Meet IMD’s MBA Class Of 2018

Marco Villalpando

IMD Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Determined, challenge-seeker, and team-player. Former high-performance athlete, now investment banker and entrepreneur.

Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico.

Fun Fact About Yourself:

  • Played for the U21 indoor Volleyball National Team, and did not enjoy playing beach volleyball
  • I am 1.94m (6’4) tall, probably the tallest in my class and taught myself how to play the ukulele, probably the smallest chord instrument

Undergraduate School and Major: Financial Management at Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) Campus Ciudad de México

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

  • Senior associate at Santander Global Corporate Banking;
  • Co-founder of hospitality start-up;
  • Analyst at a Mexican specialty finance company


  • Advisor for two family businesses

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I was the leading senior associate advising a multinational consortium that became the winning bidder for the Mexican Wholesale Telecommunication Network tender of the 700mHz spectrum. Procured, together with the high-performance team of advisors, debt commitments totaling USD 1.5 billion, including a backstop facility negotiated with Mexican Development Banks that enhanced the credit profile of the financial package and allowed international stakeholders to pledge investments. As a result, 92.2% of Mexico’s population will have access to high-speed (4G and 5G readiness), wireless internet access throughout the country, including areas where the service is currently not available.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Take your time to understand the ins-and-outs of your personal and professional decisions and showcase them. It could be (very) helpful to talk to your friends and family about various aspects of your life that you may be taking for granted; they know you very well and may provide good insights! You might also want to seize the opportunity to discuss the reasons driving your decision of pursuing an MBA. Bear in mind that applying to IMD is not about having to sit for the GMAT and crack it, it is not about having to write your essays and fake them, it is not about “doing your time,” it is about understanding yourself, it is about the lessons you have learned from your successes and failures, it is about the values that drive your life and the passion that you infuse in your daily activities. Be true to yourself, share your story, and trust the process.

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? The leaders! Can you imagine bonding with an international, experienced, truly diverse, close-knit community of worldwide leaders? I can’t stress enough the word bonding. Ninety individuals from 40+ nationalities in your class who have proven ability to over-perform in their respective industries, and can bring to the table solid professional experience! You would be learning as much from the faculty as from your colleagues. On top of that, not only within your class, but also within the alumni network you will quickly realize you have accessed a community of brilliant, fast-paced people who boost both their careers and their lives through this leadership journey.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? “Know thyself” was an Ancient Greek saying; Socrates would later say, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Success would look like a life of detailed self-knowledge because it is with a deep understanding of myself – of what matters to me, of what I care about, of my flaws and strengths – that I can expect to make wise decisions around my main life pillars: family, friends, career, and health. Extrapolating that level of self-knowledge to outside environments, success would also include having a developed and retained connection with all members of my class.

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