Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Maria Jose Lagos, London Business School

Maria Jose Lagos

London Business School

“I am an extrovert person, enthusiastic about challenges and passionate about leadership.”

Hometown: Santiago, Chile

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have 6 siblings from 3 different mothers

Undergraduate School and Major: Bachelor in Business Administration, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Cornershop by Uber – Key Account Manager

What makes London such a great place to earn an MBA degree? London offers a perfect match of career opportunities and an unforgettable student experience. The city is a hub for the finance, retail, and tech industries and has developed a powerful start-up ecosystem over the last couple of years. An MBA in London opens as many doors as you can imagine.

Beyond the professional benefits, the opportunity to explore a multicultural city with countless museums, concerts, and parks brings an additional benefit to the MBA experience. I see great value in complementing the academic part of it with culture or enjoying outdoor activities, as well as having the opportunity to travel around Europe thanks to the great connectivity afforded by London.

London Business School is one of the most culturally and professionally diverse MBA programs in the world. How do you see these global perspectives enhancing the value of your business education over the next two years? I’ve had the opportunity of working with international teams and I was amazed by the way an international perspective can enrich a discussion. When facing any kind of challenge, a global perspective will expand the number of choices and solutions you can come up with.

In addition, a global perspective gives you a more tolerant mindset. Encouraging diversity within an organization can result not only in better quality teams but also in a richer culture.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of London Business School’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? It was The Wheeler Institute for Business and Development, which focuses on leveraging business to help solve our world’s biggest social and environmental issues. One of the main reasons why I want to pursue an MBA is to explore ways for companies to address social challenges with business solutions. Thus, the opportunity to study at a school that hosts such a relevant institution in the matter was one of the key factors that made me chose LBS.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at London Business School? I want to get involved with the Impact Consulting Club. I have worked in similar projects in Chile and I am excited to know the approach and methodology applied from a business school with an extremely diverse set of members.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: While I was working in CCU, the largest Chilean alcoholic and non-alcoholic producer as head of revenue management, I was assigned with the management of a consulting project performed by McKinsey & Co. Together with their team, we undertook a complete review of the strategy for the core part of the business that was consistently losing market share. After 6 months, we managed to deliver a detailed proposal that allowed the company to recover a great part of the lost market share while growing in profits. I was also responsible for the tools we had acquired and the implementation of the new strategy. This was a huge challenge from which I learned a lot.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I’ve been listening to “The Inquiry”, a BBC podcast. They address different topics from 4 different people’s perspectives and experiences. In 25 minutes, you can gain broader context on current affairs while listening to different point of views, which gives you a deeper understanding of today’s world.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? My career so far has focused on profits, strategy, and sales. Thanks to this, I understand how companies work and have a wide perspective on how corporate strategy is shaped and executed. Now, I want to connect corporate strategy with social impact in Chile and Latin America. After graduating, I want to work at a mission-driven company and contribute and learn as much as I can from it before bringing this knowledge back to Chile and founding my own company to serve society.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into London Business School’s MBA program? Be confident in who you are and what makes you special. There is no right answer or perfect match for the LBS community, so just be sure of truly showing your character and aspirations through the admissions process, as well as the contribution you can make to the program. Also, don’t forget to reflect on what this MBA specifically can give YOU so the admissions committee can also see that you will gain from this experience.


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