2021 MBAs To Watch: Cristian Arens, IE Business School

Cristian Arens

IE Business School

“I am an entrepreneur who wants to change the world through financial education.”

Hometown: Lima, Perú

Fun fact about yourself: I have traveled to 34 countries.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Bachelor in Business Administration in “Universidad del Pacífico” in Lima, Peru.

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? I was and am still a full time content creator, mainly on Youtube with more than 150,000 subscribers with my channel “Cristian Arens,” which focuses on financial education and entrepreneurship. I started this journey three years ago because I saw that there was a need for people in Peru to be better financially educated, and now I see the need all over the world.  As a result, I try to teach them how to save, invest, manage credit cards, and other personal finance issues. My goal is to be able to positively impact more than 10 million lives, in this way, in 2021.  Last year, more than 2.5 million people who saw the videos.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2020? N/A

Where will you be working after graduation? I will continue to work on this content creation and my YouTube channel, where I hope it is positioned in the top 5 of the best Spanish language entrepreneurship and financial education channels.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: n/a

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school?

During my MBA at IE Business School, my book Código Dinero: 4 pasos para hacer que tu dinero trabaje por ti has achieved the top best seller position in two categories (personal finances in Spanish and also personal development in Spanish) around the world on Amazon.com. In the book, I detail the four steps to make your money work for you: invest in yourself, know and understand what to invest in, start investing, and generate residual income. It is a fairly straightforward book to help readers understand personal finance.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? My biggest achievement in my professional career is to be able to do what I love every day and to live my life at the fullest having a positive impact on other people. I come from a family who has always worked for large companies in Peru. Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to be an entrepreneur. In fact, I started when I was 16 years old buying and selling things at school and then through social networks. When I finished university at the age of 22, I launched a startup, which lasted for a year but then failed (I learned a lot), and so I began to work in a large company in Peru. My “hobby” at that time was making financial education videos. A few years passed and I was able to quit my job to dedicate myself full time to this hobby. And now I continue to pursue this passion.

Why did you choose this business school? IE Business School did a great match with me because they promote multicultural experiences, entrepreneurship, and innovation, which are my main interests. Besides, they are in one of my favorite cities around the world: Madrid.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? It was Jose Esteves because he is really passionate about his subject; he not only knows the theory but the practical aspects of innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship. One moment that I really liked in his class was when he was talking to us about YouTube and Google. Suddenly he showed us his YouTube channel and the millions of views he had achieved by uploading just one video per year.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? It’s not necessarily a tradition, but a value: diversity. There are more than 50 nationalities in my intake of +250 people.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why?

I think I would not do anything different from the beginning of my MBA program; the only thing I would have liked to do before is join more clubs such as entrepreneurship and innovation. However, I still have time so maybe I will soon!

What is the biggest myth about your school? It was all better than I expected, actually.

What surprised you the most about business school? The multi-cultural experiences, as an example my workgroup of five people included students from Mexico, Japan, Ecuador, India and me from Peru. If it weren’t for IE, I would have never met people from so many different places, at least all at one time.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I did a video for the application process just as if it were one of my YouTube channel videos. I think it was pretty good!

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? It was Ippei Morioka from Japan. He is not only a great team member, but he has some other incredible qualities such as being an entrepreneur with two companies in japan. He has a family with three kids and he is the best soccer player at the intake.

How disruptive was it to shift to an online or hybrid environment after COVID hit?

IE Business School has done a great job in working to protect the students and still give us a really good experience between online and face-to-face classes. I think the health passport and all the security measures they have in place are amazing.

For me, that experience was unique because it showed me how it could be done. Whereas, for example in Peru, education is 100% online right now due to COVID.  Although I prefer to have face-to-face classes; it’s great to be able to do it online when it is necessary.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Definitely my parents, both of them study business administration so I just followed their steps.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • Achieve 1,000,000 subscribers on YouTube.
  • Visit 50 countries before I am 30 years old.

What made Cristian such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“As a YouTube influencer, Cristian Arens combines his financial investor and entrepreneur skills to become a trendsetter that social media users trust to learn and also identify the boiling trends and products. It was quite exciting to see the faces of his MBA colleagues in the social media class when I mentioned that we had a top influencer in class. He shared some of his experiences and helpful tips with his peers.”

Jose Esteves
IE Business School Professor


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