Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Lucía Donnangelo, London Business School

Lucía Donnangelo

London Business School

“I thrive on the pursuit of excellence and on generating profound impact.”

Hometown: Montevideo, Uruguay

Fun Fact About Yourself: I co-founded a dance academy at 15 and taught dancing for 5 years.

Undergraduate School and Major: Economist, Universidad de Montevideo

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Ciudadanos, Policy Director for National Presidential Campaign

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? LBS offered me a great opportunity to hone my technical and leadership skills as well as tailor my studies. A flexible program and compelling curriculum with specific concentration electives are exactly what I’m looking for at this stage of my career.

Also, as someone who loves sharing and being surrounded by people, I deeply identified with the strong sense of community conveyed by all members of the school. This was particularly important to me when I thought about moving to London —such a dynamic, diverse, fast-paced city— and it is even more relevant in this challenging time that exposes us to greater levels of uncertainty, virtual interaction, enormous opportunity, and a call for unity.

To top it all, LBS offers considerable extracurricular opportunities to take the most out of these two years. Hands-on learning experiences such as the GBE or London CAP, innumerable clubs, and the extraordinary offer of conferences and events made the programme even more attractive.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Although most of us haven’t met face to face yet, I’m very impressed by how incredibly proactive, collaborative and inspiring my future classmates are. In light of COVID, about four months before starting the MBA program, we began to know each other via frequent small virtual meetings, to share our stories and different career insights by organizing sector specific presentations and even to coordinate virtual yoga and gym classes. A special thank you to the amazing QuaranTeam! In this short time, I learned a lot from others’ outstanding experience and I’m sure we have begun growing long-lasting friendships.

What makes London such a great place to earn an MBA degree? London — what a great privilege to be here! Undoubtedly his city and its eclectic nature is bound to make the MBA experience even more meaningful.

LBS is embedded in one of the most important, dynamic, and cosmopolitan cities in the world. Also, it is one of the world’s tech and financial hubs, two sectors that I am especially interested in. The mix of LBS and London offers great opportunities. There are opportunities to explore different internships and projects, to interact with prestigious speakers and acclaimed professors, and to get to know a big part of the alumni community.

I’m thrilled to live in a vibrant city that is home to amazing cultural and art expressions, enormous green parks, historical spots, diverse cultures, and varied neighbourhoods and restaurants. I may need more than two years to discover it all!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I was working at CERES, Uruguay’s top think tank, when my boss decided to run for president and asked me to be the Policy Director of the campaign. Although I must admit I had never thought of going into politics, being part of the construction of a new political sector and working for Uruguay’s future motivated me to embrace this challenge. And that’s where my biggest accomplishment comes in: I led a team of 300+ people to create a new Policy Plan.

I built the team from scratch and after some months there, we were more than 300 people divided in 50 different government areas with a clear work structure. Together with this remarkable group of experts, we developed a new Policy Plan with clear diagnoses, achievable goals, and concrete courses of action in each of the 50 areas.

It was a big challenge but, more importantly, an enriching and life-changing experience — I was entrusted to lead and, in doing so, refined my personal and professional goals. I’m grateful to have met so many people driven by the desire to contribute and impact a country’s development. It is gratifying to know that this policy unit is still active, with some of its members in government roles.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I’m ready to seek new horizons and take my career to the next level. After five intense years of different professional challenges and learnings, I have now set my sights on a new goal. I strongly envision the private sector as an instrument for change and I want to set the sails of my career towards that vision. After a lot of research and introspection, I decided an MBA was the best option to capitalize on my experience and complement my skillset.

I’m excited to be immersed in such a learning experience that will help me better understand the workings of the corporate world, delve into the different paths to take (especially interested in the potential of finance and tech), enhance my expertise with specific courses and clubs, and gain a more global perspective.

Lastly, I think about the MBA as an academic, professional, but also personal project. My husband is also starting the MBA at LBS this year and we’re both committed to making the most out of this exceptional shared project.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Only one more: IESE

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? One of the questions that challenged me the most was: this: What’s your leadership style?

This question stimulated me to conceptualize something that I had been doing by intuition and trial-and-error. It helped me reflect about myself, my actions, and problem-solving skills. I selected the most challenging situations and carefully thought how I had proceeded, who my advisors were, what made me succeed, or what could have been done better. In the end, it was a very helpful exercise!

How did you determine your fit at various schools? My first approach was to do the best online research possible. I read about the school and its different programs. I analysed the MBA structure and its courses, the clubs list and their activities, the employment reports, countless alumni blogs, and more. I also seriously considered the school’s location and each city’s pros and cons. But what tipped it for me was speaking with different students and alumni. I was delighted to see how friendly and generous everyone was when sharing their advice and experience.

I was also fortunate enough to visit LBS during the application process. I got a front row glimpse of the culture, what campus life in London feels like and met with even more students. LBS was definitely it!

What have you been doing to prepare yourself for business school? I gave myself the opportunity and time to explore different sectors and ideas with an open mind and introspective attitude. I read LBS sector guides and career material and talked with many people: my previous university classmates, my career mentors, Uruguayan professionals whom I follow and admire, MBA students and graduates, and my future LBS classmates. I have a big notebook with all the insights and advice from these conversations and I constantly find myself reviewing it. I also dedicated some time to learning new skills such as Python and SQL and joined various school webinars.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? It is difficult to think about one specific defining moment, but I would like to mention two factors that shaped my way of being.

First, my family. It is impossible to answer one of these questions without mentioning them. I was raised in a big multicultural family that taught me all I know about values, true love, commitment, and work-ethic. Through their example, my parents instilled in me a go-getter attitude and pushed me to strive for my goals.

At another level, graduating as an economist significantly influenced me. I studied economics to develop a conceptual framework of human behaviour and to try to understand how the global economy works. Economics brought together my love of people and analytical mindset, and my academic experience inspired my goals and aspirations.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? Professionally, I’m inspired by many companies that are shaping the future’s landscape. Still, driven by my passion for the outdoors, I must admit that Patagonia would be one of my favourite companies. There is a lot to learn from them, especially how they use business to lead change and how they are constantly searching for innovation opportunities on these matters.

DON’T MISS: Meet London Business School’s MBA Class Of 2022

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