Meet Jaime Alonso Gomez once and, perhaps, the most visible and distinguished feature is his full, bushy mustache. Asked about its origin, his answer gives insight into a dedicated man who has great respect for life and for others.
“My mustache is the result of a promise I made to my mother 26 years ago. She and I were very close,” Gomez stated. “Just before she died, on her dying bed, she mentioned to me that she always liked mustached men. She invited me to keep my mustache. I did promise that I would keep it and I’ve kept my word for the same number of years.”
Beyond the mustache and the honorable gesture, it’s quite apparent to students and colleagues at the University of San Diego, that what’s far more distinguished is his role as a respected, thoughtful and experienced global business educator. Much like his mustache, Gomez’s signature trait is delivering on a promise to students to always be at his best, whether it’s in the classroom, introducing them to business practices in other countries or through his attentive, positive mentorship.
“Dr. Gomez is the epitome of a servant leader, mentoring innumerable students and challenging them to think bigger, aim higher and be innovative in their thinking,” said Chandler Martin, a 2010 International MBA graduate at USD. “When I struggled for the right career opportunity that would combine my unique interests, he was very supportive, insightful and an excellent resource.”
Gomez is a professor of strategy at Tec de Monterrey System’s Graduate School of Business Administration and Leadership (EGADE) program in Mexico City. He has a joint appointment through a University of San Diego-Tec de Monterrey partnership as a Distinguished Professor of International Business in USD’s Ahlers Center.
“Dr. Gomez has left an indelible mark on the schools where he is an educator,” said Martin, who also earned a master’s in marketing from EGADE in 2011. “His teaching methodology inspires students to take part in the classroom experience, not just receiving information passively but instead interacting and engaging in a proactive manner.”
Martin thinks so highly of Gomez and his work that she’s made it known online and internationally. She nominated Gomez for The Economist’s Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Best Business Professor of the Year. If Gomez wins, he’ll receive the award along with a $100,000 prize. He’ll also have earned it via two rounds of online voting and a live “teach-off” presentation that four finalists will give at London’s Hult International Business School. Preliminary voting is open and runs through Nov. 23.
The relationship between USD and Tec de Monterrey began in the 1992-93 academic year. In preparation for the NAFTA integration, the institutions designed and implemented EGADE’s second double MBA degree program — the first was with the University of Texas, Austin — that has produced a mutually beneficial connection. Gomez’s initial contact with USD students was a guest speaker and periodic course participation, but his joint appointment has been fulfilling for an international career that’s spanned 30 years and many roles — professor, administrator, founding dean for EGADE’s Monterrey campus, consultant, researcher and an in-demand board member.
“I’ve had the opportunity to educate holistically the future leaders of companies, organizations and government agencies in a global economy and be a co-founder and team member of a very robust, meaningful and friendly academic alliance,” Gomez said. “We’ve transcended traditional academic silos to build truly effective learning dynamics for business and academic communities, not only on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, but also in a global economy where our students have taken courses in Istanbul, Buenos Aires and Munich.”
His dual work has resulted in multiple accolades befitting his desire, determination and care for helping students grasp business concepts in a global society.
“Jaime has had a very distinguished career as an academic and leader within business education, as evidenced by his many professional awards, appointments and achievements, but it is clear that the primary motivation for all of these activities has always been to improve the lives and opportunities for students, wherever they might be,” said Denise Dimon, associate provost for International Affairs and director of the Ahlers Center for International Business at USD.
Gomez said staying current in an ever-changing business world is key. He subscribes and reads the latest global news reports, consistently networks with international professors, executives and business owners, writes cases and columns for international media and gives seminars and talks whenever possible. He encourages his students to act locally, but to always think globally. His thirst for learning — and sharing it — never runs dry.
“Global education is a fundamental element of education. It is not an addendum or an appendix,” he said. “Global education permeates across disciplines, practices, attitudes and values.”
— Ryan T. Blystone