Jacqueline Burgos (MBA 2014) grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and holds a BA in Business Administration from the Pforzheimer Honors College at Pace University, majoring in Accounting and minoring in Economics and Latin American Studies. While at HBS, she interned at Univision and The Raine Group. She currently works for Google’s Go-to-Market organization, supporting the world’s largest media advertising company.
Tell us about your life before HBS.
Before HBS, I worked as a new media analyst in HBO’s financial planning and analysis department. I absolutely love my job, I have an incredible boss, and I thrive in the HBO culture. While at HBO, my team conducted an analysis to understand the Latino population in the United States, and more specifically, to understand the business opportunities to reach this audience. This analysis reignited my inner passion for creating opportunities in media and entertainment to better represent and target Latinos in America. The numbers are strong — Latinos are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the U.S. and are underrepresented in English-language media. To change the industry, I need to understand what business leaders think and learn how to influence them. The Harvard MBA feels good—I plan to spend two years in the classroom discussing cross-functional business ideas with 90 other talented peers.
How did your MBA prepare you for your first job after graduation?
I work for Warner Bros. After graduating from TV, joined Craig Hunegs’ Executive Program in Management for Top MBAs. He selects an MBA to work in his department every two years, reports directly to him, and rotates in TV studios with the goal of gaining insight into the business and the opportunity to fast-track your career at WB.
I definitely wouldn’t have gotten the job without the Harvard MBA, but more importantly, I didn’t have the confidence and conviction to come up with the idea of creating an Over the Top platform targeting America’s growing Latino millennial audience. For the next nine months at WB, I worked with a cross-functional team of six executives on this new business and the opportunity to generate potential revenue for WB. We briefed the CEO on the project, which is now in its 13th phase at Warner Bros., creating a home for creators from underrepresented communities.
How did you get involved with HBSLAA?
The HBS Latino Alumni Association (HBSLAA) is incredible. When I was considering applying to HBS, I was introduced to Gabe Esparza (HBS 2000), who is still involved in my career and my life to this day. From being the last person to read my HBS essay before I submitted my application, to introducing me to Christy Haubbeger, my good friend and mentor in the industry, to hosting me and his family in Los Angeles with his wife, Mina Pacheco (HBS) 2004) are no longer just mentors, they are family.
To give back to HBS and the Latino community, I joined the HBSLAA Board of Directors in 2017 and launched the Latino Media Excellence Award, which we awarded to Justina Machado for her success in advancing Latino stories. in Hollywood. The entire event was an opportunity to continue to articulate the idea that Latinos are a powerful audience that, in some ways, remains underrepresented in Hollywood.
Are you able to change the world you aspire to when you apply to HBS?
While I am proud of the work I do to raise awareness among the Latino population in the United States, especially in media and entertainment, there is still a lot of work to be done in this area. As Christy Haubegger said recently: “We know that talent is evenly distributed in the world, but opportunity is not. The Latino population in the U.S. is 20% of the population and 23-29% of the box office (depending on the year), but still less than 8% of screen roles, and fewer executives in leadership roles, means we still have work to do.” Looking back at the unfinished work that I totally agree with, she shares Dao: “The stories we tell in Hollywood matter; they shape how we think about ourselves and how we think about other people who don’t like us. The fact that we haven’t seen Latino superheroes on screen doesn’t mean We don’t have the ability to be great. It just means that all the stories are not being told.” I’m optimistic that we’ll get there. The Latino community has contributed enormously to American history, and Hollywood will one day properly reflect that.
After nearly 10 years at Harvard Business School, where is your career today?
After working in Hollywood at WB, I spent a few years as chief of staff and head of sales at Viacom and fell in love with the sales and marketing side of the tech and media business. It’s always changing, and issues ranging from product monetization to streaming to automation have reinvigorated my problem solver. I now work on Google’s Go-to-Market team, which is dedicated to better serving the world’s largest media organization. Every day is different and we are so excited!
What advice would you give to someone considering applying to HBS from a background similar to yours?
Application! Don’t exclude yourself. To my surprise, I have met many very qualified people who questioned whether they would fit well into a top MBA program. If you think you may not be “the right person”, please apply anyway! You may be the missing piece in HBS’s growing classroom mosaic.