Delivering on Success
Alfredo Moran, Eller MBA ’06
Senior Strategic Sales Analyst, FedEx
After earning his undergraduate finance degree from the Universidad Panamericana in his native Mexico City, Alfredo Moran joined jewelry manufacturing company Grupo Alpa and began working his way up. After ten years with the firm, Moran was general manager of the retail and manufacturing sides of the business, but the founder of the company still occupied the role of president and CEO — there wasn’t much more room for growth.
“I’d reached my peak, and I was looking to expand my horizons,” Moran says. The company was already exporting to the U.S., and his contacts recommended an MBA as a way to get a foot in the door with a Fortune 500 company. Moran began researching his options. “I applied to many universities, mainly in the U.S.,” he says. “I have always wanted to start my own business, so I was interested in the University of Arizona because of the high rank of the entrepreneurship program.”
He was accepted into the Eller MBA program, and began in 2004. Looking back today on his experience at the UA, Moran cites his teaching assistantship as one his most valuable experiences. “It gave me the opportunity, as an international student, to explore the culture on a person-to-person basis,” he says.
During the summer between his first and second years, Moran completed an internship with Canyon Ranch Resort, analyzing land buys and potential partnerships with current developments. Then, his second year in the program, he also went through the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program, where his venture, Cetra Coatings, won the top slot at the Center’s annual business plans competition, and placed third at a competition in Manitoba.
“For me, the main takeaways were the knowledge of how to set up a business in the U.S., what to look for in a partner, and how to summarize your vision into a 15-minute pitch for private investors,” he says. The MBA experience as a whole offered additional insights. “I wasn’t just concentrating on finance, but looking at the holistic view of a company,” Moran says.
When he graduated in 2006, Moran joined FedEx. “I didn’t get an internship with them, but when it came time for recruiting full-time employment, they flew me in to Memphis for a second-round interview,” he says. “I started with the sales planning team.”
It’s been a good fit. Moran says that the company’s culture is focused on helping its employees develop professionally. “In my third year, I had the opportunity to manage a ten-month sales force redesign project.” The multi-faceted project required coordination across sales, communications, IT, HR, sales planning, and other FedEx support teams. His success on the project resulted in the highest recognition that the company awards individual employees: the 5 Star Award. As a result of the award, Moran was assigned to lead a key project at FedEx this year.
“When I started the MBA program, it was not necessarily my goal to work in the U.S.,” Moran says. “But at the end of the day, it worked out well for me and my wife.” They were thinking of starting a family, and Memphis has turned out to be a great place to raise their son, who is now 24 months old. “FedEx has a great flextime policy, and I have a minimal commute, so I have more time to spend with my family,” he says.