Student Spotlight: Paul Altero ’23
Hometown: Point Pleasant, New Jersey
Degree: Master of Science in Entrepreneurship
Paul Altero earned a bachelor’s degree in hotel, restaurant and institutional management from the University of Delaware in 1996. After working in the field for more than 20 years, he decided it was time to pursue more, so he chose to earn a master of science in entrepreneurship through the Entrepreneurship@Syracuse online program at Syracuse University's Martin J. Whitman School of Management.
“For as much experience as a person can earn working in his or her given field, nothing beats a formal education,” he explained. “I am pursuing this degree because I am confident that it will propel me to reach several of my personal and professional development goals.”
Today, Altero is the founder and owner of Bubbakoo’s Burritos, which employees 600 people at 35 locations in New Jersey. In 2018, the restaurant was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 100 Franchises and also ranked in the Top 10 Hottest Mexican Franchise. Having reached that level of success, he knew he was ready to go back to school.
Altero’s 10-year plan includes a transition from business entrepreneur to business professor when he feels he’s ready to sell his business and semi-retire, but he knows he will need more credentials to “launch the second-act career.” Altero also wants to be an example to his daughters. “I want them to see that having a successful career means cultivating yourself by taking advantage of all the possibilities it may hold, including education.”
For Altero, the Whitman School’s program checked many of his boxes. “The efficiency of the online program fitting into my hectic schedule was a huge bonus,” he said. “The coursework can only enhance my ability as a business owner and CEO, and I look forward to learning.” Altero hopes to complete his degree by the spring of 2023, and, given his drive to succeed, it’s almost certain that he will. In the meantime, Altero is enjoying his online course work, particularly the broader understanding he’s gained on the advantages of detailed accounting and processes.
He has only encouragement for those considering this option: “Obtain a great education. Pay your dues working for a company or companies for a while. Save your money — the material things will come with financial success — then when the time is right, go for it. Make your dreams a reality. Assemble the plan and work harder than you ever have to see it through. Stay committed, and with all of the above under your belt, you will be successful. Do it!”
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