Rafael Corrales

Name: Rafael Corrales Picture of Faculty/Staff Member
Alumni Of:
  • School of International Affairs
  • B.S. IAML 2006
Current Job: Founder of Background Capital

Rafael Corrales earned his MBA from the Harvard School of Business in 2010. After earning his MBA, he went on to work for his own company, LearnBoost and served as the CEO and co-founder. Rafael also worked as an advisor at Instacart as well as a general partner at CRV. Currently, he is the founder of his own start-up, Background Capital, in San Francisco.

How did Tech and the Nunn School help you get where you are?

Georgia Tech's reputation and academic rigor raised my standing among prospective employers and later helped me out tremendously for graduate school. When I wanted to switch into a business oriented career, I had no problem convincing Xerox that I was ready for a finance internship, even though I had no prior experience. That's because Georgia Tech is so tough that Xerox knew I could handle the learning curve and still make a big contribution. In hindsight, coming from the Nunn School program actually ended up being an advantage, because it set me apart from all the other finance and business majors that were applying for the SEO internship program. That internship then set me up for my job in M&A upon graduation, which played a large role in my acceptance to Harvard Business School.

What advice you would give current students at Tech as well as the Sam Nunn School specifically?

The most important thing I've learned from school and work is that you've got to do what you love. Following my true passion is what got me into the Nunn School program and as I gained more interests it led me towards adding a finance certificate and then starting a company. I didn't have a "set in stone" plan and I wasn't sure at the time how International Affairs would play out for me, but I knew that International Affairs was what I was most interested in and that is what's important. If you're doing what you love, everything else will take care of itself.

What is something that you got from studying International Affairs at Tech?

The International Affairs program really opened my eyes to the world. I'd been to many different countries, but going through INTA helped me see the world through a different perspective. The fact that you can be in a liberal arts program within such a technical university is another unique advantage: you get the best of a liberal arts program and a technical program.