Pursuing My UC Davis MBA: Embracing Heritage and Entrepreneurship

Growing my family legacy of innovation with education and leadership

I am proud to be a Mexican-American, the daughter of resilient immigrant parents who instilled in me the values of hard work and perseverance. After completing my undergraduate journey with a bachelor’s in political science from Cal Poly Pomona, I set my sights on a new challenge—an MBA.

Entrepreneurs Raised a Legislative Director

Growing up, I witnessed the entrepreneurial spirit first hand. In Mexico, the lack of job opportunities compelled my family to become entrepreneurs and launch businesses. This legacy is in my veins, and it has always been a significant source of inspiration for me.

Witnessing the innovative ideas and solutions my family members developed in the face of adversity ignited a fire within me—a drive to equip myself with the skills and knowledge to make a lasting impact.

With my current role as a legislative director for the office of California State Senator Melissa Hurtado, I manage a diverse legislative agenda for the state senator. We’re focused on crucial issues such as agriculture, workforce, water conservation, food access and healthcare. This experience has allowed me to serve as a bridge between policy and people. Understanding and effectively communicating with our communities has been the cornerstone of my work, translating their needs into actionable policies to improve the lives of fellow Californians.

Marisol Ibarra holding up a stuffed cow as part of her UC Davis swag
Marisol Ibarra shows off her UC Davis swag on the day she accepted her offer to the Sacramento Part-Time MBA program.

Sacramento MBA = Innovation + Entrepreneurship

My decision to pursue an MBA was a natural progression. I have always wanted to pursue a graduate degree. I believe education is a powerful tool for empowerment. However, my motivation to enroll in the Sacramento Part-Time MBA program at UC Davis stems from its unique focus on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.

UC Davis has a strong reputation for nurturing business-minded individuals who seek to make a positive difference in the world.

The UC Davis Sacramento MBA program stood out for its dedication to developing collaborative leaders who can address challenges with a business mindset. This approach aligns perfectly with my goals of learning how to approach solutions strategically, while staying true to my passion for creating opportunities and advocating for positive change.

Developing Skills to Create Positive Change

As I earn my MBA, my aim is to enhance my skills in critical areas such as strategic decision-making, finance, marketing and leadership. By improving my skillset, I aspire to create a lasting impact in the legislative realm and also by fostering innovation and entrepreneurship within communities that have the potential to transform innovative ideas into thriving businesses.

My MBA journey at the Graduate School of Management is rooted in my family's entrepreneurial legacy, the drive to make a meaningful impact and the desire to equip myself with the tools to affect positive change.

I firmly believe that education is the key to unlocking opportunities, and through the Sacramento MBA program, I am excited to refine my business acumen and strengthen my ability to make a difference in the lives of fellow Californians.

As I embark on this new chapter, I carry with me the lessons from my family's journey and the determination to empower others through entrepreneurship and innovation. I am eager to embrace the challenges that lie ahead.

I’m confident that the UC Davis MBA will provide me with the knowledge and skills necessary to drive positive change and build a brighter future.