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Walden Magazine // Jan 01, 2012

How It Paid Off: From COO to CEO

Learn how one graduate is making a profound impact on student learning in Los Angeles.

Luis Marquez

NAME: Luis Márquez ’10

DEGREE: MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership

JOB TITLE BEFORE MY DEGREE: Chief Operating Officer of PUENTE Learning Center

JOB TITLE AFTER MY DEGREE: Chief Executive Officer of PUENTE Learning Center

WHY I NEEDED MY MASTER’S: PUENTE has grown at a pace that can be scary sometimes! We provide tuition-free classes—everything from English as a second language to high school diplomas and career training—to more than 4,100 children, youth, and adults annually in East and South Los Angeles. I take my education very seriously, and I had wanted a master’s degree for a long time. As much as I already knew my organization, I needed a stronger understanding of it as a whole, and my coursework at Walden filled in those gaps.

BIGGEST BENEFIT OF EARNING A DEGREE AT WALDEN: Walden connects you to people who are making a real impact in their communities. The courses are designed to encourage engagement between students who are leaders of nonprofit organizations all over the world. We shared our approaches and strategies to the thought-provoking, critical questions that came with each course. The feedback I received about my own organization enriched my perspective. Now I have the opportunity to apply what I’ve learned in my new leadership post.

HOW MY DEGREE HELPS ME MAKE A BIGGER IMPACT: At Walden, I developed my written voice. It makes me more effective as a leader because a lot of my work involves written queries and proposals to funders. Now I can express myself and my beliefs in a more genuine way.

How did earning your degree change your career? Tell us the details at [email protected].