Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Sebastian Martinez, Ivey Business School

Sebastian Martinez

Ivey Business School at Western University

“Born and raised in Colombia, passionate about marketing, food, and entrepreneurship.”

Hometown: Bogota, Colombia

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love to travel. I have visited 30 countries so far, and once the restrictions ease, I would love to continue exploring new countries and cultures.

Graduate School and Major: Universidad de Los Andes, Business Administration

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Mercari (Colombian CPG company) Head of Marketing

How has the case method enriched your learning? The case method is an incredible way of learning because it makes each class an engaging conversation, giving us the chance to contribute from a unique perspective. As students, we are highly involved in each class, which helps our learning process. The discussions are always interesting, and the professors make sure that conversations go in the right direction to get the most out of each case. Having to make real-life decisions with sometimes limited information is fascinating, and it gives us the chance to understand distinct approaches to the same situation. We also learn how to communicate our ideas based on alternative solutions, which is a crucial skill for future managers. On top of that, getting to learn about various industries across different geographies has been fascinating.

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? As an international student wanting to transition into the Canadian workspace, I wanted to ensure the school I chose would help me understand the Canadian work environment and build the necessary tools to succeed in it. To me, Career Management is this, and much more. They are incredible partners who make sure we have all the capabilities to succeed in our post MBA journey and outstanding people who care about students on a personal level. That made the difference for me, as I was looking for a personal connection between the school and me, and I experienced it since my first connection with the school.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Supportive. It is incredible to see how supportive this cohort is. We are always able to find someone in the class willing to help with any issue that arises. From hosting extra help sessions to reinforce materials learned in a class to make sure we are having a good time and taking care of our mental health, everyone is so open to helping in any way they can that we genuinely feel like a big family helping each other to succeed.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: When I was working for Coca-Cola’s bottler back in Colombia, I co-led a multidisciplinary team to launch a new juice product into the market. This was one of the most important launches of the Coca-Cola system. I participated in the whole process from ideation to execution, which was an enriching experience to understand the innovation process. We introduced new flavors into the category, and the launch was very successful since we expanded the consumer base, won market share, and met the sales target.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: Since the beginning of the program, I wanted to make sure I had the chance to positively impact my classmates, so that’s why I pursued the role of president of the Sales & Marketing Club. By holding this position, I am working to help my classmates in three ways: education, networking, and career.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I have been working in marketing for the past five years of my career, and I wanted to continue growing in this stream in Canada. I realized that I wanted to learn more about customer behavior, sales channels, and innovation in other countries. Canada was also very appealing to me. Its geography, the different ways businesses operate through a different mix of sales channels, and its multiculturalism caught my attention. I want to become a more holistic professional with more managerial knowledge, so that’s why I chose Ivey MBA at this point in my career.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Ivey caught my attention from the beginning of my research for a top business school for two reasons, apart from being a one-year program and a case-based study. First, the personal approach of every single person I interacted with before getting accepted was fabulous. The recruiting team, career management, faculty, and alumni all interacted with me from a personal level. They wanted to know more about me and not only my professional background. Second, getting the chance to live in a small city like London, Ontario, would help the cohort be closer. For these reasons, I only applied to Ivey Business School.

What did you do during the application process that enabled you to get accepted into Ivey? When I was in the application process, I wanted to get the closest idea of what was going to be my day-to-day at Ivey if I got accepted. So, I decided to visit the school and sit in a class. In that visit, I talked with students and faculty, and all of them connected with me at a personal level. That was when I realized the importance of being myself in every part of the application process and show my personal side, which I consider was very important for my acceptance.


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