Earning an MBA at Colorado State University
Hasina Yarde and Claudio Sala both came to Colorado State University from very different places. Hasina, the 160-square-kilometer island nation of Barbados, and Claudio, the bustling metropolis of Lima, Peru.
In Fort Collins, a city dedicated to sustainability and situated at the base of the Rocky Mountains, they each found something they were both looking for: a top-ranked Master of Business Administration program aimed at equipping students with the tools to solve some of the world’s most challenging social and environmental problems.
The unique Global Social and Sustainable MBA program enables students to learn on campus and takes a hands-on approach to education. Classmates work together in countries all over the world to create real businesses that address global challenges, while learning about entrepreneurship, management, marketing, and finance.
The centerpiece of the GSSE MBA is intensive field work in which student teams work on ventures domestically and abroad to apply classroom learning in the real world. Our student projects are actual startups and teams work on a wide array of projects, including advancing clean energy, addressing poverty, developing innovative consumer products, increasing access to clean water, supporting small-scale farmers, and a host of other sustainable and social businesses.
When Claudio came to CSU he wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted to do with his career after he graduated. However, after spending his summer working to combat deforestation in Guatemala, and building his skills as a business leader, he starting planning his path forward.
“Now I really know what I want to do,” he said. “I want to work in the field and work on different projects in the world that address both environmental and social problems, and to create wealth while addressing those issues. This program really helped me figure that out.”
Claudio also knows that graduating with an MBA from a well-known, AACSB-accredited program will help him find a job.
“The CSU program, especially with the scholarship, allows you flexibility.”
Hasina spent her summer field work researching recycling practices and strategies for waste diversion with her team in the Caribbean, looking for ways to benefit communities and the environment.
“Climate change is real, and it’s affecting us. Our country is not getting as much rain as before,” said Hasina. “Barbados has a big push on sustainability, especially in terms of the energy sector, so I wanted a program that would give the background on how to manage these sorts of areas.”
Living in Fort Collins
“It is so different, I’ve been to NY, and I’ve been to Boston, but Fort Collins is just like a little city of its own,” said Hasina.
“People here are very friendly, very helpful. I’ve met some amazing people since I’ve been here and you have the added bonus of getting to try different things, like snowboarding for example. I’ve never snowboarded, I had never done snow before.”
But now she’s spent time hiking in the mountains, seeing wildlife, and experiencing a place where everything is new.
“Even my mom was like, ‘Oh my gosh, Hasi, you’re having all these experiences,’ and I’m like ‘I know!’” said Hasina, laughing.
Colorado has been a big change for Claudio, coming from a city of 9 million to one much smaller.
“Being in Fort Collins, I’ve never met people so friendly. Also, in the program, I met very good friends.”
Claudio has also enjoyed how diverse the GSSE program is, drawing students from dozens of countries, including the U.S.
“My friends at other U.S. Universities were very surprised that I was hanging out with non-Latin American students. Here you hang out with everyone in GSSE, it’s really cool,” he said.
That bond was created quickly when Claudio, Hasina, and the rest of their classmates met for the first time during orientation at the Colorado State University Mountain Campus. They also met the cohort of students that were a year ahead of them in the program.
“We got to know them and they told us about how their field work went and it was a really cool experience,” said Claudio.
And now he’s the one telling new GSSE MBA students what a great summer he had working on his business, and how excited he is to graduate and find a job where he can make a difference.