After graduating from Queens College, City University of New York with her bachelors in economics, and then her masters in risk management, Maria Jose Ubiergo-Davis, worked in corporate insurance for seven years. When she decided it was time to pursue further education to enhance her corporate toolkit she chose Lehigh University.

Ubiergo-Davis is currently pursuing her second master’s in business administration with a focus in analytics at Lehigh’s College of Business.

Ubiergo-Davis knew she needed flexibility. She was searching for a top program that also respected and gave her time for activities and responsibilities outside of school. 

Lehigh not only did this for Ubiergo-Davis, but has exceeded her expectations. As a first generation college student, she chose the FLEX MBA program because it allows her to work full-time while still helping her parents and meeting her household obligations. In addition, she really likes the support provided by LTS in the classroom live classes. 

“One thing that is important about being first generation is that you are often the resource for your parents,” said Ubiergo-Davis. “Having the ability to help them, continue my work, and pursue my further education is what hit the nail on the head for me.”

She has also broadened and strengthened her network by making friends with students in her classes. 

Ubiergo-Davis has a deep commitment to higher education, bettering herself and others both academically and professionally. Growing up under a dictatorship in Chile her parents knew firsthand the importance of freedom. They instilled in their two daughters that education is the only tool that cannot be taken away. 

Due to this, Ubiergo-Davis acknowledges the sacrifices her parents have made and works to help others in similar situations. Most recently she was a mentor coach with America Needs You, empowering first generation students to develop professional experience. 

“It’s difficult as a first generation, but don’t be discouraged because you will learn,” said Ubiergo-Davis. “You will put in extra effort so that you can be at the same level as other students and be competitive with them, so don’t give up hope, I think that’s very important.”