2015 Best MBAs: Victoria Teworte

Victoria Teworte - IESE-PoetsAndQuants

Victoria Teworte


IESE Business School

Some students work to make the most of their time. Victoria Teworte helps others make the most of their time. As a result, she earned the IESE MBA Award, an honor bestowed on the most exceptional students for their great contributions to their classmates, school, and larger community. At IESE, Victoria served as president of the Ambassador’s Club, where she helped organize events for prospective and admitted students. She did the same with class trips and charity events. In addition, she distinguished herself as a scholar, with her first case study soon-to-be-published in Operations Management/Project Management this summer.

Age: 29

Hometown: Schwerte (Germany)

Undergraduate School: International School of Management Dortmund, Germany (with semesters abroad in Sevilla and San Diego)

Undergraduate Degree: Tourism Management

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? M2P Consulting GmbH as a business analyst and consultant

Where did you intern during the summer of 2014? Amazon Germany, Munich

Where will you be working after graduation? LATAM Airlines Group, Sao Paulo/Brazil as a Project Manager in the Organizational Efficiency and Innovation Department

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I visited IESE for the Open Day, had goose bumps all day and just wanted to be part of this life-changing experience.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…reconsidering my life and how to move ahead in my career during a sabbatical, doing volunteering work and travelling around the world.”

What are your long-term professional goals? I would love to take over an executive role at an airline one day. To be realistic though, I think it is hard to plan it exactly. Therefore, I would like to focus more on “softer” goals. I would like to keep on learning from daily challenges that need to be solved. Moreover, I would like to work successfully with teams and be able to be a good leader. On the time management side, my goal is to maintain a healthy work-life balance (something I did not have in my previous job as consultant). This is a necessary pre-condition to be a successful manager in the long term.

Favorite Courses: Management in the Service Sector, Operations Strategy, Self-Management and Managing Corporate Growth: Alliances and Acquisitions

Which academic or professional achievements are you most proud of? I am most proud of my best-in-class achievement in my undergraduate degree (German grade: 1.1, which translates into a 4.0 GPA). I received a promotion at the first opportunity despite very challenging project circumstances (I was “stuck” for a long time on a project assignment which did not allow me to grow) and ranked first among all business analysts. I delivered a project planned for five months in six weeks and also turned a body-lease project into a consulting project.

Who would you most want to thank for your success (and why)? First, I would like to thank my parents who have always supported me, also in my decision to move to Sao Paulo after the MBA. Second, I would like to thank my best friend at school, David, who has given tremendous support in my full-time applications. He has given me mock interviews in his early morning while on exchange in Berkeley and supported me with encouraging messages when I was totally exhausted from interviews. Third, my ex-colleagues and mentors Birgit and Matthias have always supported my career development and MBA ambitions. On analytics and leadership, they have had the biggest impact on my career so far.

Why did you choose this business school? IESE fulfilled my pre-selection based on hard facts, such as reputation, program structure as well as a very diverse and international student body. In my final decision, three things made a difference. What stood out was the personal approach of the school. When I came for the open day, I felt that the school truly cared about me and my professional and personal development… Second, I preferred the two-year program to ensure a transformational experience and to be able to try something new through a summer internship – I wanted to find out whether the airline industry really is my passion or whether another one would offer an even greater fit. Third, IESE’s focus on responsible leadership and the school’s values fit best to me personally.

What did you enjoy most about business school? First, it is interacting with smart and respectful people from around 60 countries and very diverse professional backgrounds; living with girls from India, Zambia, Peru and Trinidad& Tobago/Canada; the outstanding quality and approachability of our professors; and the friendliness and helpfulness of any IESE staff member. I felt impressed and inspired every single day.

Second, [I enjoy] the case method, learning about 2-3 real-life business examples from different companies, industries and countries…and discussing the decisions required by the managers with my diverse classmates.

[Third is teamwork]. Working with the same team for the first year has been challenging, but rewarding. Our team is our family, and despite challenges or conflicts, I realized how important it is to never lose respect for each other and always provide support. In the second year, teamwork remained very important, since most courses had team projects instead of exams.

Fourth is my increasing self-awareness. OK, it was painful sometimes to learn about myself, but the increased self-awareness I gained is one of the most valuable assets I will take from business school for my present and future.

Finally, I enjoyed the International modules in Sao Paulo and Nairobi. Having the opportunity to learn on-site about business in these emerging markets has been unique and clearly a highlight of my MBA. The company projects we did in the second week of the modules were very hands-on and complemented the other courses of the first week.

What is your most memorable moment from business school? During the communications course of the first term, the entire class had to give a speech in front of smaller groups. The best speeches were repeated in front of the entire class. One of my classmates gave a very emotional speech about her dad calling her mum on November 26, 2008 from Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai. It was the day of the terrorist attacks and it was not clear if her dad would survive (thankfully he did). My classmate’s message was clear: “Be happy every day that you are alive, because life can be over so quickly. Follow your dream and make it happen!” The whole auditorium was frozen or crying. I changed certain things in my life the same day and have lived my MBA dream ever since.

Fun fact about yourself: My nickname is Vicky, my second first name Christina and I have done my MBA in Barcelona. That’s about it with similarities to the famous movie, though…

Favorite book: The Southwest Airlines Way (Jody Hoffer Gittell)

Favorite movie: Schindler’s list

Favorite television show: Right now I must admit it is Jornal Nacional, a Brazilian news program. It is a good way to improve my Portuguese and learn about what is going on in Brazil right now. Both things are important, since I will be moving to Brazil after the MBA. Apart from that, I enjoy watching detective films from my home country (very popular in Germany).

Favorite vacation spot: It is hard to name just one spot, since every place has its own beauty and I have been lucky to be able to travel to many places around the world. Here are my top 5 favorite spots: Myanmar for the friendliest people I have met so far; Masai Mara and Serengeti in Kenya and Tanzania) for wildlife; Europe for culture and diversity in a comparably small region; New Zealand for nature; and Brazil for beaches.

What are your hobbies? Sports to have a regular workout and recharge the battery. Before I started my professional career, I was playing handball on a high competitive level…Sports will always be an important part of my life. During the MBA, I focused more on gym and soccer. I love all kind of sports, but prefer team sports. I also enjoy spending time with my friend, travelling (I have been to 60 countries so far and enjoy exploring new places), reading, and learning Portuguese.

Twitter Handle: @VictoriaTeworte

What made Victoria such an invaluable addition to the class of 2015?

“Victoria has achieved great results academically but as also gone out of her way to her her fellow students as well as IESE as an institution. She has collaborated with the operations faculty to write a case study based on some of her previous professional experience. She has been a very active member of the Ambassadors`Club, sharing her experience of the MBA with prospective candidates, doing presentations at open days and talking to anyone who needed her advice. She has also been an active blogger and has talked to the press in several occasions, particularly in her native Germany.

As a class mate, Victoria has been extremely generous with her time, helping fellow students with mock interviews, panels, etc. She has also made a great contribution to get the many nationalities represented in the program to mix in the great melting pot that is the IESE MBA and facilitated exchange students getting to know their IESE classmates better. Some of the qualities her classmates recognized in Victoria include leadership, spirit of service and professionalism.”

– Elena Liquete, executive director, MBA

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