2018 MBAs To Watch: Víctor Tobío Torrejón, CEIBS

Víctor Tobío Torrejón

CEIBS (Chinese Europe International Business School)

Energetic, mix of cultures and backgrounds, persistent, strategic. Challenge lover addicted to new experiences.”

Age: 29

Hometown: Vigo, Spain

Fun fact about yourself: I don’t usually sleep much, but always very deeply, so much so that I used to be a sleepwalker. Fortunately as I grew up the issue disappeared, but I can still have unconscious night conversations.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Vigo (Spain), Master in Industrial Engineering.

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Airbus Group (Germany), Manager in Generic R&D Projects.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017?

Value Partners Management Consulting, Summer Associate.

Worked with its Beijing office and lived one month in Vietnam for a project.

Where will you be working after graduation? Strategy& (Germany), Senior Associate.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • VP of the Management Consulting Club.
  • Class Representative. Worked in making the first 4 months of our class as easy and enjoyable as possible, as well as serving as the liaison between students, professors and MBA office.
  • Member of 3rd place International Warsaw Negotiation Round Team. We represented CEIBS in Poland and competed against highly prepared layers and negotiators.
  • Member of 1st place Bayer Consulting Case Competition Team.
  • Member of 1st Value Partners Management Consulting Case Competition Team.
  • Volunteer English teacher of rural Chinese high school students.
  • Awarded E-fellows scholarship.
  • Dean’s List (top 10%) of the class 2018.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? It is very difficult to mention just one thing that I am especially happy after I managed to achieve almost everything I wanted during this intense time. I would highlight the final eight weeks before the end of the MBA, where I worked as a volunteer in a rural village in Kenya with a local NGO. During the MBA, I learned some data hard to understand, such as almost 50% of the country lives with less than $1 USD a day, and that hungriest families have farms – but lack the resources to fully utilize them. I used our alumni network to find out more about the country and its critical needs, which helped me decide where exactly to go and what to do.

During this time, I met more than 80 farmers, lived their lives, and worked with them. Many could significantly improve their situation with feasible recommendations, like dairy farmers, with whom I established a collaboration to sell milk together in a city, where the price for milk is double. Others unfortunately needed bigger changes, especially in the access to Micro-financing, where I’m still working to support fair deals for the local farmers. It was definitely an impressive and grateful experience, a good way to appreciate the modern comforts, but also tough to revisit some of our basic human needs.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Probably my greatest achievement was very early in my professional career, when I realized how important it was to establish more initiatives in the direction of sustainable mobility in our region. Together, with some classmates, we decided to co-found a club called CEMVI. Instead of proposing ideas, it would serve as a platform for students to carry out their projects.

The beginning was very difficult, we spent months approaching companies and institutions looking for a sponsorship, but it was difficult to gain trust. With the little money we had, we tried to get the attention of the media, so we organized the first Sustainable Mobility Forum with 20 companies on the list. We appeared on TV and full page on newspapers. As we expected, our status changed. A multinational came to visit us and offered a sponsorship twice as big as requested. I’m especially proud of this club, not only for the achievement, but especially the mindset to create value for future students in the region.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? I would choose our Strategy Professor Peter Moran. He is not only an excellent teacher, but shared his passion about strategy and engaged every student in the discussion. I won’t forget how he linked Corporate Strategy with Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, putting together in one class most of his lessons.

What was your favorite MBA Course? My favorite course was probably Operations Management. Even though it is a heavy quantitative topic, it was taught in a very practical way to grasp a deep understanding. I found it especially useful to learn how to apply theory of constraints on the analysis company’s operations, and the implication of digital technologies in them.

Why did you choose this business school?

  • First, it was a family-like business school, with 190 talented and caring people, where everybody knows everybody.
  • Second is the China focus, a country that is becoming essential in the global business and understanding them is becoming more valuable each year.
  • Third is the strong emphasis on innovation and technology within the school and the country, where even homeless people beg money with QR codes for online payments.
  • Fourth is the impressive growth of the school, which in less than 30 years of existence has ranked top #8 in the world by the FT.
  • Fifth is its city, Shanghai. Definitely a city that has everything, a huge and crazy mix loved by anybody who has lived in it for more than a few weeks.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? I would advise applicants to be clear on where he or she wants to go and try to talk to as many alumni as possible, as it will help for the application. Set the expectations right, an MBA is not an easy program and it’s important to be active to take as much of it as possible. Most important, try not to get lost in all the workload and enjoy the unique experience.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Many said that best MBA programs are only in Europe and the US, but in reality, businesses with Asian countries are growing at a similar speed as their business schools. Even for people not planning to work in Asia, CEIBS is a great platform with a unique network all over the world, which becomes especially valuable for future employers anywhere.

What was your biggest regret in business school? I would have loved to find more time to get to know more of my peers at a deeper level. Time has never run so quickly; now, I realize better how important it was to get time in any way possible and manage it very efficiently.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? It is really difficult to select one classmate, as I was not expecting such high quality in our class. Probably someone who has inspired me is Hareesh Ganapathy, with whom I worked during our Integrated Strategy Project. He has impressed me with his focus and determination in reaching his goals, even though the challenges he faced living in China with his big Indian-Chinese family.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My girlfriend influenced me even before I realized that I should move my career more to the business side. She put together tiny things like the business magazines I read daily, my passion talking about the strategy of companies, or my strong need for action. It is something I always thought about, but she added the extra courage I needed to quit my job and move to China for my MBA.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…trying to do my best at work while keeping myself busy with ideas for a startup, without realizing what I would be missing without the MBA experience.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? CEIBS is growing at an impressive speed, I believe the deans play a very important role in this growth. To mention one thing, I would spend the day into creating a plan to strengthen the link between the Chinese and European campuses. This would help students who want to make business connecting both cultures after the MBA. I know it has been on the agenda since a long time with the Zurich Campus, but I would push it further. Of course, I would definitely invest on improving the food served in the canteen.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  • Become a remarkable consultant while still investing enough attention and care in my family and friends.
  • Keep in touch with East African NGOs and support a viable way to finance smallholder farmers by creating partnerships and improve the reach of them, in order to reduce hunger and poverty in the region.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As the Spanish classmate who energizes people and is always willing to help.

What is your favorite movie about business? Difficult to mention anything different than The Godfather. The self-control and discipline of Don Corleone definitely impressed me. With the movie, I understood better how important is to have a thoughtful plan before action and to behave diplomatically.

What would your theme song beDeath Cab for Cutie’s “You Are a Tourist”

Favorite vacation spot: The Cíes Islands, a natural park in front of Vigo, my hometown, with a beach awarded the best beach of the world by The Guardian.

Hobbies? Traveling, photography, any water sport (especially scuba diving) and running.

 What made Víctor Tobío such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“Victor has been a valued and model member of the MBA class of 2018. His role as student representative during the first semester helped play a vital role in helping international MBA students to settle into the MBA and Chinese pace of life. Having set his sights on a career switch to consultancy, he has been a model student from an admissions perspective, making the most of school resources and his own proactivity to win 3rd place in the Warsaw Negotiation Competition and also helping Value Partners in East Asia during his summer internship. I have also been impressed by his willingness to help others, both in terms of support to fellow students each working on their own career goals and also volunteering in Kenya to give back to the community before starting a new chapter wit Strategy& in Germany.”

Steven Ji

CEIBS Assistant Director of MBA Admissions, Marketing & Financial Aid





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