When native Brazilian Henrique Ceribelli was accepted into Haas after working as a computer engineer for five years, he was eager for professional opportunities unavailable in his homeland.
But it almost didn’t happen. With no employer to fund his continuing education, the costs were daunting. Plus, bank loan requirements at the time demanded a co-signer, which Ceribelli found only by chance in a friend of a friend. He also received a fellowship from Haas earmarked for international students.
“People I didn’t know helped me,” says Ceribelli, a trend that continued when he was looking for a job post-graduation. Classmate Vijay Raghuraman, MBA 07, connected him with a product manager post at year-old startup Bill.com, a cloud-based payment platform.
Fifteen years later, Ceribelli is now senior vice president of product management and the company has since gone public and acquired three other startups. As Ceribelli’s professional life has blossomed, he’s never forgotten his good fortune. “The friends and network I had at Haas got me to Bill.com and the success that I have today,” he says.
Which is why Ceribelli is committing $500,000 over 10 years to support MBA fellowships for full-time students, with a preference for those who earned their undergraduate degrees in Latin America.
“I was lucky enough that Haas gave me a chance,” says Ceribelli. “I want to provide financial aid for those who are trying their luck and working hard, because they also deserve the chance.”