2018 Best MBAs: Alicia Dominguez, ESADE

Alicia Dominguez

ESADE Business School

Multilingual, outgoing, goal-driven with Swiss precision and Spanish passion.”

Age: 32

Hometown: Zurich, Switzerland

Fun fact about yourself: I started to work at the age of 15 as an apprentice at UBS AG, which means I have already been working for more than half my life.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Business Administration, Zurich University of Applied Sciences

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? I worked as a private banking relationship manager at Credit Suisse Zurich managing a USD 200m portfolio of Brazil domiciled clients.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? I interned as a consultant at Stern Stewart & Co., an independent strategy consulting boutique in Munich.

Where will you be working after graduation? I have two job offers and am in the final interview phase with a few other companies. One very interesting opportunity came up during my master project. The project consisted of writing a market entry strategy for the Spanish market for a German Fintech start-up. Based on the findings, they decided to enter the Spanish market and asked if I would be interested in building the company in Spain as the country manager.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Outside of school/work I have led various charity projects, one of which was in South Africa. I enlisted a team of 11 volunteers and we began to raise money and develop the concept of a childcare project. After having raised the needed amount to realise the project, we travelled to Johannesburg and worked with the local team to implement the childcare project in an impoverished township. This was an amazing and emotional experience and has been recognised by ESADE with a scholarship.

As the vice president of the ESADE MBA Finance Club, I was responsible for organising various finance-related events and was the interface between former alumni working in the industry, our careers department, and the student body. Furthermore, I was the contact person for Private Banking and Wealth Management related questions.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of the Finance Trek to Zurich. It was the first Finance Trek to Switzerland for ESADE and I was responsible for building connections with different financial institutions. I managed to organise a diverse agenda that included visits to a VC, fintech, asset management, private banking, and an M&A team. The trek was a big success as we had top firms on board: including BlackRock, Pimco and Credit Suisse.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I think my best achievement has been my promotion cycle and reaching the position of relationship manager in private banking at a relatively young age. I was able to build solid relationships with international clients and was particularly effective in converting knowledge of their circumstances into concrete and value-enhancing portfolio strategies. I am most proud of my ability to produce results for my clients even in the challenging market environments that we have seen in recent years.

Who was your favourite MBA professor? There are several great professors at ESADE, such as professors Luis Vives, Luisa Alemany and Marco Bertini. Their classes were very dynamic and contained many useful and practical examples. But if I need to choose, I would say that my favourite professor was Gloria Batllori. She is a fantastic teacher: insightful, straightforward, and entertaining.

What was your favourite MBA Course: Entrepreneurial Finance. The objective of this course is to give an overview of the financing landscape for young firms, going beyond the basics of venture capital and angel financing to look at venture debt, bank finance, corporate venture capital, and receivables financing. We had the possibility to directly putting into practice what we learned by acting as advisors for a local start-up.

Why did you choose this business school? I was drawn by the strong emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as the diversified student body. It is an invaluable learning opportunity to be in a class of 190 students comprised of 60 different nationalities and a wide range of professional backgrounds. But the most important factor was the positive environment of the school and its people. All the people I got in touch with, students and ESADE employees, were very open and friendly. I instantly connected with the values of ESADE. Finally, Barcelona is a dynamic city with many professional events and a vibrant start-up scene – who would not want to live here?!

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Start early with the preparation, visit the school, and talk to current and former students. In this way, you will gain the best insights about the culture and values of ESADE, to see whether you are the right fit, and highlight the right aspects in your essays.

What is the biggest myth about your school? ESADE is known for having a very collaborative and inclusive environment. This is absolutely true. Teamwork, diversity, and knowledge-sharing are encouraged, which makes it a very rich experience. I not only learned from the courses at school, but also from my school mates as they came from different countries, cultures and professional backgrounds. I made friends for life, not only valuable business connections.

What was your biggest regret in business school? I have absolutely no regrets. I wish that there were more hours in a day to explore and enjoy even more of what the MBA has to offer.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Praneeth Srikanti. I worked with him during Term 1 and we were both part of the Finance Club board. He is an extremely smart person, has a very positive attitude, and is fun to work with. He managed to do a lot of things at the same time, leading the EQUIP club, winning case competitions, scoring a good internship while always doing very well academically. It was a pleasure to work with him.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? An ESADE alumni working with me at Credit Suisse. She has been a role model for me at work and influenced my decision to pursue this MBA path.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…vice president/senior relationship manager in private banking and unaware of the vivid start-up scene and the various career and business opportunities you can find there.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? I would determine strategies to further incorporate ESADE alumni into campus programming and foster collaboration between alumni and students

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Learn as much as possible about the local culture and build up a network during my exchange at HKUST Business School in Hong Kong, and travel through Latin America for three weeks before starting my new job.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?  As the kind of Swiss/Spanish school mate who has a positive attitude about life, is hard-working and diligent, fun to work with, and someone you can always count on.

What is your favourite movie about business? After working for so many years for financial institutions, my favourite movie about the business so far has been Wall Street. This movie is a window into corporate finance, portfolio management, and capital markets. But most importantly, it gives a socially-critical insight behind the scenes of this industry and forces you to reflect on your work ethic, work principles, and values.

What would your theme song be? Journey – “Don’t Stop Believing.”

Favourite vacation spot: Spain in general. To me, Spain is the perfect mix of sun, fun and culture. This country is so diverse, and each region has a lot to offer.

Hobbies? I love to travel, hike, and taste new flavours and dishes. Luckily, these three hobbies go very well together. I am also a passionate salsa dancer.  

What made Alicia Dominguez such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

Alicia is a brilliant and fast-learning student, multi-lingual, and multi-cultural. She impressed me with her intellectual curiosity, passion for global cultures, and adventurous spirit.

Alicia can be best defined as a high achiever. At the beginning of her MBA, joining with a background from the “banking Industry, she wanted to land a job in a consulting firm. A few months later, when planning her internship, she had managed to secure not one, but three, offers in top consulting firms.

She is hard-working, thoughtful, charismatic, and has a great ability to network. Alicia is great at getting to know new people, understanding their objectives, and aligning different interests with the purpose of reaching a common objective. She did a great job as vice president of the ESADE MBA Finance Club, organising events and establishing links with former alumni working in the industry.

Alicia is also a very generous person. She has always been open to help her MBA peers to succeed in their professional goals. She enjoyed her MBA journey and made an impact on many of her classmates. Furthermore, during her MBA, she led various charity projects, one of which raised the money to develop a childcare project in South Africa.

We are convinced that Alicia will make true the idea that: ‘if you believe, you can achieve!’.”

Luis Vives

Associate Dean of The ESADE MBA, & the ESADE MBA team


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