Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Sandra Cuevas, U.C. Berkeley (Haas)

Sandra Cuevas

University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business

“Passionate about social impact, family and friends – and always ready for new experiences!”

Hometown: Vitoria, Spain

Fun Fact About Yourself: In the past seven years I have moved over 15 times to different cities and countries. (Spoiler: the packing and administrative tasks never get easy!)

Undergraduate School and Major:

Master of Science in International Management at Bocconi University (Italy)

Bachelor of International Relations & Political Science at Sciences Po Paris (France)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Siemens Advanta Consulting, Senior Strategy Consultant

Berkeley Haas is founded on four Defining Leadership Principles: Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself. Which principle resonates most with you and why? Beyond Yourself. Reflecting on my professional and academic journey, I have always felt most energized when I could contribute in ways that benefit others, such as working on financial inclusion programs, raising funds for disaster relief, or developing a sustainability consulting portfolio to enable private clients to achieve positive impact. I want to surround myself with individuals who seek positive impact beyond themselves and also inspire and mobilize others to drive change. I am convinced that social impact and business are interconnected, and I am looking forward to exploring this intersection at Haas.

What word best describes the Haas MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far and why? Caring. Everyone that I have met at Haas has always been willing to help, share tips, answer questions, and go the extra mile to make my experience as smooth and as great as possible.

Aside from classmates and the Defining Leadership Principles, what was the key part of Berkeley Haas’ MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Aside from the school’s culture, I chose Haas for its “Go for it!” attitude, entrepreneurial energy, and Bay Area location! I find it important to immerse myself in such an environment and to gain access to a wide network of entrepreneurs, professors, and peers who share my entrepreneurial drive.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Berkeley Haas? I am excited to join the Net Impact organization to connect with fellow Haasies who are interested in achieving social impact in their personal and professional lives.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: From 2013 to 2015, I managed and served as president of a local UNICEF organization in France. During my tenure, I multiplied our social engagement and outreach by raising funds and creating awareness about children’s rights.  I also doubled my team’s size through intensified recruiting, establishing dedicated committees to support the organization’s vision, and building strong external partnerships that allowed us to significantly increase our outreach. I was very proud to deliver on my vision of a larger and stronger organization that created a tangible impact.

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? The pandemic helped me slow down and reflect on what’s important to me. As a result, I’ve decided to focus my energy on work that really matters, creating and innovating, and family, friends and self-care. It also renewed my appetite for adventure and change.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I decided to pursue an MBA because I wanted to go out of my comfort zone and immerse myself in an environment where I would be challenged and encouraged to learn, challenge the status quo, and innovate daily. I see the MBA as an explorative opportunity and I hope to enhance my skills, tools, and network in the sphere of social entrepreneurship and innovation. Beyond my professional ambitions, I think the MBA will be a unique and rewarding personal adventure that I cannot wait to embark on!

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Harvard, Stanford, Booth, Columbia

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Berkeley Haas’ MBA program? Reach out to the Haas community early on and ask us about our experience!


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