With our brand-new Master’s in Social Entrepreneurship launching this September, we spoke to Montse Fregoso, a Mexican postgrad whose #HeadingtoHult to turbocharge her multiple businesses at our San Fransisco campus. We spoke at length about networking, visas, accommodation, and more. Here’s the inside scoop on what it’s like to enroll at Hult from someone doing it right now.
Interviewer: Hi Montse, it’s great to meet you. It’s wonderful that you’re heading to Hult, but could you tell us a bit more about yourself?
Montse: So, I’m Mexican and I majored in business strategy right here in Monterrey, and I also did a minor in international business. It was the most flexible program at my school and because I love traveling and being able to partner and collaborate with people all over the world, it was a no-brainer.
The parts of the courses I most enjoyed were those where I got out into the field—for example, I visited the United Nations and learned so much from so many different people. Education is not necessarily what happens inside the classroom but how you apply what you’ve learned in real life. That’s where the real learning begins.
“My main hope is that this master’s will help not just me but everyone I work with”
Interviewer: You’ve basically just described Hult’s approach to education! That leads nicely into my next question: why a Master’s in Social Entrepreneurship?
Montse: I hadn’t heard of the course, but I had been a speaker at Hult Prize a few years back. Looking into it, I realized the Master’s in Social Entrepreneurship is the educational program of what the Hult Prize is all about. Being able to create a company with social impact, having people around you that are passionate about something, and then helping solve the world’s problems through innovation.
That’s why I founded We Stand For Change in 2016. We Stand for Change is an NGO here in Mexico where we create projects around the global goals for sustainable development set forward by the United Nations. It just started as a student project, and over 87 people signed up. We are a voluntary organization so money is a secondary concern; therefore, my main hope is that this master’s will help not just me but everyone I work with to better aid global issues.
“I loved the positive energy”
Interviewer: The course sounds like it was made for you, you must be excited. How are you preparing for this new adventure?
Montse: Luckily Hult’s been very hands-on in preparing me. I attended a Confirmed Students Go Live event the other day. We had a Q&A with the dean as well as other professors and you could see every one of your new peers’ faces.
It was very comforting, like getting to see the people at home, the team behind the website, and the people that are going to be teaching us because it’s the people who make the program special. It’s like oh, I’m not joining an education institution, I am joining a community.
Being encouraged by the dean to pick up an instrument, play a sport, and generally put yourself out of your comfort zone is such a fantastic way to be introduced to your new school. I loved the positive energy.
“Even though I was in San Fransisco for four days I was still able to make so many friends”
Interviewer: Virtual events are certainly the most efficient way to get a look at your new course, but did you get a chance to do any in-person?
Montse: Yes! I got to visit the campus in San Fransisco. The layout is so beautiful. Each room is named a different city within a specific country. And all the rooms are glass so you can see everyone working in them. You also get to see people doing interviews, having meetings, or just chilling out.
Also, something I appreciated is that in the women’s restrooms, they have sanitary products for free. It’s a huge problem all around the world, the price of sanitary products, but especially here, in Mexico and Latin America. Having those available seems like such a small detail but proves that Hult considers the needs of their students. That attitude carried over, and even though I was in San Fransisco for four days I was still able to make so many friends with both staff and students. They were on hand to make sure I had what I needed at all times.
“I’ve met some of my closest Hult pals on Instagram Live”
Interviewer: New connections are everywhere. Apart from being a social butterfly at the San Fransisco campus, have you used social media at all to make new friends?
Montse: I use all the classic confirmed students Facebook groups, it’s a great way to connect. I’ve met some of my closest Hult pals on Instagram Live and even though it feels like such a small thing to ping someone on your phone, you never know what connections it will spiral into. My business partner for another organization, Fire Party, was someone who I met on Instagram Live. It’s the modern way to grow your network.
“It’s great to have all the info in one place”
Interviewer: Do you use myHult at all?
Montse: I’m pretty familiar with myHult. It’s how I knew to attend the Confirmed Students Go Live event. It’s great for keeping track of all the things going on, especially because I love connecting with new people. I’m currently using it to search for clubs I might be interested in. It’s cool if you’re a new student because the amount of information can be overwhelming, so it’s great to have all the info in one place.
“My enrollment advisor has been super supportive”
Interviewer: Picking up and moving countries is never easy. How’s the visa process been for you? Have you received any help?
Montse: It’s been a bit of a challenge; I do feel like I’m drowning in paperwork from time to time. However, my enrollment advisor has been super supportive, she’s written the letters that I’ve needed and gotten me in touch with the people that I need to talk to. We’ve talked every single day for the last two weeks, and it doesn’t matter what I need, I know that Holly (that’s her name) will be there every step of the way.
She’s answered all of my questions, is open for calls and listens to every one of my voice messages, all of it! Right now, the visa process is a waiting game, but it would have been even more stressful if it wasn’t for the help of my enrollment advisor. Shout out to Holly!
“Accommodation has been so much more fun because of my new friends”
Interviewer: What about accommodation? Have you sorted your digs out for September?
Montse: Not yet I’m enjoying keeping my options open. However, at one of the Confirmed Students Go Live events, I met these girls, Mariana and Francis, and then we connected on Instagram and have become so close since then. Anyway, long story short we are looking at places together. It’s so nice to have people to share these things with and then end up living with your closest friends.
Obviously, we’ll be studying different programs but that doesn’t mean we can’t come home, talk about our days and hang out. Finding accommodation has been so much more fun because of my new friends I met through the Confirmed Students Go Live events.
“There’s something special I also want to bring …”
Interviewer: Well, when that’s finally sorted, what will you bring with you to Hult?
Montse: Warmer clothes! Everywhere is colder than in Mexico. Other than that, I do want to bring my GoPro with me to take videos—being able to document the whole experience is important because it’ll be such an enormous change. Other than that all my other tech—laptops, hard drive, etc.
There’s also something special I want to bring, there are these bracelets down here in Mexico made by a local community of an indigenous group of women and girls. The artwork is called Winarica, or From the Witch, and it means a lot as the Mexican border isn’t that far away and it will be a way to connect me to home. Hopefully, my friends love them too as I’ll be bringing a lot of them!
If you’re ready to take the plunge and make a change, check out our full range of programs on our website.