Taking a Leap of Faith

Peruvian student Josue Ccerhuayo finds the perfect combination of business, computer science and international experience

In 2019, Josue Ccerhuayo graduated from the Universidad Tecnologica del Peru with a degree in computer science. With a job right out of college, he made his way into the tech industry working for IBM Peru as a business and technical analyst. However, Josue realized that he had the technical side of his job down but was lacking the necessary business skills.

He quickly remembered a Berkeley Global program that he learned about during his undergraduate studies. This could be the missing piece of his career-readiness.

Although Josue felt it was a risk to leave his current role, he was confident that learning from top business professors in the United States would be worth the time away. Little did he know that his experience would immediately lead him to a new role in a different industry upon his return.

The Beginning of a New Chapter

Josue had always envisioned that he would study in the U.S. at some point. What he didn’t realize was that day came sooner than he planned.

Throughout his research, Josue was attracted to UC Berkeley’s prestige and its proximity to San Francisco and Silicon Valley—the heart of innovation and technology. So the Berkeley Haas Global Access Program (BHGAP) was a great fit for what he was looking for: studying at UC Berkeley’s campus while learning about business, entrepreneurship and innovation.

“I was excited not only about the opportunity to learn about the innovative culture of Silicon Valley, but to also live in it!” Josue recalls.

By the summer of 2019, Josue's BHGAP application was submitted, reviewed and approved to study in the fall. He was eager to begin his next adventure more than 4,000 miles away.

“These were extremely exciting months where I had constant communication with my student adviser and the entire Berkeley Global staff. I started to get to know and learn about the culture and opportunities that being part of UC Berkeley means,” he remembers.

Building His Professional Profile

As soon as Josue arrived in the Bay Area, he got down to business. He had a busy workload of seven business courses, while also making sure to attend many BHGAP events and network with people from all over the world.

Josue recalls the Opportunity Recognition, Product Management and Marketing Strategy courses. “These courses stood out to me not only because of the quality of the course content, but because of the ability that the teachers had to connect with us,” says Josue.

His goal of learning business skills that he could immediately apply when he returned to Peru was nothing but a success. He found how each course could complement his job while gaining professional-development skills.

Josue details, “I had a chance to learn about product development within Google. This helped me understand not only the theoretical concept of managing a product, but also how to lead a company. Each course taught me a lot while strengthening my business skills, which was one of my goals prior to beginning the program.”

Much of his newfound business knowledge was thanks to the Haas courses, but Josue found the BHGAP site visits to be also beneficial.  “I had the opportunity to visit IBM, Pandora, Adobe, Uber and many other companies,” he remembers. “I was able to speak with the Head of Next-Gen Technology at Uber, Amrit Sinha. He mentioned that he was a Berkeley Haas alumnus, and shared with me his own Berkeley experience and how much it had contributed to his professional development.”

These types of professional interactions only increased Josue’s motivation to stay involved in the Berkeley community.

Study, Sleep, Explore, Repeat

When Josue was not deep into his school books, he found time to explore this new country and all it had to offer! He made his way to a variety of different locations in Northern California.

He and his new friends from all over the world, traveled to the state capital, Sacramento, as well as took trips to Napa Valley and San Jose. Throughout his many road trips, Josue made it an important goal to eat his way through California—something we fully support! During this culinary experience, Josue discovered many new American foods such as potato croquettes, abalone and even dungeness crab.

It was important to Josue that he also found time to explore locally. With Berkeley being such a unique city with so much to do, he was never bored. “I loved to go hiking! UC Berkeley lies near some of the best hiking trails the Bay Area has to offer,” he enthuses. “It was always a fun, exhausting and very fulfilling experience reaching the hill that allows you to have a very good view of the sunset in Berkeley.”

Peru’s Newest Businessman

While Josue was completing his courses, he was also confidently applying for new jobs back in Peru.

When his time in Berkeley sadly came to an end, a new chapter at Interbank had begun. Josue accepted a role at one of the largest Peruvian banks in the country as an analytics translator. His job is to act as the bridge between business needs and the bank's analytical power. He is responsible for providing analytical solutions to generate valuable insights for all business units of retail banking.

Within the past year with Interbank, Josue has worked hard on many successful projects. He helped with the launch of the latest acquisition strategy for their “digital wallet” called Tunki. With 2020 becoming a primarily virtual world, it was important for the company to adapt to this new environment. Josue and his team worked hard to deploy a growth strategy for this latest development.

Josue’s most recent project was in collaboration with their insurance team. The two worked on developing an analytical solution to find their target markets. The purpose was to promote the digitization of their banking systems and e-commerce efforts to the right people.

I can say with great pride that everything I learned at BHGAP, I am able to apply to my current job. For example, I often use the main concepts of customer-focused marketing along with the FinTech course content.”

Learn more about how you can develop your career by taking BHGAP courses with us here at Berkeley Global!