Meet Stanford GSB’s MBA Class Of 2020

Andrea Aguirre Ruiz

Stanford Graduate School of Business

“Hard-working Mexican, who loves to dance reggaeton, smiles and strives to be kind to others.”

Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico

Fun Fact About Yourself: My uncle invited my family to a trip to teach us how to fish. The boat’s motor broke down in the middle of the lake. While being towed, some water started to get inside, my sister and I freaked out. Instead of standing still, we stood up and started moving. Somehow, we managed to turn the boat upside down. We were never invited to fish again.

Undergraduate School and Major: Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), Applied Mathematics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Nexxus Capital, Portfolio Operations Associate

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In the most challenging project I executed while working in consulting, I was put in charge of analyzing the effectiveness of promotions. I started with the handover of a time series model for big data that a specialized analytics team had developed. Within two weeks, I had to understand our client’s databases and learn the big data software the model used. I improved and applied the model to the data of all the business units of our client, predicting regular sales of their products to then estimate the incremental contribution margin of the promotions. I developed a simulator so that the company could plan for better performing promotions going forward. The client loved our work and continued to use our tools to define their promotion calendar.

Describe your biggest accomplishment at Stanford GSB so far: I came to the GSB with the goal of finding a professional opportunity that would allow me to combine my passion for strategy and statistics/data science. After working very hard in recruiting, I was offered an internship at Airbnb in a role that will allow me to do just that.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Curiosity. People at the GSB are always looking to learn something new. They are willing to take risks in new ventures in order to explore innovative ideas, and they are eager to travel the world to learn about other countries.

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? I chose Stanford because its program is very flexible allowing me to focus on my priorities. The GSB’s unique view on leadership development drives students to explore the kind of leaders they want to become. It has provided me with opportunities to continue developing a leadership style that is strong, with human elements such as respect and empathy. Also, given the focus I wanted to give my career on data analytics, I loved that the GSB offered specialized data science and big data courses, while also allowing me to take classes from Stanford’s world-class schools of Engineering and School of Science.

What club or activity have you enjoyed the most at Stanford GSB so far? Being part of the Latin American Student Association is what I have enjoyed the most. It has allowed me to connect with the Latin American students of both years of the MBA program. Some of the strongest relationships I have built at the GSB are with other Latin students, and LASA has provided me with additional instances where we can get to know one another and bond.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? There are three overarching professional goals I want to achieve: be economically independent so I can support my family, be a data-driven decision maker, and be a strong and empathic leader. An MBA would be a unique enabler for me to achieve these goals. It would give me two years to focus on developing the skills that I needed. I would be able to learn from the best professors in the world. Additionally, as an international student, an MBA from a renowned institution would give me access to incredible opportunities that otherwise I would not have.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? Two things helped me in determining my fit with schools. The first one was talking with alumni. Getting to know people who studied at each school allowed me to understand their culture. Also, hearing the activities, classes, clubs, and trips they were involved in helping me envision what opportunities each school would provide me. The second thing that helped me was visiting the campuses. By attending classes, I was able to experience a normal day of a student in each school.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I lost my best friend while growing up. Experiencing such a difficult loss made me value life differently. I try to live each day with joy, focusing on being kind and grateful.

Where do you see yourself in five years? My professional objective is to implement the best practices and latest trends in data analysis in Mexican companies. I am convinced that the use of big data in companies is increasingly a necessity, and I would love to be a catalyst for the implementation of this trend in my country. In five years, I would want to have gained experience in data science so that I could be leading a department or organization that seeks to employ data science in their operations.