Maria Paulina Duque, Manchester AMBS MBA Class of 2024
Hometown: Medellin, Colombia (Birthplace) Currently in Manchester UK
Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Manchester, Full-Time MBA
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): Film, Advertising and Marketing.
Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
Coming from film and marketing project management, I decided to study an MBA program as I am looking to move my career into a creative industry, consulting and advising with a focus on production, business strategy and digital transformation.
The biggest motivation to complete an MBA at this specific time is that in recent years I found myself in a position where I craved mentorship and learning from my peers, and in deciding to enroll in the program, I sought to find a place to foster that curiosity in a bustling environment full of talented individuals.
Why did you choose Manchester AMBS? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Having done my undergraduate degree in a recognized arts university in Canada with a strong theoretical focus, I felt keen to attend the University of Manchester as I sought an MBA with a strong practical focus that would give me insight into other industries, leveraging both my own, as well as my peers’ expertise in tangible situations.
What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2024?
I bring outside-the-box, creative thinking to business with strong marketing foundations. My exceptional organizational skills and enthusiastic outlook to problem-solving contribute curiosity and rigour to the teams and projects I work on.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I have exceptional jump rope abilities, which, combined with my passion for triathlon, keep me calm and allow me to disconnect to keep my mental health on track.
Post-MBA career interests:
With a passion for entrepreneurship, I would like to work with creative companies such as agencies, film & television studios, and streaming services, to develop business strategies for sustainable growth and digital transformation.
Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–My only advice would be for candidates from unconventional backgrounds. I encourage you to trust and believe in your abilities, knowing that everybody has something to offer in an MBA program. The first and most important thing you need to actually be equipped with is work ethic, curiosity and enthusiasm.
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
I would definitely book a call with the recruitment team. They are incredibly helpful, and can provide valuable insight into bursaries.
–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I would not be as worried about getting accepted, or downplay the value of my experience.
–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I wouldn’t have worried so much about the GMAT, nor spent months studying for it.
What is your initial impression of the Manchester AMBS students/culture/community?
I have been amazed by the warmth of other students and how tight the cohort is. Everybody has incredibly valuable insight and experiences to share, and most importantly, they are willing to share it.
What is one thing you have learned about Manchester AMBS that has surprised you?
I definitely underestimated the complexity of the not-for-profit projects AMBS sources, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have this experience.
What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I am most excited and somewhat anxious to find an internship in the very niche industry I am targeting; however, the Postgraduate careers team has been incredibly helpful to understand how to position myself for the placements.
What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Coming to the MBA program, I realized how much I know of certain things, and yet how little I know of some others. I am very excited to expand my understanding of corporate strategy in different industries and their applicability to my career.