Meet IMD’s MBA Class Of 2018

Maria-Jose Ortiz

IMD Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Gutsy Latin-American female with accelerated leadership role who plans to transform organizations by empowering women.

Hometown: Santiago, Chile

Fun Fact About Yourself: For the last two years of high school, I prepared the general exams, and specifically the biology exams, so I could get accepted into medical school. The very last day for submitting the application form, I changed my mind and applied to engineering school instead.

Undergraduate School and Major: Pontificia Universidad Catolica of Chile, Civil Engineering degree with a major in Transportation

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Senior Manager of Investor Relations and Research, LATAM Airlines Group

Investor Relations and Research Manager, LATAM Airlines Group

Investor Relations Manager, LATAM Airlines Group

Investor Relations Senior Analyst, LATAM Airlines Group

Investor Relations Analyst, LATAM Airlines Group

Financial Analyst, Itaú Corbanca Chile

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My most significant professional accomplishment is becoming the Senior Manager of IR and Research of LATAM Airlines Group, a multinational with more than 43,000 employees. In fact, I’m one of the few women who became a senior manager before the age of 30. My latest role required outstanding financial acumen and a deep understanding of the company’s corporate strategy. I’ve proven that I can lead and take on greater responsibilities while earning the trust of the company’s management team and investors.

The strong network I’ve built throughout the company and the investment community has enabled me to connect all the information I manage and add great value to the company. For instance, by addressing our investors’ feedback, we’ve ensured management complies with good corporate practices. Most importantly, I have helped prove that despite age, sex, color, religion or political conviction, talented people can prevail and that meritocratic systems should be promoted.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants?  Make sure that you give yourself the time to do some soul-searching and in-depth reflection about yourself. We are all a brand. I believe that if you can truly figure out what your brand is, taking into account what your values and dreams are, you will convey a more authentic picture of yourself throughout the application process. Even more, it will help you to define a more fulfilling career path ahead which can ultimately lead to living a more meaningful life. Last, but not least, remember that you don’t need to be a genius to get accepted, just make sure that you have done all the required work (GMAT, essay, letter of recommendations, etc.) and trust that if the program and the school are the right ones for your profile, you will get accepted.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? It was all about Leadership. I was looking for an MBA program where I could find the self-confidence to know that I can make a positive change in the world. I strongly believe that IMD will provide me with “the skills to know, the confidence to act, and the humility to lead.” Having lived all my life in Chile, I was raised in a male chauvinistic environment in just about every area, and I was taught that men and women are different and that there are many things we cannot do. However, though I believe this is changing, there is still much to do to bridge the gap in terms of diversity and inclusion: leading by example I would like to contribute to build richer and more insightful organizations.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Success would be to feel that I have the confidence to think bigger and the courage to pursue my dreams.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.