Alex Bonder Weissbrod, MBA’13
New Horizons for a Frequent Flier
Airports represent a gateway to adventure for many people. They’ve been that to Alex Bonder Weissbrod (MBA’13), too. He’s traveled throughout Europe, South America, Israel, New Zealand, and Japan. For Bonder, however, airports have also been a workplace and a place of wonder.
Growing up in Mexico City, as the child (and brother) of physicians, Bonder traveled frequently with his family. But as much as he enjoyed their destinations, Bonder found the airports themselves fascinating. He quickly learned which airlines represented which countries and would check to see which nations were in attendance during his airport visits.
As he got older, he was the one who planned the family trips, giving more attention to the nuances of the journey than any travel agent might. He learned about airline hubs, compared loyalty programs, and discovered the quirks of various aircraft types.
It seemed inevitable that Bonder would work for an airline, and after graduating from college with a degree in economics, he did. He began working in revenue management for Aeromexico, eventually becoming the chief of staff for the organization’s CEO.
He believed he had found his dream job. Making a commitment to the airline industry in Mexico, however, meant making a commitment to continuing his education. The executives at Aeromexico, Bonder says, all have impressive graduate degrees, including MBAs and PhDs.
Not surprising for someone interested in hubs, Bonder looked to the city known as The Hub for a graduate school. Bonder had come to Boston as a teenager to study English.
“All the students in the area bring energy to the region,” he says. “I came to Boston because I wanted to change my style of living. Compared to Mexico City, an amazing cosmopolitan city with over 21 million people, Boston is a small town. I like that it is rich in culture, and that I can walk everywhere. I think that being in a different environment enhances your learning experience,” he says.
He was impressed with the School of Management’s (SMG) general management program. When he visited the school, he found the students to be very friendly. Now, after just a few months at SMG, he feels his classmates are “like family.”
Perhaps unexpected for a man who is used to the view at 35,000 feet, he has found that his horizons are opening up as well. Living in a city that is a global leader in health care, Bonder is giving the family business, medicine, a second look.
A class with Associate Professor Melvyn Menezes has given him a new passion for marketing, as well. “Before I came to SMG, I wasn’t interested in the field,” he says. “I never thought of it as being much more than just advertising. But the marketing class has been just amazing. We’ve learned a lot of strategies,” Bonder says.
After receiving his degree, Bonder may return to the airline industry. But because of the new vistas that SMG has opened, he’s considering other possibilities as well. Guided by a career advisor at the Feld Career Center, Bonder has attended multiple panels on the consulting field. He’s intrigued by the industry’s multiple management challenges.
Working for a consulting firm might offer a new adventure while still allowing him to work with the airlines, he says. It might also give him experience in his new interests in health care and marketing. Whatever comes next on Bonder’s journey, it’s clear the flight plan will have multiple destinations.
By Madeline Bodin