Meet Toronto Rotman’s MBA Class Of 2020

Ana Maria Perez Sanchez

University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management

A passionate coffee drinker who is the happiest when performing aquatic activities.”

Hometown: Escazu, Costa Rica

Fun Fact About You: My closest friends always joke and say that I could have been a detective. I’m very perceptive and for some reason I just enjoy connecting the dots.

Undergraduate School and Major: Universidad de Costa Rica – Bachelor in Business Administration

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Ernst and Young (EY) in LATAM North – Senior Associate Investment Banking and Corporate Strategy

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: One of my biggest accomplishments was at EY, when I co-led the creation of an in-house business development and sales intelligence unit (IU). During its first year, the IU originated three M&A transactions that successfully closed and contributed to generate one of the highest revenues in my department. It also became the go-to resource for client relationship management and our deal pipeline. The IU’s most important contribution has been internally, allowing EY to harness fresh perspectives, create greater firm loyalty, increase brand recognition, and train new leaders.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? I would describe my MBA classmates as unique, talented, successful, and driven individuals who effortlessly create a synergistic environment. My colleagues come from more than 50 countries and from diverse professional backgrounds, what fosters an environment where their experiences added to their creative ideas allow us to tackle conventional challenges from fresh and innovative perspectives.  More than classmates, they are now my life-long friends.

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? A key factor that led me to choose Rotman for my full-time MBA was the opportunity to major in an industry of interest. Rotman stood out for its strong real estate program and commitment to hands-on business training. The real estate core curriculum is ideally suited to my goals, offering courses in investment, development and economics. Rotman also has a prestigious location in the heart of Toronto a vibrant, growing and dynamic city, ranked among the best cities to live in the world.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school?I look forward to joining the Rotman Real Estate Association (RREA), which I consider is a valuable learning opportunity and a good way to connect with other people who are also passionate about this industry. This club intends to inform students on the different paths and careers within the industry, support with interview preparation, and connect its members to current industry professionals. My goal is to attend RREA panel discussions and participate in their case competitions.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I had a strong desire to pursue an MBA because I wanted to work and learn from people with different backgrounds, engender new abilities, push myself beyond my own limits, and gather the necessary tools to make a positive impact in the world.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? For me, it was very simple. I have always valued the MBA experience as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to achieve a holistic growth and broaden life’s perspectives.

What other MBA programs did you apply to?

  • HEC Paris
  • LSE

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I prioritized several factors when deciding which school to attend such as the opportunity to major in an area of interest, a highly selective and diverse student body, a rigorous and innovative MBA curriculum, a strong career support, the school’s location, and a robust international alumni network. Before making my final decision, I spoke with several students, attended a class, and finally made my decision.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I wouldn’t say it is a specific moment, but more of a combination of them. Growing up in Costa Rica, I constantly saw many families and people I deeply care about struggle with substandard housing and communities torn apart by the lack of partnerships between private real estate developers and public policymakers. For this reason, my life purpose is to create a positive impact for these families and provide them with better living conditions and economic opportunities.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? My goal after graduation is to join an international real estate investment and development firm. I would love to have the opportunity to work alongside industry experts across the financial and strategic aspects of the real estate industry.

Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years from now, I see myself as an industry expert, working in more senior roles within a real estate company. My goal is to experience a global spectrum of best-in class practices across the world and to promote long term partnerships between private and public entities to support families living in substandard conditions achieve economic inclusion and sustainable growth. These aspirations stem from my personal values and experiences.