How the Distance Learning MBA has improved my business scope and performance

12 October 2020

Distance Learning MBA student, Ana Valdespino, joins us for a Q&A session about her time at WBS, explaining why she chose to study an MBA and how it has changed her business perspective.

Firstly, can you tell us a bit about your career history?  

While studying the last semester of my Communication Major at Universidad Panamericana in Mexico I started working at TNS (now Kantar) as a trainee. For more than 15 years, I’ve held different positions within Kantar, and now I’m the head for Latin America inside the Insights Division. Alongside my job at this organisation, I also do some volunteer jobs and provide marketing consultancy to social startup companies. Two years ago, I founded an e-Commerce company called Muack, focused on selling Mexican products made by artisans and promoting Fair Trade.

Why did you decide to study an MBA?

I felt the need to improve the work that I was performing and give additional value to the business. In the pursuit of increasing the return of investment, some barriers arose, mainly due to the need of having a complete understanding of the business. Marketing is a function linked to all departments and therefore requires a holistic view of the company.

Therefore, I decided to study an MBA. But taking the decision was just the tip of the iceberg. I made a checklist of all the things I wanted from a school and spent my weekends researching. I chose Warwick not only based on its ranking position but also based on three essential factors: flexibility, networking opportunities, and the international scope of business.

How has studying an MBA at Warwick changed your business perspective?

Even with the Covid-19 outbreak and after only nine months studying at WBS, I can see a positive change in analysing a problem, finding a solution, and working with others. Factors that directly impact my performance. Let me share some examples:

  1. The MBA changed the way that I address problems from the business perspective: At the end of August, I joined the MIT Covid-19 Challenge in India, a hackathon with more than 1,500 professionals from all over the world, organised to generate solutions to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus in different communities. I worked for 48 hours with people from India and Singapore to solve a problem. Thanks to the knowledge I gained from the Operations, Leadership, Economics, and Accounting MBA modules, I managed to contribute to my team with ideas about the business and marketing strategy. The project won in track A, focused on helping the migrants, and now we’re working in the implementation.
  2. The MBA helped me to improve my performance at Kantar: I’ve used the content of the Leadership, Economics, and Innovation modules to implement improvements in the marketing strategy, which directly impacted the ROI of the initiatives.
  3. The knowledge gained from the MBA helped me to improve my social enterprise (Muack): Two years ago, I started a company focused on helping artisans in Mexico by promoting and commercialising their products. Sales were flat and barely covered the expenses. I applied the knowledge gained from the first few MBA modules, which helped change the business scope from ecommerce only to a community of Artisans. I'm also transforming the operational process to reduce waste and increase demand. These actions have improved the business's performance and have helped us prepare the company for the next stage.

Finally, can you summarise your overall experience at WBS?

Studying an MBA at Warwick has given me the confidence and knowledge I need in today’s business world, and I am eager to see where this learning path will take me.  

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