IDEA Center Student Intern Stories: Oscar Shimabukuro ND ‘21 will be a Cloud Solutions Architect at Microsoft

When Oscar Shimabukuro was seeking out an MBA program, he looked for a university that was characterized by having a close-knit community and a strong alumni network. The University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business was a perfect match and Oscar is now in his 2nd year of the MBA program. Oscar was born and raised in Peru, where he did his undergraduate studies in Business Administration. After graduating from university, Oscar worked for a marketing agency for a year and then was headhunted by IBM, where he spent 3 years working in sales and in business development. Before coming to Notre Dame, he decided to work for the family business on the Finance team.

With a background in technology and business, and having worked for the family business, Oscar was looking for an MBA summer internship that would give him more exposure to entrepreneurship while applying what he was learning in business school. After interviewing with Ben Hoggan, the IDEA Center’s Director of De-risking, Oscar knew the IDEA Center was a magical place and that he would learn a lot. “There is a lot of ambiguity here, and that particularly attracted me. When you are in an ambiguous environment you can be creative and you are encouraged to fail fast, cheap and bold”.

Oscar started working in the summer of 2020 as a full-time De-risking Analyst as part of his MBA internship. After his internship ended, he was invited to continue working part-time as a De-risking - Team Leader while mentoring and managing 3 student analysts. “This has been the greatest challenge in my professional career, it has helped me continue growing as a person and a professional”, Oscar says.

The first project Oscar was in charge of was for a health-tech startup. “Ben gave me this project because he wanted me to learn about a new industry, push myself to the limits, and bring a fresh perspective.” One important milestone that Oscar achieved was successfully connecting with over 35 healthcare professionals from the Notre Dame network, who helped him de-risk the project. “By understanding the clinicians’ perspectives and unmet needs, I was able to connect with them and build a relationship. These conversations helped me understand their point of view regarding the technology we were working on and helped me make decisions on how to continue with the project.”

After graduation, Oscar will be working at Microsoft as a Cloud Solutions Architect. He will be in charge of helping customers achieve their digital transformation journey by adopting a cloud-first model. He is very excited to be moving to Seattle, where he will be living with his fiancé, Claudia, who is also an ND MBA student and will also work at Microsoft. 

It seems that Notre Dame has delivered on its promise, and in particular Oscar feels grateful for his experience at the IDEA Center. “My IDEA Center experience allowed me not only to land a very impressive job at one of the best companies in the world, but also to learn from wonderful leaders, lead my own team, and most importantly, make an impact to the community by growing the good in business.”

Originally published by Emily Tyson at on January 25, 2021.