Student Perspectives: Honing Leadership Skills as an International Student


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About Nahum: Nahum Armas (’22) was born in Monterrey, Mexico, where he grew up among mountains, BBQ, and soccer. Being a big fan of technology, and inspired by his father, he obtained a Telecommunications Engineering degree at the ITESM, more commonly known as the Monterrey Tec. At the same time, Nahum was the director of a youth leadership development organization, called Escuadron Nasak, where he helped empower new leaders to discover their passion for guiding and serving. After graduating, he started working at NetPoint, a telecommunications service company, where he achieved several managing roles and developed a customer-oriented mindset after understanding the importance of fulfilling their clients’ needs. Additionally, his desire to give back to his community motivated him to take a job as a high school teacher during his extra time where he taught math and encouraged his students to always give their best. Today, Nahum is a first-year MBA student at UCLA Anderson School of Management where he plans to obtain a Tech Management Specialization. He chose Anderson because if its values, human-centered community, and strong connection with high-tech enterprises and is currently recruiting for Business Development Manager roles in the tech industry.

My first year at Anderson technically began in late summer of 2020, however, my leadership responsibilities started much earlier than I expected. I was named one of 15 First-Year Liaisons before starting classes and my responsibilities focused on helping the rest of our class before starting our summer term which was going to be fully remote. As an international student, this put me in a great position to start working on my goal of sharpening my leadership skills in a multicultural setting. I was both nervous and excited about being handed this role as it was my first experience in leading a multicultural group. During my time as liaison, I was able to interact with many of my class’ international students and to learn how their unique cultures shaped their perspectives and reactions towards the uncomfortable situation we were (and still are) living around the world. We’ve had plenty of difficult times since then, but I know it helped us grow as a group and helped me build priceless friendships.

After these experiences, I decided to keep working on my leadership skills and was elected Executive Vice-President for my section, Director of Admissions for both the Admissions Ambassador Corps (AAC) and the Latin American Business Association (LABA) as well as joined the Black Business Student Association (BBSA) and Women’s Business Connection (WBC) as an ally member. By taking these roles I’ve honed my leadership skills and gotten key takeaways that have been vital to my growth. My leadership adventure so far can me summarized in three words: learning, support, and empathy.

Learning: Being a leader doesn’t mean you are an almighty individual who has all the answers. During my time at Anderson, I’ve realized that in order to become the leader I envision I need to constantly grow and be ready to face uncomfortable situations. I’ve learned that every person has a different story and background which influences the way they communicate and express themselves. Also, I’ve acknowledged the power of sharing quality time with my team to strengthen the sense of belonging by building strong bonds.

Support: Joining the AnderFam, which includes all the great friends I’ve made as well as administration and faculty, has been a blessing. Everyone supports each other and wishes success for every member of the Anderson community. The mantra of “sharing success” can be felt each and every day as people are always there to help you reach your goals. UCLA Anderson is my second home and I feel extremely proud to be a member of this amazing family.

Empathy: Being in a multicultural environment, one has to constantly put themselves in other’s shoes in order to understand how they perceive the situations that are happening. As a leader, I must place an even greater emphasis on this as I’m constantly interacting with people from distinct backgrounds and helping them solve diverse issues. Through empathy and openness, we are able to understand each other and form a strong group that highlights everyone’s strengths and empowers both the individual members and the group.

I am extremely excited about my remaining time at Anderson and am more motivated than ever as I was recently elected to represent my whole class as Executive Vice-President during my second year. I am grateful for this and am looking forward to taking my leadership skills to the next level. While this will include plenty of additional responsibilities, I am ready to perform to the best of my abilities and represent Anderson’s values as well as much back to the AnderFam.

Student Blogger: Nahum Armas '22

Undergrad: TEC de Monterrey (Mexico) `14

Pre-MBA: Strategic Account Manager at NetPoint

Leadership@Anderson: Class Executive Vice-President, Anderson Student Association (ASA); Section Executive Vice-President, ASA; First-Year International Liaison, ASA; Director of Admissions, Admissions Ambassador Corps (AAC), Director of Admissions, Latin American Business Association (LABA); Leadership@Anderson Mentoree


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