The son of Salvadoran immigrants, Jesse is a first generation Latino. He was born and raised in South-Central Los Angeles, in a neighborhood plagued by high crime, drugs, and gang activity. Through determination and hard work, Jesse was awarded a full scholarship to Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. He went on to graduate from Syracuse University and earned his MBA from Georgetown University. Jesse developed strategies to successfully bridge the two distinct worlds of being raised in an immigrant household (where neither parent spoke English nor had more than a few years of education), and studying at top tier institutions.
While working at Fortune 500 companies, Jesse learned the importance of developing executive presence and honed his abilities at Dun & Bradstreet, General Motors, and the Volkswagen Group of America to navigate his career forward. As Jesse grew increasingly successful in corporate America, he made it his mission to help others do the same. This passion inspired MBA Catalyst, a company that guides ambitious individuals to effectively apply to business school and earn their MBA. Since 2007, MBA Catalyst has helped numerous candidates gain admission to highly ranked MBA programs, with many receiving fellowships from The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management.
Passionate about personal economic empowerment, Jesse speaks to college students, business school MBA applicants, and aspiring executives who want to engage, lead, and possess the ambition to change the world. Jesse underscores his message on pursuing success by focusing on attitude, accountability and teaching his audience how to overcome adversity with professionalism, polish and poise.
Jesse has been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and has been a featured guest on National Public Radio. He has authored the books Dual Track: Graduating from College with Options and ¡Rise Up, Mi Gente! A Roadmap for Latinos to Achieve Success in Corporate America.
A member of the National Speakers Association, Jesse’s message is about grit and resilience and believes that anyone can achieve the American Dream. With his wife and two daughters, Jesse considers Washington D.C. home and volunteers his time with the local chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and is a past Board Member of the Latin American Youth Center.