Oliver Bustos ’24

Oliver Bustos ’24

The first in his family to attend college, Oliver Bustos ’24 is always looking for an opportunity.

Through the years, Bustos has started all sorts of businesses. He has repaired cell phones, rented bouncy houses, and sold a slew of products, from sunglasses and charging stations, to phone cases, kiddie pools, and even cars. “I am always looking for an opportunity,” says the resident of Fort Worth, Texas.

Bustos is the first member of his family to not only attend college, but also to graduate from high school. He feels a great responsibility. “At times, it feels a bit stressful,” he says, “but I know I can do it, and I can serve as a role model. I teach my siblings the importance of school. I like to set that example.”

What drew you to Babson?

My friend, Stephano, recommended Babson to me. I would talk to him about my dreams and passions. He showed me Babson on the web. He was like, look at this, one of the best business schools in the country. I ended up applying.

The thing that really sold me was just being around that community, and seeing how diverse it was. I want to learn from others. Different cultures have different perspectives.

One of the biggest things I saw in Babson is the connections. People from Babson are from all over. That’s important to me. I want to travel all over the world. I heard a Babson student saying he had a couch all over the world to sleep on, and I thought, I want to be that guy.

Your latest venture, before starting at Babson, was selling cars. How did that start?

My whole quarantine I spent fixing and selling cars. It started because my sister was looking for a car. She said, “Can you help me find a car?” After that, I thought, I can do this myself. I can buy a car, fix it up, and sell it.

When I buy a car, I go for things I know I can fix. I look for parts at the junkyard or order them online. I get the cars in by Wednesday and try to have them out by Friday or Saturday. I put them on Facebook Marketplace. I have grown a little clientele.

During the summer, I also started selling kiddie pools. I ended up buying 150 pools. They came from Shanghai. I had to find a way to get them here cheap. I used UPS ocean freight to California. From California, they were driven to a UPS facility nearby.

My porch was packed that day they arrived. No one believed I would be able to sell that many. Now, I only have two left.

My biggest concern is making sure everyone has an equal opportunity to a quality education. ... If everyone was given a better opportunity, the world would be a better place.“
– Oliver Bustos ‘24
on Opportunity

Why does the world need entrepreneurial leadership?

There was one conversation that changed everything for me. I had wanted to start a loan company in the future, and I was talking with my friend, Stephano. He said, “Why are you going to have a loan company? You’ll benefit from the need of others.”

Ever since then, I’ve seen the ethical side of business. There is no reason for me to choose a business that harms others. As an entrepreneur, you have to take that into consideration. It shouldn’t just be about yourself and making money. It’s about adding value to others.

Of Blank’s six leadership qualities, which one do you most identify with?

Innovate Continuously. As an entrepreneur, I have had to constantly find new ways of innovating to make not only my products more appealing, but also to stay in business. Whether that means cutting down repair times for cell phone screens, or making regular bouncy houses into water bouncy houses, as an entrepreneur, innovation has been key to my success in my business ventures.

Who inspires you?

My mom. She was a single parent, and she came to America when she was 15. She really shaped me to be the person I am today. I grew up not on the best side of town, and her constant involvement stuck out for me.

Also my grandmom. She has a little shop where she sells nails, screws, anything you need for construction. She always has that business mindset. I picked up a few things from her. She is so personal with her clients. No matter what kind of person she comes across, she always knows what to say. I wanted to learn how to talk like that.

What concerns you about the world today?

Education is key. My biggest concern is making sure everyone has an equal opportunity to a quality education.

My mom tells me how the girls in Mexico wouldn’t finish high school when she was growing up. Boys would keep going to school, but girls would stay home and learn how to cook and clean up the house. I want to change that. If everyone was given a better opportunity, the world would be a better place.

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