Meet the MBA Class of 2021: Santos Marquez, Ivey Business School

Santos Marquez

Ivey Business School at Western University

I am a cheerful, practical, candid person looking forward to improving personally and professionally each day.”

Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela

Fun Fact About Yourself: I really enjoy hosting and going to karaoke parties even when I don’t have musical talent at all

Undergraduate School and Major: BA in Economics with an MF

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Senior Sales Finance Manager at Procter and Gamble

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? I would describe my classmates as collaboratives. During the program, I have worked with many teams. What they all have in common is that they understand the importance of sharing their ideas and points of view, embracing diversity, and being open to debates in order to promote the best learning environment for each other. I would also describe them as very approachable and with a strong sense of community, always willing to support others during our journey.

How has the case method enriched your learning? The case method has enriched my academic learning significantly, it has represented a “business fly simulator”, providing us the opportunity to learn from real-life scenarios in a controlled environment. Additionally, the case method has to be an important opportunity to work in teams and learn from different backgrounds and thinking schemes, improving not only my learning scope but also helping me improve communication, listening and persuasive skills

Aside from classmates and cases, what part of the school’s MBA programming led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Ivey Business School is well-known for having one of the greatest and most valuable alumni network, which represents an important asset when finding a promising job. Additionally, it has the best career management services in Canada, which will help me get prepared and enhance my networking skills, be mindful of where I want to be, how I can reach my career goals, and how I can leverage my past experiences to reach those goals.

Also, Ivey’s MBA is a fast track program, which means that I will have the opportunity to complete the #1 Canada’s MBA, return to the workforce, and retake my career sooner than with any other program.

You moved online quickly after arriving on campus due to COVID-19. What has the transition been? How has an online platform impacted your relationships with your peers? During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ivey community, faculty and students have learned to get the most out of technological solutions through different platforms, using polls, breakout rooms for class discussions, and digital whiteboards during classes. This made the transition easier for us. On the other hand, Ivey included bi-weekly events (Teachable Moments) where we learn from Ivey Alumni with C-suite roles in business dynamics. It is important to highlight that having to work in teams in a day-to-day basis has contributed to building relationships with my peers, as well as other online social events. Also, we have been able to meet face-to-face when possible, always following the Ontario regulation and safety measures.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I had the opportunity to be part of the team that was in charge of negotiating the union labor contract of a CPG company’s plant in Venezuela in a VUCA environment. During the process, I specifically led and designed the financial strategy, contributing to close the union contract on time with no business interruption, leading the team to create a solution that would fit the employees and management goals while delivering savings for the company.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I aim to be considered a business expert and a trustful leader, capable of managing diverse challenges. Therefore, an MBA is crucial in that it will help me to edify a business acumen in subjects such as marketing and operations, all of which will help me to evolve into a more well-rounded professional thanks to the business case-based method and the experiential learning activities. This will boost my leadership skills, assertiveness, and influence with multifunctional teams. Ultimately, this will be key to delivering and exceeding the intended results from both an organization and a business perspective.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Since the early steps of my research about MBA programs in Canada, I knew that Ivey was going to be the top option of my list. Not only because it is well-known as the #1 Canada MBA, but also because its case-based learning method, its large and valuable alumni network, its strong career services and the opportunity to complete the program in one year make it the perfect bundle for me to reach my career goals sooner. I could not find another program that offered me similar benefits, so I only applied to Ivey. 

What did you do during the application process that enabled you to get accepted into Ivey? During my application process, it was key for me to conduct research about Ivey’s values, ideals, and community in order to be sure that it was going to fit my values, personality, and expectations. At the same time, it was important for me to think deeply about my previous experiences and identify my personal and professional goals to understand how Ivey could help me reach them. Being in contact with the admissions team, reading about the school, and even reaching Ivey MBA2020 students helped me realize that Ivey would be the main driver for my personal and professional development.

What is the biggest epiphany you’ve gained about yourself or the world since you started at Ivey? Despite having nine years of professional experience before coming to Ivey and working with several groups at work and even while completing other programs, Ivey has provided me the opportunity to master my teamwork skills. The opportunity to experience day-to-day learning team meetings has helped me boost it to the next level. I’ve been able to define the best strategies and approaches to solve problems, manage conflicts, identify skills among team members, define roles and responsibilities, and understand how to work with peers. The 48-hours-reports have been the cherry on top by pushing us to master these skills in the least time possible.


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.