Meet Washington Olin’s MBA Class Of 2020

Jessica Sanchez Chavez 

Washington University’s Olin Business School in St. Louis

Born and raised until adulthood in Cuba, with an “always happy” and warrior nature.”

Hometown: Havana, Cuba

Fun Fact About Yourself: Every time I am nervous I have nightmares with waves.

Undergraduate School and Major: Undergraduate: University of Havana, Major in Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Citibank, Area Banker

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Even though it could sound general, at this point of my life, I am sure that my biggest accomplishment in my career has been to get into business school. I have proven myself many times to be able to adapt to different environments, analyze data, provide outstanding customer service and be great at teamwork. However, how hard I had to work to get into a top ranked business school in this country, and all the introspection I took in that journey, were priceless to what I feel capable of today.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? They are all extremely intelligent and capable. I feel honored to be among them and to have the opportunity to listen to their perspectives.

Aside from your classmates, 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 faculty members made me feel confident instead of intimidated. It was mostly a feeling, and my feelings are never wrong. At the Orientation Program of the Consortium this past June, the only school that counted with at least one faculty member per student was Olin. I haven’t done one thing related to my career without their guidance and support since I decided to come here, even before I accepted the offer. I am very lucky!

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Marketing clubs, Latin/Hispanic association, Pride Club, Volunteering clubs.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Most of the times, it was the frustration of not being listened to by others. I have always had a strong voice, and I have worked very hard to sustain it on solid arguments. Having been in positions in which I was ignored because I was at a lower level challenged me to go for more. I had to work hard to figure out the way, but I knew I was able to get through it. I am very grateful that there were people that wanted to meet me and gave me a vote of confidence. My goal is to gather more foundation that allow me to make my voice listened to, and consequently to increase trust in Hispanic talent.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? The benefits of strengthening my knowledge, meeting all these great minds (colleagues and professors), and getting access to top companies are incomparable to any money or time investment.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Emory, Goizueta Business School and Rochester, Simons Business School

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I did the research based on my GMAT score range and the concentrations fields. I also checked factors such as companies that employ from the school and positioning in certain industries. I used US rankings mostly, but I also attended several MBA fairs and tours. The best way I found to research culture was visiting the schools, the fit was pretty obvious, for me was about the people (but I am a people person).

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? My defining moment was a surgery I had around 5 years ago, in which my life was in danger. It was a long process that affected my health, personal life, my family, and my attendance at school. That experience is a big part of me that definitely changed my lens. I didn’t know I was so strong until that moment. I never stopped laughing and being positive, mostly because I didn’t want my family and friends to be worried about my mental health facing that experience. However, the most significant accomplishment was the recovery of an affected nerve functionality, what takes incredible time of dedication and desperation management. It built resilience and hope, and those are the values that move me in every step of my life since then.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? I want to pursue a career in marketing, since I want to specialize in consumers’ insights and market research. I want to know how to solve people needs, and I want to tell them that there is a lot of work on it – that there are good business people that worry about their happiness. Also, I want to help people from other countries that want to go big in the business world, the ones that can’t afford it and the ones that don’t know how do it like me.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I want to be seen as an example that it can be done. I see myself in a recognized position, managing a great team and solving complex problems. Every MBA’s dream, right? I want to do different things that I’m really passionate about at my job, and I see myself transmitting that to others.

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