Meet The HEC Paris MBA Class Of 2020

Dominique Christiansen

HEC Paris

“An animal lover who likes to make people laugh.  Passionate about personal growth, cultural exchange, and my moral convictions.”

Hometown: Santiago, Chile

Fun fact: I am an advanced scuba diver who is deeply scared of the ocean.

Undergraduate School and Major:  Business and Economics at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Most recent employer and job title: Digital Product Owner at LATAM Airlines Group

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Successfully leading a team of eight under a non-hierarchical structure. The Agile methodology forced me to adapt to a completely new leadership style, which I believe has made me a stronger manager.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you have met so far and why? What stands out most to me is the extremely diverse and friendly group of people. Everyone appears to stand out on some new interesting aspect.

Aside from you 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?  I have always wanted to study at HEC Paris, as I am very familiar with the French culture (I used to speak French fluently but have now lost some of it). I was aware of HEC’s great reputation, and the MBA was the perfect opportunity to deep dive into the culture and take advantage of the school’s academic excellence and networking opportunities.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Leadership and digital transformation-related clubs and certificates.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? The need for fresh new ideas and interactions. The possibility of developing new capabilities and complimenting my work experience by interacting with amazing professionals from all over the world.

How did you decide if the MBA was worth the investment? An MBA will always have a certain level of risk and European Business schools are very competitive. My husband and I both wanted to do an MBA, which meant doubling the costs. We believe that going together will give us an extra benefit, as we would share the amazing experience and our relationship would benefit from it too. In the end I would say the most important thing is to appreciate the MBA as an experience of a lifetime, not only as a means to achieve a specific professional goal.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? None, HEC was our first choice.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? My husband and I both have European backgrounds and I have both Chilean and Italian nationality. European universities were always our first choice due to the cultural affinity. We studied the HEC Paris MBA program carefully and we were excited to find out about the specializations, as they would allow both of us to pursue our specific preferences and career paths. The fact that we can learn a new language as well is a plus. We loved the campus and the people we met there on our visit. The green areas and sports facilities made us feel comfortable and convinced us that this would be a good place to live.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I am not sure if I would call it my defining moment, but deep water diving was definitely a life-changing challenge for me. A high level of mental and physical strength is required, but it can be very rewarding. I gained perspective and had the opportunity to conquer one of my biggest fears.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? I would like to live and work abroad for a couple of years in Europe or Asia and then return to South America to either be with my husband’s family in Brazil or mine in Chile.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Managing strategic digital transformation projects for multicultural companies and focusing on the importance of sustainability (cultural and environmental).