Our Stories

Enjoying One Big ‘Wow’ Moment

Global Immersion track was both high intensity and highly rewarding

Ricardo Parada
Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Omega Plastics

Vanderbilt Executive MBA 2022

As he climbed the corporate ladder—both in the U.S. and in his native Chile—Ricardo Parada sensed that he needed “a refresher,” as he describes it, in some key areas such as finance and accounting. “Even though I had been able to make several international deals and JVs throughout South America,” he explains, “I wanted to get more academic training and to be able to absorb more when it comes to international business.”

The Global Immersion track of the Executive MBA program at Vanderbilt provided just what Ricardo was looking for. “I loved the strategy focus and the intensity of the program,” he says. “I wanted to push myself hard. Vanderbilt Executive MBA is not a light version of an MBA, but a real, high-intensity master’s degree.”

As he considered his options, Ricardo spoke with several alumni. “They not only recommended the program strongly but shared great experiences that resonated with me,” Ricardo says. “These are professionals who, after completing their master’s degrees, managed to reach the career level I was seeking.”

Looking back, it’s hard for Ricardo to identify only one thing that stood out most to him about the program. But he starts with the faculty: “So many amazing professors,” he says, “and so many specific lectures that I will treasure for the rest of my life—from the one in which Professor [Bill] Christie narrated his papers on NASDAQ’s collusion, to reveling in [Brian] McCann’s articulating a strategic solution to myriad issues, to Dr. [Michael] Burcham’s class on how to shape a division or start a company, this program has been a never-ending ‘Wow!’ moment.”

The opportunities to build relationships also stood out. “For a Chilean citizen, the network from this program is something I never would have dreamed of acquiring in just a couple of years.

“And the personal scale meant that everything was truly tailored to me. From the way they built the C-teams to the quick replies from faculty and staff about every little question I had, Vanderbilt folks went out of their way to make sure I maximized this experience.”

Fun Fact: A oenophile who holds several certifications, Ricardo once owned a wine-importing business in Atlanta.

Vanderbilt’s Executive MBA is not a light version of an MBA, but a real, high-intensity master’s degree.