Luis Jugo, MS•MBA’11
“Do you want to be an average soccer player or a great engineer?”That was the question posed to Luis Jugo (MS•MBA ’11, Entrepreneurship) by his brother-in-law. “Once I heard it put that way, it was easy,” says Luis. “I wanted to be a great engineer.”
Luis was attracted to engineering from the seventh grade. “I was very passionate about computers even then and the shift that was occurring there,” he says. Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs and lawyers, he was excited to be the first engineer in his family. Luis’s grandfather had started his first business trading between states with a mule and later created the first bank in their hometown of San Cristobal, Venezuela. His equally entrepreneurial father had founded the most widespread regional television channel in Venezuela, a point of Jugo family pride.
And the apple didn’t fall far—engineering notwithstanding. Luis’s goal was always to eventually combine engineering with business. “One of the main reasons I came here to get my MBA was because I wanted to look deeper into my family history of business and figure out where to go. I want to influence my community in a positive way like my father and grandfather have. But I felt I needed the technical aspect first.”
But getting back to Luis’s soccer career. He was a renowned player in his area and, as a teenager, had received several scholarships, one of which was to the prominent Loomis Chaffee school in Windsor, Conn., which he attended for one year between high school and college.
“Soccer taught me to be the best of whatever you’re doing. But more importantly it taught me that it’s the sum of the parts more than any single thing that will get you to a goal. For example, my position was forward, so my job was, literally, to make the goals. But that could never happen if I didn’t get the ball. At some point, I realized that the teamwork important in soccer applies to business too.”
For Luis, soccer has also offered an avenue to giving back, something instilled in him by his family, especially his mother, from an early age. In Venezuela, his coach and teammates organized a clinic that taught the sport to underprivileged kids living in the slum next to his high school.
“Giving back to my community has always been a top priority for me. If you’re going to take advantage of an opportunity, as Venezuelans are known to do, it ultimately has to have a good impact on society as well—that’s something I consider non-negotiable. If it doesn’t give back in some way, then it’s not a worthwhile opportunity.”
Unfortunately, Luis eventually suffered a serious injury at Loomis Chaffee, and instead of pursuing professional soccer against the odds of a long recovery time, he chose to return to Venezuela to become a great engineer.
“We saw moving to the US as an opportunity to take a step back and get a new perspective and additional education. I’ve always wanted to earn my MBA.”
Currently in his second year of the MS∙MBA program, Luis is an active student, heading up the Latin American MBA Association (LAMBAA) as president and serving on the University-wide Global Accelerators of Technology Entrepreneurship organization, or GATE, created by BU’s Office of Technology and Development. Professor Paul McManus, managing director of the University’s Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship & Commercialization (ITEC), personally asked Luis to join GATE, whose purpose is to match new business solutions with developing countries in need.
With all his studies and extracurricular activities, Luis isn’t hurting for ways to spend his time—but he’s not complaining. “In my first couple weeks here, one of my professors told me that if, at the end of the two years, I remember more about what I did inside the classroom than what I did outside, then I wasted my two years. I’m living by that.”
Luis hopes that, eventually, he’ll be able to take the things he’s learned from the School of Management community back to Venezuela to address the problems at home—and make the ultimate positive impact on his community, just like his father and grandfather before him.