Growing an Agricultural Business Professional
An MBA has JP Regusci prepared to sow change in his home country’s major industry
JP Regusci was exactly where he wanted to be. The boy who was “born on horseback” had become a man on a motorbike, riding through soybean fields in his home country of Uruguay, monitoring the crops and figuring out the best way to make them grow.
In so many ways, this was the career of his dreams, sprouting from his grandfather’s ranch outside Montevideo, where he grew up wrangling cattle each morning. This was a dream that persisted despite his father’s pleas to become “an accountant or an economist or something,” instead of an agricultural engineer.
And yet, Regusci says now, “I saw constantly some patterns that repeated with the farmers and the growers. They were very good, perhaps, at growing, but not at making business decisions: how they managed their finances, their supply chain, their marketing. So I said, ‘I need to learn business and help them in the future, because I am very connected to the future.’”
In June, upon graduating with an MBA from the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business, Regusci will take his first steps toward shaping the industry that supports his home country.
After earning an undergraduate degree from Uruguay’s Universidad de la República, Regusci realized he needed a broader education if he really wanted to make a difference. A business degree, particularly from the United States, offered the mix of skills and knowledge he needed. He craved the “go and get it” American mindset. “The U.S. educates leaders,” he says, and the professors are second to none.
So he applied to schools in such better-known U.S. cities as New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco. Then, when taking the GMAT, he received a message from DU, offering him exactly what he had been looking for: a hands-on, challenge-based program.
“I got what I expected from the program,” Regusci says. “I can say that I grew 200 percent as a business person and opened my mind.”
The small-group challenges that distinguish the Denver MBA curriculum have proven most critical to his education. Notably, Regusci tackled the “Global Challenge” as a consultant for Bona, a hardwood-floor cleaning company looking to penetrate South American markets. He traveled internationally, rubbing elbows with industry leaders and putting his academic experience to work in the real world.
Equally important, Regusci says he has grown outside of the classroom, too. Although he learned English in grade school, pursuing an education in his third language (Regusci also speaks Portuguese) was exhausting at first, particularly on a campus with few South Americans. But his classmates and the Daniels faculty, he says, made Colorado feel like home.
“Since I got to Denver, I have broadened my mindset and my cultural feelings,” he says. “Everything has been a learning experience. When I finished my undergrad, I was this scared, young guy transitioning to another life. Now I feel really prepared and confident, like I can do it. That I can obtain whatever I propose.”
It is with that confidence that Regusci pushes forward, chasing a U.S. job to gain experience before turning his attention back to Uruguay. Through an agronomic consulting job, he believes he can pursue the passion planted in him as a young boy on his grandfather’s ranch. He has never forgotten his roots and speaks often about “giving back.”
“Your family for sure is your priority and afterwards the people and the culture in my country,” he explains. “[It] is [about] leaving your footprint with those you love.”