Why did you choose the Copenhagen full-time MBA?
At some point in my career, I realised that what really motivates me is to create a positive impact, so I started looking for masters courses in sustainability to be able to get more savvy in that field. Copenhagen was really appealing as it has programmes concentrated in sustainability and it’s a really international and diverse city, which was exactly what I was looking for.
Everybody bikes as well, which is something that caught my attention because in Costa Rica the public transportation isn’t so good. Plus, it’s really beautiful here, the architecture is great and it’s super clean. I’m having a blast, it’s such a nice environment to learn in.
What was your professional background before embarking on your MBA journey?
I started as an offshore financial analyst for an Investment Bank in the US. I stayed there for three years, and I worked in different industries from Oil & Gas to internet.
I then moved to a Real Estate developing company in Costa Rica, where I worked as a financial analyst for around three years. While my job title was ‘financial analyst’, I took on responsibilities of a project manager because I was the ‘right hand’ for the project director. I helped various areas of the business like marketing and operations, I was in charge of the budget, as well as working hand-to-hand with architects, designers and engineers in the developing of new projects – it was a really well-rounded position. I enjoyed it because I like dynamic roles.
What is one piece of advice you would give to those considering an MBA or embarking on an MBA journey?
If you’re considering a full-time MBA, it’s really important to start your application preparation early, especially considering the exams and the tests that you have to take. Get going as soon as you can with a mock test and when you come to your first entrance exam attempt, be aware that it can take more than once to get an acceptable grade.
For people who are starting their MBA I would say learn how to prioritise. It can get overwhelming with the amount of prep-work and you’ll have a lot to do – so it’s worth considering what things you’ll have to spend a little more time on, and what things you’re confident enough to spend less time on.
What’s a quote that you live by?
This isn’t quite a quote but during one of the first courses we did in the MBA, I think it was the Digitalisation course, we were joking that every time the answer would be ‘it depends’. And it’s true! There are no absolutes or black and whites, it always depends on the situation and the context and so that’s my main takeaway from the MBA so far.
What has been the most impactful or memorable part of the programme?
The people that I have met here. I have made really good friends from all over the world now. After six to seven months of this programme it feels like we’re really close because we have experienced a lot of things together from exams to parties to networking and everything.
What’s your mindset when it comes to managing your workload?
I feel like I’m really good at prioritising. You only have so much time in the day to study so you just have to start with what the most important task is.
I also think it’s key to establish deadlines because a lot of people, myself included, only start working when you get close to the deadline. That rush and adrenaline of being short of time used to fuel me. But it’s not sustainable, so what I like to do now is set myself false deadlines. Of course, it doesn’t always work but at least you get motivated to start the assignment.
What’s your ISP focus? Do you feel it will benefit your career?
Our ISP right now is really cool, it’s a company called Braincapture that are developing a medical device to help doctors analyze the brain. What I found really appealing about this company is that they have really good intentions. Their business model is all about accessibility rather than just making money: they are trying to help developing countries gain access to medical equipment. In fact, the device itself is really cheap.
At the moment they are waiting on approval to supply the product to hospitals in Kenya as there aren’t many neurologists there. In order to properly read the data of a brain scan you need to be certified. But the device scans the brain and then sends the data virtually over to an expert in a service centre. They then read the data and send back the results. It’s all about making this information available to developing countries so they don’t need to have specialists in every hospital.
What drew you to Braincapture for your ISP project?
I wanted to gain experience for market strategy as I have no experience in that area. We’re having a lot of fun. My team is great, I’m working with someone I’ve partnered with before and we work together really well so I’m enjoying working with them. But generally people here are really nice, my classmates and I have a great dynamic and there’s not a lot of drama or anything so that’s a bonus.
The opportunity to broaden my knowledge is always welcome and I’m always looking to increase my skillsets. At the MBA you know what you’re trying to get out of it and it feels genuinely valuable so it’s easy to stay motivated.
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