Meet London Business School’s MBA Class Of 2021

Diego Vega Jenkins

London Business School

“Accidental entrepreneur whom, until fairly recently, thought excel was a verb.”

Hometown: La Quebrada, Lima, Peru.

Fun Fact About Yourself: The year I was born, inflation in Peru reached 667%.

Undergraduate School and Major: Bachelor of Science in Radio, Television & Film at The University of Texas at Austin

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Founder and Director of Content at La Pepa

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In 2014, I founded a small company with a couple of friends that, in 2016, managed to sell the first original scripted project we ever developed to StudioCanal who then chose us to remake it for the EMEA, LATAM and US market. At the time, the Aj Zombies purchase was a landmark deal for the local market and it hasn’t been surpassed in value yet. What’s more, we are still one of the few Latin American companies to ever develop original scripted content for StudioCanal and their mobile project Studio+. Considering we’d launched La Pepa out of an unfurnished apartment less than 18 months ago, I was pretty happy with what we’d achieved.

The year after that we agreed to develop almost 80 hours of prime-time television content for Latina Networks in Peru. In less than a month, we saw our team triple in size and had to move offices twice to accommodate incoming staff. We ended up renting a hotel and turning it into a small, integrated production studio that could house our 29 employees. This is something I am quite proud of given that we were able to directly employ incredible professionals from whom I was lucky to learn much. In six months, we launched three television shows to less than stellar ratings, but I couldn’t be prouder of our work and the team we built in such an intense and short period of time.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? I visited LBS a few weeks before the 2019 class graduated to get a feel for the school and couldn’t be more impressed with what I found. LBS attracts very ambitious and successful professionals. However, I wasn’t prepared to meet such an accomplished and involved student body. What surprised me the most was the genuine humility and frankness these students showed. What’s more, no matter what blue-chip company they came from, the students I met showed a very clear-eyed perspective on themselves and what they brought to the table. None seemed satisfied with whatever amazing career path landed them at LBS. They all seemed very aware of their shortcomings in a way that breeds a healthy sense of ambition and competence. LBS students are smart in a way that transcends books and spreadsheets: they seem to possess the right instincts to build a great career and to truly be assets for those around them.

What is the best part of coming to London to earn your MBA? London is one of the few cities that seem to really effect the pulse of the world. It’s a city where things never cease to happen and living here is as much a formative experience as is going to LBS. There’s no other city that combines such diversity and ambition and a sense of history. Furthermore, living in London through Brexit is very interesting for me. These are vital years in the city and the conversations people are having and the decisions being made will affect the shape of the West (if not the world) for years to come. I want to be in London during that and be witness to history as it is being made.

Aside from your classmate and location, 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 really have to mention two factors. First, the relationship students have with professors at LBS is something I haven’t found in other schools. It seems to be a very open, horizontal and dynamic, less ivory-tower more football pitch.

Additionally, this is a bit of a cliché by now, but LBS is really the most global and most customizable MBA there is. I’m an entrepreneur, but I have interests that span over several fields. At LBS, I can really explore all of these interests. If you can’t find what you’re interested in at LBS and you can’t find it in London, there’s a very good chance it doesn’t exist.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I’m really looking forward to playing eleven on eleven football matches and participating in the sailing club. Aside from that, I’m very much looking forward to LondonCAP.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? What are your long and short term plans?

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I left the company I founded after almost five years and felt it was the perfect time to learn a different skill-set. After very honestly assessing my career thus far, I realised I would really benefit from having a proper business education.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? IESE, IE and INSEAD.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? Visited campus and interviewed alumni.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I think growing up in Peru during the Fujimori dictatorship and his eventual downfall made me very aware of the importance of momentum and doing the right thing at the right time for maximum effect. It made me very resilient and very flexible to change, which I think is instrumental. Leaving my comfortable, well-remunerated job to start my own company made me blatantly aware that I enjoy responsibility and risk. Finding my first grey hair and a slightly harrowing health scare two years ago made me realise I have no time left to lose.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? Having amassed enough experience to comfortably launch companies across different industries. Working between Southern Europe and Latam (especially Peru) and having children devouring all of my disposable income.

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