Roberto Ayora Peon
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College
“To me, every person is a world of new knowledge. I never miss an opportunity to learn from someone!”
Hometown: Mérida, Yucatán, México
Fun Fact About Yourself: Let’s play Smash Brothers!
Undergraduate School and Major Tecnológico de Monterrey, Monterrey Campus
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Uber, Regional Operations Manager in Latin America
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I felt very accomplished and happy when I was promoted to Regional Manager at Uber, having been in my previous role for only six months. When I applied to work at Uber, I was hired on a level below the one I applied because I was coming from a very traditional industry (finance) and my future Uber manager believed that I needed to get accustomed to the “Uber way” of doing things before being a manager myself. I was disappointed with the decision at the time as I had been highly-ranked on my previous team. Instead of lowering my head, I took it as an opportunity to develop my professional skills further. With hard work, discipline, constant feedback, and a focus on improving the specific skills that my manager identified, I was able to distinguish myself as an over performer and got promoted to an even higher role than I had sought!
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? They are extremely accomplished and interesting professionals from diverse backgrounds, all sharing the commitment to give their absolute best over the next two years so they can develop as much as they can personally and professionally and contribute to the Tuck community. At Tuck, there are no strangers; just being matriculated makes us a family and there is an honest interest from every Tuckie to contribute to the development of others and ourselves.
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 wanted a college town school with a full focus on its two-year MBA program. For business school, I was looking for an experience that was going to be 100% immersive. I wanted to eat, sleep and breathe business school. Tuck allows me to have the opportunity to be 24 hours surrounded by the most accomplished, smart and nicest people in the world, while granting me all the resources through its faculty, curriculum and campus to develop my personal and professional goals.
Tuck to me is like an academic sabbatical –two years that I will be able to focus solely on doing the activities that will make me the future leader I want to become. All the buckets that encompass the MBA experience (academics, recruiting and social) are on steroids at Tuck. You are really involved in all your classes, workshops, and centers. You are really working hard on targeting companies, learning more about industries, networking. and interviewing. Most of all, you are truly invested in your fellow Tuckies and in the Tuck community. We are definitely having so much fun, too.
What aspect of the school’s culture or values resonates most with you and why? The aptitudes of wisdom that are talked about at Tuck are unmatched. Tuckies practice confident humility about what they do and do not know and they use that for the advantage of all the people and projects in their lives. I see this value in my new classmates and myself. I know my strengths and I exploit and further develop them. I know my weakness and I am honest about them; I am not afraid to be vulnerable and I love asking for feedback from my study group just as much as I love when my study group asks me for feedback. We all have objectives we want to accomplish as individuals when we graduate. At the same time, we all share the drive to identify the changes that need to happen today in order to make the business world a better place tomorrow.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Consulting Club, Ski and Snowboard Club, Social Committee, Admitted Students Weekend Committee, and Admissions Ambassadors!
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? I find it very challenging to answer the “Where do you see yourself in the future” question simply because our world now is so dynamic. There is so much new information being generated daily with so many interesting people and professions. I feel that if I set myself on too specific of a track, I will be missing out on so many learning opportunities.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? My time at Uber made me realize that in order to further my career, I needed to excel in two main areas: strategic thinking and analytical skills. Uber was a great place to work for learning about analytics on the job. However, strategic thinking is a skill harder to develop. During an all-hands meeting one day, we asked George Gordon, the head of Latin America at Uber (and a Tuck alum!), which skill he needed the most for his role. He said strategic thinking—it’s a quality that may sound so simple. At the same time, it encompasses so many other skills that it is really hard to find it in even the most qualified of candidates. Pursuing an MBA was a no brainer after that exchange. Only with a holistic management program and an immersive community like the one at Tuck can one truly get the resources one needs to be a strategic thinker – to think outside the box, think ahead, be innovative, and learn to bring out the best in people in order to execute projects successfully and accomplish impactful changes.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied to three schools because I was focused on an education that would give a holistic view of management. At the same time, I wanted a program that would grant me with the analytical skills needed to be able to judge when and how to take risks for the better. The three schools were Tuck, HBS, and MIT Sloan.
How did you determine your fit at various schools? In order to determine my fit for schools I did three things:
- I read all of the Poets & Quants Insider Guides on the best business schools. With over 70 pages per guide, I think this resource from Poets and Quants is the best tool to get an overview of all top MBA programs as it provides information on location, curriculum, facilities, faculty, alumni, culture, placement, and more.
- I talked to alumni. Who better to sell you their school that an alum from the school? During all conversations, I tried to get objective data on different factors based on the alum’s experience.
- Based on the information I had from my research, I identified the factors that were the most important to me and applied to the schools that were more in line with those priorities.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I truly appreciate honest feedback and honest praise. I have this bias. I assign extra value to the things my peers do and subtract value from the things I do. Defining moments in life to me are all those praises that I do have from people who feel that I have contributed positively to them.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? I see myself as a hard-working professional who is recognized within my firm and my team as a true leader, one who brings out the best in people, and promotes and accomplishes positive disruption. I also want to be seen as a nice guy. I will recruit for strategy roles post-MBA and want to reach the partner/CEO level at a firm.
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