Whether they’re riding elephants, climbing Machu Picchu, or visiting thousand-year-old caves, BYU Marriott MBA graduate David Paradiso and his family members have enjoyed adventures around the world. However, none of these experiences—or his career opportunities—would have been possible without the education and skills he obtained during his time at the BYU Marriott School of Business.
Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Paradiso first graduated with his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Argentine University of Enterprise, located in Buenos Aires. After receiving his degree, he entered the BYU Marriott MBA program in 2011 as a recipient of the Whitmore Global Business Center’s Cardon International Scholarship (CIS) program. This scholarship aids international students by providing funds for their living and tuition expenses during their time in the MBA program.
The CIS program aims to prepare international students to become leaders in foreign countries, both in their companies and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “One of the commitments I made with the CIS program was not only to gain an education and improve my skills but also to put those skills to good use in other areas of the world where the Church is not as strong and where ethical leadership is needed,” Paradiso explains.
Paradiso has sought to keep this commitment in all stages of his career with Maj Invest, a Danish asset management company. First, he worked in Peru as the company’s Latin America general office manager, and now he works and lives in India as one of Maj Invest’s private equity fund managers, with a focus of financial inclusion. “In both countries, I’ve had the blessing of serving in local Church units and, on the professional side, investing in emerging markets all over the world to create real social impact,” he says.
Being involved with social impact is one of Paradiso’s favorite aspects of his current role at Maj Invest. “I love that my job perfectly blends two of my passions: international private equity and social impact,” he says. “I use my financial and investment skills while looking for ways to have the highest impact on poverty alleviation. I have an incentive to excel at what I do because it can help millions of families in their efforts to have a better life.”
After graduating from BYU Marriott in 2013, Paradiso became a mentor for other CIS program candidates. “When I moved to Peru, I was chosen to be president of the BYU Management Society chapter in the country,” he says. “The Area President, Elder Carlos Godoy, and an Area Seventy at the time, Joaquin Costa, both CIS alumni, had a clear vision of strengthening local Church leadership by sending people to get an MBA through the CIS program.”
Paradiso, Godoy, and Costa worked together to identify CIS candidates from Peru. “We helped them with GMAT preparation, and we had several incredible people from our area accepted into BYU Marriott and the CIS program. After moving to India, I kept in touch with several candidates and kept mentoring them virtually to help them achieve their professional goals and earn their MBA degrees,” Paradiso says. “While the pool of candidates is significantly smaller here in India, I continue to mentor potential candidates for CIS.”
Paradiso feels immense gratitude for his BYU Marriott education, which gave him the tools needed to pursue a global career. “My experience in the MBA program provided me with the skills and knowledge necessary to obtain invaluable work opportunities,” he says. “These opportunities have allowed our family to make incredible memories together. Living in so many different places has been an enormous blessing. We’ve developed the ability to relate with people of different countries, cultures, and religions, and our kids are having experiences that my wife and I never would have dreamed of having when we were kids.”
One specific experience at BYU Marriott that prepared him for his future career was the opportunity he had to participate in Cougar Capital, a course available to second-year MBA students, where students handle actual funds to make real investments.
“Cougar Capital gave me real-life practical experience with investments and deals, which was certainly a big factor in my abilities to succeed in the investment industry later on,” Paradiso says. “The course is one of the many reasons why BYU Marriott’s MBA is a unique, top-of-the-nation program, because not many schools have something like that.”
Paradiso’s experiences at BYU Marriott taught him lessons that he has applied to his life and career. “I recognized the importance of networking in your career and the power of ethical leadership,” he says. “The most important thing I learned, though, is that the positive impact I can make on the people around me is more important than the size of my bank account.”
Writer: Sarah Calvert