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Entrepreneurship Society co-founders share why W. P. Carey hit every startup note

Full-time MBA alumni Matthew Allen and Francisco Javier Morales launched a club and honed their entrepreneurial skills for future ventures at ASU.

Rachel Clark
Recent MBA graduates and entrepreneurs Francisco Morales and Matthew Allen

Recent graduates Matthew Allen (MBA '24) and Francisco Javier Morales (MBA '24) were motivated to pursue Full-time MBA degrees at ASU's W. P. Carey School of Business because of their startup ambitions. During the program, they bonded over long-term career goals to start sustainable, community-focused businesses.

Allen has a background in microbiology and long-term plans to launch an eco-conscious brewery with his business partner. "We both come from microbiology, have food safety experience, and love beer, so we started making plans for our own sustainable brewery," he says. "I also discovered a passion for supply chain during the MBA program and will be seeking roles in that field as well."

Morales intends to uplift his home community of Cabo, Mexico, by leveraging business and international networks in the U.S. to create family-centered real estate businesses in Mexico.

"Long-term, I hope to make a global impact with my business," he says. "Ever since joining the financial sector, I recognized how I strived to be an advocate for change — an intrapreneur — as I always felt it was my responsibility to bring a sense of organizational change through technology and data and analytics disruption."

During their time at ASU, Allen and Morales teamed up as co-founders of the Entrepreneurship Society, a dynamic club for graduate business students. The W. P. Carey School interviewed the pair to learn more about their MBA experiences and future aspirations.

Why W. P. Carey?

Recent MBA graduate and entrepreneur Francisco Morales

The W. P. Carey School's focus on international business, Where Business is Personal® ethos, and entrepreneurial approach to education stood out to both Allen and Morales. As a domestic student, the opportunity to be part of a small cohort boasting international students from around the world was a plus for Allen, while international student Morales was excited about building a personalized education and experience — stateside and abroad.

"I think having the smaller cohort, the closeness of everyone working together, and taking the same classes for the first two semesters was helpful," Allen says. "These elements combine to solidify the international networks that you have created."

"You can tailor your learning experience as much as you want," Morales says. In addition to his entrepreneurship and marketing concentrations, he enjoyed taking courses in real estate, which provided additional networking opportunities with major companies, and studying abroad. "Little by little, I started assembling my learning experience. I loved being immersed in different functional areas."

Allen and Morales both took advantage of the opportunity to travel to Japan with classmates in December 2023. A unique feature of the Full-time MBA at ASU, international practicum courses immerse students in real-world business situations and expand their cultural knowledge, which is essential in today's interconnected world.

"Japan was by far the most amazing international experience," says Allen. "The sheer number of things we did, again, following the course of the program, was outstanding."

During the trip, students learned about the history, governance, and economy of Japan by visiting companies and experiencing the culture firsthand. Their 10-day itinerary included a number of cultural and business destinations around Tokyo and Kyoto.

"It was amazing," Morales says. "Entrepreneurial activities have to be done with a focus on being open minded. When you have the option to travel abroad, or just be immersed in new experiences, that drives a lot of creativity and imagination and even networking."

Why entrepreneurship?

Recent MBA graduate and entrepreneur Matthew Allen

Allen and Morales came to ASU looking for an introduction to entrepreneurship. They were pleased to discover that entrepreneurship and innovation are key to the Full-time MBA curriculum and student experience, but couldn't find a club that matched their interest. Seeking to one day become founders, starting their own club felt like the perfect next step.

"Entrepreneurship is always about starting your own thing and doing things differently from how everyone else does it," Allen says. "I think just starting the club in general, that is my happiest point… starting completely from scratch."

The idea for the Entrepreneurship Society was born during their first few days of orientation and bloomed from there. From meetings, to educating students on entrepreneurship opportunities, to highlighting startup skills, Allen and Morales have made the club into a "must join" for future entrepreneurs.

Building the club was a great learning experience for the co-founders and club members alike. "I realized how important it is to rely on a solid network and trust of your partners," Morales says. "As business leaders we have to rely on teamwork and cross-functional collaboration."

Allen described it as an "eye-opening" experience, seeing how other entrepreneurs faced adversity in starting their ventures. "I used to think that all entrepreneurs have tried a business and gotten lucky, or just found something that works," he says. "With the knowledge I have now, I know it is a bumpy road that usually takes years and years to get off the ground, similar to how this club started. It took us a while to get it off the ground and running, but in the end it became very beneficial for all involved."

What's next?

In addition to creating their own community-focused businesses, both Allen and Morales plan to work as intrapreneurs in larger organizations now that they've graduated. They look forward to leveraging what they learned at W. P. Carey in their careers — and seeing how the Entrepreneurship Society evolves with new student leaders at the helm.

"I'm optimistic and positive that the new presidents will take the club to the next level," says Morales. "I loved transitioning and giving that sense of ownership to the next leaders. It was amazing to see them take over."

Allen credits the supportive community at W. P. Carey for helping him maximize his experience in the two-year program, and is excited to continue his transformation as a business founder. "Lean on one another and leverage each other's experience," he says. "Doing that helped me make it through this program."

For future students, Morales shares the following advice: "Don't be afraid to try new things, be yourself, network a lot, make calculated risk decisions, and learn to tackle bigger challenges with diversity, teamwork, and innovation through a long-term perspective."

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