Why I Coach—Jesse Lusa

Jesse L., an expert Leland coach, Duke BSE, and Stanford MBA, outlines why he chooses to coach and what it means to him.

Jesse L.

By Jesse L.

Posted August 22, 2022


When I think about the principles that define me, opportunity always stands out. I interpret opportunity as taking advantage of the opportunities afford to me, as well as helping provide others with their own opportunities. Coaching allows me to help with the latter—to pay it forward, so to speak.

I can point to many moments in my life where an opportunity was critical to my success. My immigrant mother came from the Caribbean to the United States alone, to give her kids a shot at a brighter future. That’s probably the biggest one. Attending Duke as an undergrad was another; it opened my eyes to the opportunities a top-tier academic institution can provide. Duke opened many doors for me, and I can’t even begin to describe the hallways I now have access to as a result of attending the Stanford GSB. I decided to go for my MBA as a way to pivot from engineering to product management, and I now intend to become a founder; the GSB has given me the confidence and tools to do so. I can’t even say it’s a dream come true, because attending Stanford was previously beyond my craziest dreams. It’s an opportunity I’m thankful for every morning when I wake up.

I come from a non-traditional background. My pre-business school employer, Northrup Grumman, isn’t exactly an MBA pipeline. The sum total of my high school peers who have MBAs, let alone from a top school, is 1. When I was applying to schools, most of the time I felt like I was flying blind. I had no coaching, and didn’t even know that coaching existed. It’s only recently that I’ve learned how much easier the process would have been if I’d had someone in my corner—someone to answer minor questions (GMAT vs GRE?) as well as major ones (How do I approach my essays?).

I want to help the next generation of applicants—give them the coaching I didn’t have, and afford them access to the same door-opening opportunities that I’ve been so lucky to find in my own life. Coaching gives me the opportunity to do that.

Interested in working together on your MBA application? Click here for my Leland coaching profile.

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