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Educational Value: Andrés Trujillo ’90
This article originally appeared in the Bentley Magazine.
For Andrés Trujillo ’90, going to work is about more than getting it done: It’s about giving back. The 20-year corporate consulting and banking veteran is executive manager of the South America-based startup TuCarrera, which enables Colombians to earn cash toward a college education through everyday purchases.
The desire to make a difference in his native country prompted Trujillo to move back there from the U.S. with his family in 2005.
“In Colombia, only about 25 percent of people who graduate from high school are able to go to university,” he explains. “The main reason they don’t go to college is because of the high cost.”
The company that Trujillo helped create five years ago aims to change the statistics. In basic terms, TuCarrera functions as the marketing loyalty program for French supermarket Carrefour, one of the largest grocery chains in Colombia. People who wish to take part in the savings program sign up at TuCarrera.com. From then on, every time they buy products of participating brands at Carrefour, they earn cash for higher education. The funds can be used by their children, grandchildren, nephews, or any designated recipient.
“Since people go to the supermarket so much, TuCarrera has been very well accepted,” Trujillo says, noting program enrollment of three million people and $5 million in college savings.
As executive manager, Trujillo supports every aspect of the business. His day-to-day duties range from overseeing contracts and the commercial side of the business to directing operations and strategy. Finance, too, falls under his direction.
“We have to manage the money for everybody – all $5 million – which is a big responsibility,” he says. “And we have to make sure that money is accounted to the last dime.”
Trujillo puts a high value on his own education. In particular, he credits Bentley’s international perspective, full-spectrum approach to business study, emphasis on teamwork, and strengths in technology and information systems.
“I think about Bentley almost every day,” Trujillo says. “Education – you sometimes take it for granted. But once you have to put it in practice, then you feel very, very lucky."
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.