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Cristina Egocheaga De la Cruz

Nationality: Peruvian
Age: 32
Last job title: solutions team leader for NTT DATA in Peru
Previous degree: bachelor in business management at Pontifical Catholic University of Peru

1. Why did you choose to go back to school for an MBA? And why did you choose RSM?

“After years of working in project management in the heat of IT transformation, I wanted to go back to my roots of business management, and I wanted to focus on sustainability. RSM and the Netherlands have a lot of sustainability initiatives on corporate level. I wanted to explore this further.”

2. How would you describe your RSM MBA experience so far?

“We explore current practices in different industries, as we learn to adapt in a constantly changing world. The modules are refreshing, updated and interesting. I rediscovered strategic management. We’re being pushed to be more effective and competitive, and to improve teamwork abilities. We also went to MBAT in Paris, which expanded our comfort zone. The RSM MBA forces us to try new things, so we can hit the job market with all-rounded experiences.”

3. What has been the biggest adjustment for you, while living in Rotterdam? 

“I’ve been able to adapt really well. The city and campus environment are so international. It’s an enriching experience. Just remember to always keep your umbrella and raincoat with you!”

4. What has been the most challenging assignment or course during the MBA?

“The most challenging has been finance because I hadn’t done this much in my work. I’m learning to ask for help from my peers. Some classmates have a finance background and they’re open to share.”

5. In what way has the Personal Leadership Development programme (PLD) affected you?

“RSM’s Personal Leadership Programme helps me adapt to different working environments and cultures, especially given the diversity of the cohort. In one experiment we had to change a specific behaviour to improve. I wanted to practise a different approach to leadership: having a positive attitude when things get stressful or emotional. We learned tools and a framework to try new things and new behaviours and learn from them.”

6. How are you planning to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals through business?  

“I want to make sure the job market is inclusive for everyone, including people in the last stages of their career. My close family in their 50s and 60s has had challenges to relocate themselves and find jobs. This is a long-term goal. I also have a personal goal to explore the European job market, for example in the consulting sector to help clients make sustainable decisions. I want to see how this is done here and then maybe replicate in Peru.”

7. How have you utilised RSM’s alumni network and the career development team?

“I’m using the alumni network to explore job opportunities here in the Netherlands. And the career team has been very helpful in giving me a broad scope of the job market, and supported me in setting up plans A and B to be prepared when I start looking for jobs.”

8. What advice could you give to people who are considering doing an MBA?

“It’s important to know why you want to do an MBA but don’t be restrained by it. The MBA is an open environment to explore. Adapt to new things you’re learning, and be open to reconsider what’s most important to you – you may be surprised at your new perspectives to life and work.”

9. Has your MBA journey changed your outlook on what your career will be like after doing an MBA?

“I initially wanted to focus completely on sustainability in my career transition. But then I remembered why I liked ‘strategy’ so much. I want to combine the two, for example by doing consulting in a sustainability project. I want to give priority to a company that has sustainability practices and initiatives as part of their value propositions.”

10. What does the future hold for you?

“Good question! I want to be involved in an implementation project that can make tangible changes in sustainability projects. It still feels abstract, like a painting on canvas that keeps taking shape. This is the fun of it: you build something new every day. I hope this keeps happening after the MBA so I can continuously tap into that.”