Meet the MBA graduate who launched her own social impact business | Top Universities

Meet the MBA graduate who launched her own social impact business

By Stephanie Lukins

Updated May 4, 2021 Updated May 4, 2021

Sponsored by Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola

When Gisela started the Executive MBA Double Degree at the USIL Graduate School in Lima and San Ignacio University of Miami in Florida in 2019, little did she know that it would enable her to launch her very own business – S&J Corporation – in the same year.

TopUniversities spoke to Gisela to find out more about her inspiring career journey so far, and how her MBA equipped her with the specialised industry skillset and knowledge she needed to get started.

Where it all began

S&J Corporation is a consulting and project management company which uses sustainable technologies to bring about positive social, economic, and environmental changes.

The company’s story begins in Huancavelica – one of Peru’s most underdeveloped regions – where they offer consultancy services to SMEs as well as vocational workshops and guidance talks to children and teenagers at the local schools.

“I really wanted to make an impact,” said Gisela.

Growing up, Gisela had to work to pay for her own school books and other school supplies. Being very aware of what it means to come from a low-income background, Gisela was determined to give back to society and help empower others to achieve their career ambitions.

“I want to be an example to other young people from low-income backgrounds and show them what they can achieve,” she said. 

Gisela knew that a university degree would enable her to do just that. She was awarded the BECA 18 scholarship - a scholarship programme introduced in 2012 by the Peruvian government in order to help support prospective university students from lower income backgrounds. This scholarship allowed Gisela to earn her bachelor's degree at USIL and subsequently go on to study the Executive MBA Double Degree and set up S&J Corporation.

A competitive advantage

During her MBA, Gisela had the exciting opportunity to take on a role within the merchandising department at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Here, she was able to put theory into practice and apply her newfound skills and knowledge in a genuine industry setting.

Gisela credits her MBA experience with providing her with the tools and opportunities to not only prepare her for the labor market, but to also help her own her own business.

“I think my education at USIL gave me a huge competitive advantage. Not only does the university offer a great education, but it also helps you to develop personally as an individual,” she said.

From leadership skills to developing an innovative mindset, Gisela credits the MBA at USIL for equipping her with a transferable skillset and specialised knowledge that has proven to serve her well in every role and position she has worked in so far – particularly as a CEO.

Looking ahead

Finding success in such a short amount of time wasn’t something which Gisela had envisioned when she first embarked on her MBA journey.

And, although we can’t predict the future, it seems as if we’re only at the very start of some very exciting times for Gisela and S&J Corporation. It is currently developing new and innovative educational projects for the Peruvian market in order to help strengthen the country’s governmental and private education strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gisela tells us the ultimate goal for S&J Corporation is to become a leader in international consulting with a focus on project development and management where social responsibility and sustainable development are at the heart of the business’s work ethic and culture. 

Lead image credit: Audiovisual Production Center (APC) - USIL

This article was originally published in March 2021 . It was last updated in May 2021

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