“As soon as I started speaking to the program office, I realized that I had found exactly what I was looking for. EMTM delivers a solid foundation in management strategies and an impressive list of technology courses. It is the combination and integration of these disciplines that makes the program so valuable.”
Orlando Mendoza, EMTM’01
Edison Venture Fund
Orlando Mendoza, EMTM’01
A few years out of college, Orlando was working in a mid-tier investment banking firm in the area of technology mergers and acquisitions, specifically focusing on CD-ROM manufacturing companies. He enjoyed his work and was developing a deeper interest in technology, but he was eager to move ahead. The obvious answer was to go back to graduate school. “I had an undergraduate degree in economics, but it was clear that in order to advance my career and further contribute to the firm, I would need an MBA or other graduate degree.”
Though he knew he needed a degree, Orlando was conflicted about which path to take. “I felt I needed an MBA for career advancement. However, I had a strong interest in technology, so I was looking at both MBA programs and engineering programs. At the same time, I knew a full-time dual degree program was not an option for me.” A Philadelphia native, Orlando began his search for graduate programs at Wharton. At the suggestion of an advisor who knew Orlando’s strong interest in technology, he started to look into the EMTM program. “As soon as I started speaking to the program office, I realized that I had found exactly what I was looking for. EMTM delivers a solid foundation in management strategies and an impressive list of technology courses. It is the combination and integration of these disciplines that makes the program so valuable.”
While at EMTM, Orlando learned about the role a venture capitalist plays in launching and managing new technologies. He set his sights on breaking into this highly competitive field. Just over a year after graduating, he landed a position with Edison Venture Fund. He has since been promoted several times and is now a Principal at the firm.
Orlando’s ability to speak both the financial and technology “languages” has helped prepare him in a career in venture capital. This foundation has giving him professional credibility and personal confidence. “There are few programs, if any, that can prepare you to become a venture capitalist. It’s a profession where solid management, finance and high-tech knowledge are essential. EMTM gave me that advantage.”
Classes in marketing and product development/design gave Orlando the means to communicate new ideas and strategies clearly with portfolio companies. The leadership classes provided him with an approach to incentivizing and motivating organizations while creating accountability on teams. “I often find myself in the position of offering advice to the entrepreneurs we work with.”
EMTM’s alumni network has also proven invaluable and enriching as Orlando continues to stay active in alumni groups and maintain the dear friendships he made through the program. In a recent move to Boston, these connections helped to expand his professional and social network.
Orlando is deeply satisfied with his decision both to attend the program and to switch careers and would recommend EMTM to anyone considering a similar move. “The program has made a tremendous impact on my career. I credit the EMTM program not only for entry into the business, but also for my ability to successfully contribute to my firm's success.”