What were you doing before you joined The NUS MBA?
I was a project financing analyst for the largest infrastructure builder in Latin America, securing financing for major infrastructure projects. Before that role, I was an investment banker structuring securitisations, corporate bonds, and commercial papers for major Ecuadorian companies. The former was where I spent most of my career before joining The NUS MBA.
What was your career goal before you joined The NUS MBA? Did it change during or after completing the programme?
My career goal was different before, during, and after the MBA. It was only two years after the MBA that I was finally able to make my mind which career I wanted to pursue. I believe this is a normal process, and it is ok to take the time to find what you enjoy the most.
It was only after living in different places and working in various jobs, that I was able to decide where I wanted to live, and which career I wanted to pursue.
What did you do during the programme to achieve your goal?
The NUS MBA is a generous school when it comes to the development of the NUS community and the student's skills. It offered me the flexibility to select and try out different career paths, before I decided which was the one I preferred, by helping me build the skill sets I lacked so I was able to work in roles I wasn't familiar with before joining The NUS MBA.
During my MBA, I focused on learning what I didn't know (pretty much everything but finance). Also, I participated in two case competitions, two study trips, two exchange programmes, and attended a three-week entrepreneurship course in India. Furthermore, I was the president of The NUS MBA Social & Recreation club and organised 10 events in 10 months. My budget was $2k, but after proposing several events to the school, The NUS MBA ended up giving $20k for the club activities. I don´t know of any other school more generous and interested in developing the NUS community than NUS.
How long did it take to achieve your post-MBA goal?
It took me a while, and it wasn't easy either. Especially because I thought I knew which career I wanted to pursue, but after trying it, I realised that I was not fond of it as much as I thought I would.
All in all, I stopped being an investment banker three times (one before my MBA graduation and two after) and went back to it two times. I enjoyed my job as an investment banker, but I didn't know if I was going to like it better than the other jobs I took. Two years after my MBA graduation, I decided to be a management consultant for Kearney in Mexico, and it was the first time that I enjoyed my job more than being an investment banker.
What’s your advice for students who are looking for a career or geographical switch?
One of the beauties of The NUS MBA is that once you come out of it, you have more freedom to be able to select the kind of job you may like and where. Companies will want to have you, and you might be able to choose location, company, and type of work. Selecting the location you like in terms of entertainment, culture, security, family needs, and career is not a simple task. In my case, travelling and living in different places allowed me to be more conscious of the country I chose to live in.
Take your time to try new jobs and different locations. It isn't easy to figure out what you like best to do and where. Taking a couple of years is ok, once you figure it out, you only need to walk on a straight line and enjoy it.
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