Antonio J. GutiérrezPublic & Nonprofit MBA* Boston, MA
“BU has taught me to be bold. It fortified my courage to start an organization and gave me access to phenomenal people and resources.”
*Renamed Social Impact MBA beginning in 2018
Antonio J. Gutierrez only applied to one school because BU Questrom was the only place he wanted to be. “My goal in life is to transform American Public Education, so that more kids from high need communities—places like where I grew up—can have better access to higher education.”
The Professional Evening (PEMBA) Social Impact MBA (formerly Public & Nonprofit MBA) completely aligns with Gutierrez’s long-term goals and helps him manage SAGA Innovations, the fast-growing—and nationally recognized—nonprofit organization to which he co-founded and is currently vice president. The program provides intensive small-group tutoring for struggling students and strives to catch them back up to grade level.
Gutierrez graduated in 2010 as a first generation college student from Union College with a full educational scholarship through the Posse Foundation. He then served as a City Year corps member in Boston until 2011 when he joined Match Education. Given his success with Match Education, he started his own nonprofit venture, SAGA Innovations, and has grown the business from two to now over 215 full-time staff members.
Supporting a family and running a growing business is a full plate in itself, but Gutiérrez still wanted to enrich and build upon his undergraduate education. “I was launching a nonprofit organization and I knew it was time to take my education to the next level,” he says. Gutiérrez knew that he had to choose a program that would complement his busy lifestyle—and that program was PEMBA.
Turns out, his only choice was the right one. Gutiérrez says, “BU has taught me to be bold. It fortified my courage to start an organization and gave me access to phenomenal people and resources. Professors are always happy and willing to give me advice and support, which has been crucial at various stages within my organization’s growth.”
One of his favorite experiences outside the classroom was a case competition he participated in with CEO of Lindt Chocolate. The case asked students to determine whether Lindt should consolidate operations or if there would be strategic value in implementing share services with their subsidiary—Ghirardelli. Since he competed in his first year of business school, he and his team were the underdogs. But, they welcomed the challenge. He explains, “My team and I, as first-year students, really enjoyed being the underdogs and worked hard to find creative solutions. The best part was making our pitch and offering recommendations in front of the Lindt executive team.”
PEMBA is giving him the skills to lead SAGA Innovations forward even further. “The lessons I learn from across business sectors help me improve what I do as a manager, whether it is with operational efficiency or strategy.”
Gutiérrez takes much pride in SAGA Innovations and its focus on society. “The mission of my organization is to transform the lives of the students we serve by motivating them to generate new levels of effort, developing their academic and problem-solving skills, and building their confidence, through personalized instruction.” Gutiérrez role models Questrom values at the core, his work with SAGA Innovations touches the lives of students and continues to contribute to their success as well as a society.