UofSC International MBA student creates pandemic study abroad, next stop Microsoft

Darla Moore School of Business International MBA candidate Robert Campos Renteria (’21 IMBA) is a first-generation student whose entrepreneurial family inspired him to reimagine his future.

After earning his undergraduate in biology from Clemson University in 2017, Robert’s career plans morphed from bodies to business. “My family wanted me to be a physician,” he says. The South Carolina native’s parents and uncle are Hilton Head Island business owners. “Seeing that growing up made me passionate about business,” he says.

A Love of Business Drives a Next-Level Education
Robert began his career as a UPS sales representative before becoming an account executive. He credits UPS for showing him many aspects of business such as marketing, finance, operations, management, and how they work together.

His entrepreneurial instinct brought him to the Moore School. “I thought having an MBA could guide me once I had to make high-stakes decisions,” he says. Along with his International MBA, he will hold a Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics with a specialization in marketing when he graduates in May. “I am glad I made the leap,” he says. “I feel better prepared to handle challenging situations in business.”

Pandemic Sparks Creative Solution
When the coronavirus pandemic sidelined his program’s study abroad experience in Guadalajara, Mexico, his entrepreneurial streak struck again. “A few classmates and I created an independent study by partnering with a startup from Mexico City, Mexico,” he says. “Our goal was to deliver a go-to-market strategy that would be effective in the U.S. With our knowledge of American culture and marketing, we were excited to be part of something useful for this business.”

Robert’s two months in Mexico taught him much about the country’s history and honed his professional skills. “The experience taught me persistence. We had to do a lot of cold calling and become more comfortable with the unknown,” he says. “With so many changing variables, especially during the pandemic, planning and risk mitigation were key in keeping us and people around us safe while still being innovative and helping an international business move forward.”

Raising the Bar for Future Generations
After graduation, Robert anticipates another move — thousands of miles from his South Carolina home. After a cross-country move to Seattle, he’ll join Microsoft’s Azure Cloud Services team as a marketing manager.

“I’ll start in a rotational program and work on three different teams and projects,“ he explains. “My work will include user experience, business strategy and branding for Azure. I’m excited to jump in and make an immediate impact.”

Robert hopes his career makes his family proud while challenging future generations. “When no one in your family has been to college, it’s difficult to envision a life different than your parents’,” he says. “I’m happy to show younger generations the way if they choose higher education.”

To learn more about MBA options at UofSC, email Diondra Black, Assistant Director of Full-time MBA Programs, or call her at 1-803-777-3709