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Ana Laura Naranjo, M.E.E.I '16

An Out-Of-Country Experience

After earning her degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering in Mexico, Ana Laura Naranjo knew she wanted to do two things: study a post-graduate program in another country and start a business of her own.

The Master of Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MEEI) program seemed a perfect fit to allow her to accomplish both of those goals.

“I’ve never been a ‘math genius,’ but I love to know how things work, how products are made, finding solutions to problems and everything related to tech. That’s why engineering is appealing to me,” says Naranjo, who earned her MEng in 2016.

“But I’m also interested in business and during my work experience, I had the opportunity to have contact with entrepreneurs and start a small restaurant with my family. Therefore, my other goal was to start a business on my own.”

She says her experience with the McMaster program helped her understand businesses and processes in a more structured way.

Last summer, Naranjo returned to Mexico and began working with a cousin in the health business.

“He has 27 dental practices, a dental lab and a store of dental supplies and equipment, so he invited me to turn his business into franchises and expand it to other states around the country,” she says.

“My main role in the project is to coordinate the design and development of the franchises' business model, as well to develop the infrastructure needed to support it.”

A film lover, Naranjo offers students advice drawn from the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

 “For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”