Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Hilda Kristjansdottir, North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)

Hilda Kristjansdottir

University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School

“I’m an adventure-seeking, golf-playing travel enthusiast who loves to experience and learn new things.”

Hometown: Kopavogur, Iceland

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love to travel and have been to around 30 countries.

Undergraduate School and Major: Elon University, Finance

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Barclays, Assistant Vice President – Strategic Finance Partner in London, England

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Kenan-Flagler’s MBA curriculum or programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? It is hard to choose just one thing because UNC Kenan-Flagler’s programming has so much to offer However, I’m really excited about the Global Immersion Electives and being able to combine learning about business practices in different countries with my passion for traveling. UNC Kenan-Flagler’s entire program is also STEM certified, which is great for international students.

What has been your first impression of the Kenan-Flagler MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best Kenan-Flagler story so far. The sense of community I felt during the application process was one of the main reasons I was drawn to UNC Kenan-Flagler. People’s friendliness and willingness to help have been evident in all my experiences with the program and alumni. I have yet to meet a person at UNC Kenan-Flagler who doesn’t live by “The Carolina Way” and I think it’s simply because they don’t exist!

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Kenan-Flagler? I’m looking forward to getting involved with the different clubs. I’m excited to become a part of the Carolina Women in Business and connect with like-minded women. Gender equality is a very important topic to me. In the future, I hope to be able to leverage my experience at UNC Kenan-Flagler to increase gender diversity within financial services and help shape a positive future for the industry.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest personal accomplishment in my career is my last promotion at work. It came about after over a year of working from home, three U.K. lockdowns, and feeling isolated due to COVID-19. I’m proud to have been able to push through and come out ahead in a challenging situation. The experience gave me so much self-awareness that has made me a better person, colleague, leader and employee.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? One of my favorite books is Atomic Habits by James Clear. The book talks about how small changes can transform your habits and deliver amazing results. It is a great read for anyone looking to advance themselves.

Looking ahead two years, what would make your MBA experience successful? Doing well in classes and having a job offer at graduation the goal, but a successful MBA experience would be so much more than that. The next couple of years are a fantastic opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and get involved in as many things as time allows. I want to make an impact and hope to be able to help the community and prospective students in the same way that I was supported. I also hope to make friends and connections that last a lifetime.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Kenan-Flagler’s MBA program? Reach out to students, alumni and staff and ask questions. People are so willing to help and that is what made me feel like a part of the community even before I was admitted into the program.


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