing (my concentration) dramatically increased, but now I also understand the intricacies of managing a business in a more structured way.

“I have been able to acquire formal training that will help me be better prepared for my next job. Also, I have had the chance to work on my leadership style through the Leadership Development Program and in different leadership roles” (at Owen, José has served as a senator and VP of International Affairs in the Student Government Association and on the board of the student-run Latin Business Association).

Yet, along with all the new knowledge and skills, what José finds that he especially values is the experience of being part of a student community. “Playing soccer with other Owen students in the rec center is one of the high points of my week,” he says. “Thursday is also now one of my favorite days because of Closing Bell. I try always to be there since it gives me the opportunity to better connect with my classmates and also have a great time.

“When I considered coming to Owen, I thought all the talk of its collaborative ambience was pure marketing. After just a few days, I confirmed that it is real. Owen is a place where I feel at home every day.”

Fun Fact: An avid traveler who has visited 40  countries, José once visited five continents during the same year. I met my wife 6 years ago in a tango class in Vanderbilt. Neither of us were Vanderbilt students back then and I never learned to tango.

“Owen is where I feel at home every day.”