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Interview with recent UTEP EMBA Graduate Manny Rodriguez

20 September 2011

We asked CW4 Manuel Rodriguez. a recent graduate of our first EMBA cohort,  to share a bit about himself and his experience in UTEP's MBA Program.

1.    Tell us a little bit about yourself and your professional work experience before joining the program.
My name is Manuel Rodriguez Jr., born and raised in El Paso, a graduate of Socorro High School, class of 1986 and a 24-year veteran of the United States Army. I am married to my beautiful wife, Victoria and have two great kids, Gabi and Emilio.  We have been stationed throughout the world and I have been deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the global war on terrorism. I am a Mobility Officer with extensive experience in the US Army Logistics and Supply Chain Management business areas and have been recognized as the preeminent source for relevant, value–added logistics expertise. Since 9/11, I have helped to plan, organize, and supervise the movement, deployment, and redeployment of Army personnel and equipment in support of full spectrum operations throughout the world.

2.    What drove you to seek out a Master’s in Business Administration?
I absolutely love to learn! I think it is important to raise the bar and surprise yourself every chance you get with achievements you would not normally try. In the Army, I have had great mentors that pushed me to pursue my civilian education and obtaining an MBA from UTEP (ranked #1 in the nation by HispanicBusiness) has been the highlight of my professional career. I loved the experience and I am very proud of my commitment to the process. For me, the MBA program was not a complacent or safe ride. It required hard work and dedication to successfully complete the process. Was it worth it? I would sincerely answer, yes. The MBA program has sufficiently equipped me with sound knowledge of management principles and practices to apply to my current and future business career.


3. How has the program helped you in your profession? Do you anticipate a promotion or career change upon completion of the EMBA?
The knowledge gained through learning business strategies and concepts, in theory and in reality has provided me with a broad range of people skills in addition to helping me develop a better thought process. The development of my managerial skills has provided me with the essentials for dealing with real-time situations pertaining to management and resolution of problems. The program further has assisted me in understanding the intricacies of planning, goal setting, and interpersonal skills (being a team player). Lastly, the MBA has helped me secure a promotion to Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CW4) and has certainly prepared me to transition into the civilian sector after military retirement.

4. What would you tell people considering the EMBA program?
Without a doubt, this program is worth your time and money! If you are looking for an opportunity to increase your business knowledge, an opportunity to network, and add to your expertise then the EMBA program is for you. The program is superbly set up; the professors have real world experience and are very knowledgeable in their respective areas. The program is held at the Graduate Business Center (GBC), which is housed in the Chase Tower at the center of the El Paso’s business district. The GBC features three state-of-the-art classrooms, student collaboration rooms and several applied business research offices. The MBA staff is very helpful and makes the EMBA students life stress free by providing them with all the required texts, class materials, and solving countless administrative issues. Over the course, I have undoubtedly developed significant relationships that will serve me well throughout my business career. I have had a memorable experience during the 18-months and this program will serve to enhance our (UTEP-MBA) network of alumni with a wide range of companies, which will be useful for mentoring, job searches, and professional development. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to talk to me concerning the EMBA program.