Scholarship recipient Gonzalo Roque Rosales (2Y 2022) shares a leadership journey that, for him, began in middle school.

A Diversity Scholarship Recipient’s Commitment to Leading Teams & Making an Impact

The Diversity Scholarship, one of Kellogg’s merit-based scholarships, is awarded each year to extraordinary students from under-represented backgrounds. Recipient Gonzalo Roque Rosales (2Y, 2022) shares a leadership journey that, for him, began in middle school. Here’s what he had to say.

Tell us about your leadership journey prior to Kellogg.

My leadership journey started around the time I was in 6th grade. This is when I began playing on and coaching a series of basketball teams, where I had to learn how to lead both verbally and through my actions. At the same time, my family had just immigrated from Mexico to the US. As the second oldest of five siblings, I quickly had to learn the ropes of living and studying in the US to help set a positive example for my younger siblings and to help my parents navigate this new environment.

My leadership journey continued into my time at Texas A&M. During this time, I often found myself serving as the informal leader of many of my group projects. I also helped launch a student consultancy for non-profits, in which I had to learn hands-on how to set an organizational culture and structure, as well as accountability systems.

After school, I joined Bain and Company, where I progressively took on larger leadership roles. In less than one year in, I started to lead clients through solving some of their most important technical and interpersonal problems. I also went from being an informal mentor to more junior associates to being the most tenured person on my teams and being responsible for the work product and development of up to two junior consultants

How has that journey developed during your time at Kellogg?

Kellogg has been very helpful in supporting me to develop as a leader, starting in the classroom. As an example, in the New Venture Discovery class I took (an experiential entrepreneurship class), I learned the importance of keeping the team focused on understanding the customer problem and not jumping into solutions — a lesson that can radically change how a new venture or start up operates.

I have also had the opportunity to listen to some incredible speakers talk about leadership, including CEOs and VPs of companies, leaders in sports, investors and military veterans. These chats have taught me a wide array of lessons that could have otherwise taken me decades of experience to learn.

Finally, Kellogg clubs and activities have given me plenty of opportunities to put my learnings into action. One recent example was when I lead a KWEST trip to help first-year students get introduced to Kellogg and our community — an opportunity that was more of a leadership test than I originally expected.

When I reflect on my time at Kellogg, I can see that the scholarship that I received has given me the gifts of time and financial freedom, allowing me try my hand at anything that pops up at Kellogg.

What does impact mean to you? How do you hope to make your impact after Kellogg?

To me, in its simplest form, impact means making people’s lives better. I hope to have an impact through two pillars: (1) focusing the work that I do on developing products or services that improve people’s standard of living, and (2) helping those around me achieve their goals and become better people overall.

With regards to the first pillar, I am still figuring out what the best long-term avenue is for me to do that. That said, my time at Kellogg has been incredibly helpful in letting me try a series of potential paths (e.g., entrepreneurship, VC, big tech), and in helping me refine my preferences and priorities. It has also been very helpful in reframing how I think about my current line of work (consulting) and how I can drive impact through it.

As for the second pillar, I hope to make my impact by really investing in understanding the challenges and dreams of those around me and helping them navigate their path. While doing so, I hope to continue to push others to seek fulfillment in life beyond their work and careers. We live in a beautiful world, full of enriching experiences and inspiring people, and I hope to help others explore that.

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