Louise Williams

Louise Williams
Full-Time MBA Class of 2024


Professional Roles and Achievements


  • Eldest of 11 children, an immigrant, a first-generation college student and the first engineer in the family
  • Worked with HopeWorldwide Philippines for disaster reliefs, raising thousands of dollars, building temporary housing and distributing clothing, food, etc. for the victims
  • Head of Sustainability and Community Service in Bechtel and conducted fundraising efforts for local homeless shelter
  • Worked on sustainability initiatives across various markets


-MBA Batch of 2024

-Syracuse University, Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, 2016

What is invisible but essential about YOU? or ESADE? or Barcelona?

My life has been filled with many ups and downs that have shaped me into who I am today. Two in particular stand out in recent memory that have changed how I see the world.

I studied abroad in Turkey back in 2015 and lived there for two years. I fell in love with the people and their culture. I volunteered in the local church and taught English to pay the bills. On July 15th, only 1 km from where I was living, the Turkish military marched while fighting against thousands of Turkish citizens in an attempted coup. Government buildings were bombed from the air, there were mandatory curfews, the airport was shut down, tanks were in the streets, and F16 jets flew so close the walls of my small apartment shook throughout the night. I laid under the blankets fearfully following the news. I was scared for everyone in the streets, I was scared for all the beautiful friends I had made, and I was genuinely scared for my own life.

March 13th, 2018, I rolled into the operating room of UCSF for surgery. Paul is my cousin, and we grew up in the Philippines together. We were the same age, lived in the same neighborhood and were classmates in the same school. We were very close. When I found out that both his kidneys were failing I was heartbroken. I knew I had to do whatever I could to help. I decided to move back home to California from Turkey, so that I could start the process of donating my kidney to Paul. After months of testing, lab works, and counseling, we were ready. I knew the risks. I knew I was healthy. I knew that the probability of success was in our favor. Even though the love I felt for my cousin, and my faith in God gave me security, I was still scared.

The coup was short lived, and I went on with my everyday life after a couple of days. My cousin, Paul, now has a healthy kidney and no longer has to be attached to a machine a couple times a week. 5 years later, I am healthy and well. I moved back home to the Bay Area to donate my kidney, yet to my surprise I met the love of my life, we got married, started a family, and now have moved half-way across the world to Barcelona, so I can pursue my MBA. What is invisible but essential about me is that these two experiences, sowed with uncertainty and fear, opened into moments of beauty, love, and hope. That a poor, rural girl from the Philippines, raised by a single mom in the rough streets of Richmond, can pursue higher education in Syracuse, live her life to the fullest in Turkey, and now embrace an incredible adventure in Barcelona with her husband and son. Moments like these helped me to be content and satisfied about the life I have and further affirmed and increased my faith in God. The challenges of my life have been showered with blessings and I believe that a life well-lived is a life in service of others, where that service might be invisible but it is truly essential.

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