Josue Chavarin, MBA 19, on helping immigrant communities prosper

In honor of Latinx Heritage Month, we’re featuring interviews and profiles with members of the Haas community of Latin American descent. For our second interview, we caught up with Josue Chavarin, MBA 19.

Josue Chavarin, MBA 19, with his family.
Josue Chavarin, MBA 19 (front left), surrounded by his family. From the left, clockwise, Chavarin’s mother, Maria; brother, Jesus; sister, Triny; grandmother, Emerita; sister, Alina; father, Trinidad and brother, Misael.

Josue Chavarin, MBA 19, a first-gen college student and son of Mexican immigrants who grew up in Salinas, Ca., is all about paying it forward.

As a recipient of the Galloway Fellowship—created by Scott Galloway, MBA 92 in honor of his single, immigrant mother—Chavarin is now helping other students by working on the Haas Racial Inclusion Initiative. Through the student-led effort to increase diversity in the program and ensure that students from all backgrounds feel welcome, he and classmates conducted research that helped influence a decision to include optional MBA admissions essay prompts that allow students to expand on their socioeconomic and family backgrounds.

Chavarin is back at Berkeley for his second degree. As an undergrad, he majored in political science. Two of his siblings also went to Berkeley.

What aspect of your cultural heritage makes you proud?

I’m most proud of my culture’s emphasis on family.

My family has heavily influenced my sense of identity and provided me with invaluable support. My sense of identity was heavily shaped by observing my parent’s resilience and willingness to sacrifice to see my siblings and I prosper academically and professionally. Moreover, it was my parents who taught me about the rich culture of their home country, Mexico, and to be very proud of my brown skin and mestizo background.

Likewise, I have been fortunate enough to be able to pay it forward by passing these values on to my younger family members. I draw an immense sense of satisfaction in being able to assist my family members grow academically, professionally, and personally. Every day, I am grateful for the both values that I have learned from my culture and the opportunity that I have to imbue these values in others.

How did your heritage shape your desire to get an MBA – or impact the career path you are on?

I am very proud of my Latino American background. My career goals and desire to get an MBA has been heavily influenced by my desire to see working class Latinos and immigrants prosper and grow.

As a recent college graduate, I worked in the state legislature to expand the opportunities that undocumented immigrants, including Latinos, had to work and prosper in California. While working in philanthropy, I had the privilege of being able to work for several years on a campaign that successfully advocated for our state government to expand access to health care to California’s 300,000 undocumented children. In the future, I hope to be able to use the skills learned in my MBA program to continue improving the lives of members of disadvantaged communities, including those who are Latino.

Read other Latinx Heritage Month profiles: Rafael Sanchez, MBA 19  and Cristy Johnston-Limón EMBA 16