2018 MBAs To Watch: Javier Rodrigo Mendivil Ramirez, IMD Business School

Javier Rodrigo Mendivil Ramirez

IMD Business School

“An enthusiast and an optimist, I believe in doing things with heart and enjoying life.”

Age: 34

Hometown: Lima, Peru

Fun fact about yourself: My morning ritual starts by turning off the 10 consecutive alarms I set on my phone to wake up on time.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Bachelor in Engineering, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Procter & Gamble, Continuous Improvement Leader

Where will you be working after graduation? Hach, a Danaher company – Global Product Manager

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Winner of the Debiopharm-Inartis innovation challenge to improve lives of healthcare patients with a team of classmates. .

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? My one year old son had to undergo a liver transplant this year. I am proud and ever thankful to my wife, family, faculty and friends for giving me the support and strength to endure the situation while still carrying on with my studies and team responsibilities. 2017 has been by far the best year of my life since my son is cured now, I graduated from a top B-school, and got a job in my dream function and geography.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career?

  • Led the manufacturing of the Pampers diapers business in Brazil and its team of 80 people in a complex, highly technical and very flexible operation.
  • Led the implementation of effort reduction projects, increasing manufacturing efficiency by 13%, becoming the most productive plant in P&G.
  • Increased manufacturing performance reliability by 5.5%, bringing production line performance to the global benchmark level and reducing stops-per-day by 40%.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? The legendary George Kohlrieser. An inspirational expert on leadership and a veteran hostage negotiator who reinforced in me the importance of bonding and mindfulness as essential tools in the leader’s toolkit. Also, he was the only professor I know who can recall with humor being held at knife-point by a kidnapper.

What was your favorite MBA Course The course that I loved the most was Marketing. To me, it was a year-long discovery journey of my passion for this art, which eventually led to a career change. Perhaps the most important learning that I received this year is the necessity to capture the customer’s insights and use them better than your competitors, otherwise you will be disrupted.

Why did you choose this business school? Before the MBA, I took part in the IMD open program “High Performance Leadership” in Brazil. It was the best and most intense leadership training of my life up to that point. The program focused on introspective analysis, learning about myself and what made me perform at my best.

My work group was comprised of people coming from various disciplines, sectors, and nationalities. I thrived during the program and contributed with my own experiences and learning.

I realized during the HPL program that the characteristics I described above were factors of the IMD difference. I was sure then that participating in the top ranked full year IMD MBA would allow me to reach my full potential as a business leader.

Thus, I did not apply to other MBA programs since IMD was my preferred and only choice.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? When preparing for the assessment day, don’t waste time thinking negative things like “What if I don’t make the cut?”. This will derail your efforts and affect your state of mind.

Focus your mind instead on the good things that will come your way once you start the IMD MBA program, the amazing people that you will meet, and the life-long friends that you will make. And have Fun!

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth was that our study rooms were located deep underground, were affectionately called “The dungeons.” They had no coffee machines, and had a big sign on the door with an inscription that reads: “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” Turns out in reality, that the study rooms were equipped with coffee machines.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Because of family priorities, I didn’t have sufficient time to bond with all classmates and professors.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? My brave classmate, Sergiu Geamanu, who endured excruciating episodes of back pain and would still keep his spirits high and good sense of humor.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My wife, who has supported me from day one to pursue my dreams and who has been my secure base through the ordeal.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…continuing my career in Supply Chain at P&G and perhaps asking myself “What if?”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience?

I would reach out to the multinational companies near our campus and have them participate in the MBA career panel.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  • Going to Machu Picchu with my wife and son, and showing him the greatness of his heritage.
  • Taking acting lessons and performing on stage.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A good friend who leads with heart and never loses hope.

What is your favorite movie about business? Startup.com, a film that chronicles the rise and fall of a nascent company. The biggest lesson for me was how internal power struggles and an unfavorable strategy can asphyxiate a business.

What would your theme song be? “Don’t Stop Me Now” – Queen. Works better than coffee as a pick-me-up.

Favorite vacation spot: The splendid beaches of the Ilhabela archipelago in Brazil. Many beautiful memories with my wife eating seafood and drinking cold refreshments in front of a lovely blue sea.

Hobbies? I was introduced to Tango a few years ago and loved it ever since. My wife and I even travelled to Buenos Aires to take lessons with renowned teachers

What made Javier Rodrigo such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“With a proven track record of delivering operational excellence and optimizing productivity, Javier comes with 9+ years consumer goods experience in multinational supply chain and operational management. Proud father, he managed to balance the heavy workload and challenging family circumstances with resilience, constant optimism and integrity.”

IMD Faculty





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