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Natalia Almendariz Perea

Nationality: Peruvian
Age: 31
Job: Key account sales executive at Nestle in Peru
Previous degree: Post bachelor in industrial engineering from the University of Lima

Natalia Almendariz Perea

1. Why did you choose an MBA at RSM?

“I chose to study at RSM because it aligns with my purpose of being a force of positive change. Through its diverse cohort of more than 48 countries as well as its skilled and recognised professors, I wanted to develop a deeper understanding of the world and sustainable business. With this new knowledge, I can make a greater impact influencing my close circle and supporting the world in its sustainability transition.”

2. What expectations did you have of studying for your MBA during the Covid-19 pandemic?

“You expect things from life, but the reality is often different. We must be brave enough to accept this and continue. I decided to start my MBA despite the Covid-19 circumstances because I didn’t want to delay my personal and professional growth. This global challenge teaches us to embrace change and encourages us to adapt and be flexible. Thanks to this, I’m a more resilient person today.”

3. How would you describe your RSM MBA experience?

“My RSM MBA journey has been an evolving process on a personal and professional level. Personally, I learned to adjust to a new lifestyle and a more organised and sustainability-oriented culture. Professionally, I pushed myself to train my soft and hard skills to the limit so I can take them forward. My philosophy is to motivate and encourage yourself constantly, be genuine with feedback, and be open to learning from your classmates. There are things out there that you didn’t even imagine you needed to learn.”  

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

“Rotterdam is really welcoming for international students. I love the city’s inclusiveness, diversity, sustainability, and how inspirational it is. As Rotterdam is a city rebuilt from war, it gives the feeling that we can always reinvent to become a better version of ourselves.”

5. What has been the most challenging so far?

“Adjusting to the new lifestyle as an international student, living away from home and incorporating to a new culture. Secondly, coping with stress, time, and team management. In this period, you will see a version of yourself you haven’t seen before, uncovering strengths and weaknesses that you didn’t know you had.”

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

“This is one of my favourite parts of the MBA. One way to be a force for positive change is to be a better version of yourself and inspire others to do the same. The course helped me define, plan and reflect my learning objectives and new behaviours in a more structured way. Through this process, my classmates supported me to reach my objectives while creating a safe place to do this. I genuinely believe that the course works as a strong base for any professional.”

7. If you had to choose one Sustainable Development Goal, which one would you choose, and why?

“SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) inspires me in a stronger level. Reaching business objectives has always been a great professional satisfaction but in the last years I acknowledged that if we want to be coherent with the environmental and societal global situation, we must start to grow in a different way. Tackling this economic SDG helps to reach other societal SDGs such as no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, and quality education. For this, SDG 8’s impact is exponential. It’s time for businesses to go beyond social responsibility and start focusing on creating shared value with its stakeholders to generate continuous impact.”

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

“Oh, yes. It has opened my eyes to new worlds. My initial plan to approach business more sustainably still stands, but now I’m more aware of how sustainability is introduced in the communication, strategy, and finance departments. I am also more aware of the applications that sustainability has in other industries such as energy, building and infrastructure, and aquaculture. This amplified vision encourages me to involve more with other departments, experiment in other industries and expand to new countries. The MBA is helping me to understand different perspectives, and linking it with my professional experiences and my country.”

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

“If you need it to develop and achieve your purpose and empower your passion, totally do it. It’s an investment, but the personal and professional momentum in which you are right now is very influential for the next years and this can be a game-changer. The RSM MBA gives you academic knowledge of business, a better understanding of yourself as a person and leader, and a better understanding of others as friends and teammates. This will result in improvements in your hard and soft skills and will open your world to uncountable new possibilities. If it is viable for you, there is nothing to lose but to enrich your future.”