Moore School International MBA candidate Robert Campos (’21 IMBA) is a first-generation college student who was inspired to pursue his IMBA after growing up in an entrepreneurial family.
From Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Campos’s parents own Yessith’s Beauty Salon, and his uncle owns several restaurants called Fiesta Fresh. Campos said he wants to make his family proud and encourage future generations to challenge themselves.
“Being a first-generation college student has been very special because I want to set the bar high for future generations,” he said. “When no one in your family has been to college, it’s difficult to envision a life different than your parents’, so I’m happy to show younger generations the way if they choose to pursue higher education.”
Campos obtained his undergraduate degree in biology from Clemson University. He said his original plan was to become a physician and study pre-professional health.
“Originally, my whole family wanted me to be a physician, so I pursued a biology degree with an emphasis in pre-professional health during my undergrad years,” he said. “However, my family is very entrepreneurial, and seeing that growing up made me passionate about business.”
After graduating from Clemson University in 2017, Campos began his career at UPS as a sales representative and then later progressed to an account executive position. He said during his time at UPS, he was exposed to many different aspects of business within his accounts including marketing, finance, operations, management, and saw firsthand how they are all interrelated.
“As I saw these businesses navigate obstacles, I thought it would be useful to have an MBA that could guide me once I had to make high-stake decisions,” he said.
Following his entrepreneurial roots, Campos decided to further develop his business acumen by enrolling in the Moore School International MBA program and obtain the Business Analytics Graduate Certificate with a specialization in marketing.
“The IMBA is allowing me to smoothly transition into the business world and has positioned me to pursue my passion in marketing,” he said. “So far, I feel better prepared to handle challenging situations in business, so I am glad that I made the leap.”
Since starting the IMBA program, Campos has been able to gain valuable business knowledge through his courses as well as an independent study abroad experience in Mexico City, Mexico. He decided to create an independent immersion when his original plan of studying abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico, with the IMBA program was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“To ensure I got international experience and exposure, a few classmates and I created an independent study where we partnered with a startup from Mexico City, Mexico, and helped them by offering free marketing consulting,” he said. “Business continues even through the challenges COVID-19 brings, so we wanted to try to make a positive impact. Our project goal was to deliver a go-to-market strategy that would be effective in the U.S. With our knowledge of American culture and marketing, we were excited to be part of something useful for this business.”
After traveling through Mexico for two months, Campos said he learned a lot about the country’s precolonial and colonial history and also strengthened his business and planning skills.
“This experience taught me persistence since we had to do a lot of cold calling to land a business opportunity and taught me to become more comfortable with the unknown,” he said. “With so many changing variables, especially during the pandemic, planning and risk mitigation were key in keeping us and people around us safe while still being innovative and helping an international business move forward.”
Campos looks forward to applying the skills that he learned through the IMBA program and his international immersion in his position as a marketing manager with Microsoft’s Azure Cloud Services team after graduation in May 2021.
“I will be moving to the Seattle area next year which is thousands of miles from home here in South Carolina,” he said. “In my first year, I’ll start in a rotational program where I get to work on three different teams and projects exposing me to several experiences within marketing. Specific projects have not been assigned, but my work will include aspects such as user experience, business strategy and branding for Azure. I’m excited to jump in and make an immediate impact with the skills I’ve learned while pursing my IMBA.”