Every individual is a prism with many faces. This is why, when HBS requested a short introduction of me, my mind went blank. Who should I talk about? Should I talk about the certified project manager who led teams up to 10 people facing multicultural challenges? Or about the incurable traveler who has visited Argentina, China or Norway? Or about the mechanical engineer fixing airplane engines? About the art lover that visits every possible museum? About the initiator of many initiatives to foster women’s presence at all levels in the company and improve talent management? About the good friend of her friends, always willing to have a good chat? All these people are me, and without their mix one cannot understand my presence at HBS.
I started my career as an engineer in technical positions, calculating structures or working tool-in-hand with mechanics to make an airplane fly. Then, I evolved towards Project Management, having led international aerospace projects valued at several million dollars where negotiation skills often became more valuable than my technology background. Lately, I worked for Airbus leading a Spanish team from Phoenix, where I was in charge of supplier management. This evolution illustrates two of my main characteristics: my very varied interests and the will to progress into management. After ten years of industry experience, I clearly feel the need to add to my career profile, broaden my view of all company aspects, and re-direct my career even further than what I already have. Do not misunderstand me: I love the industry. I am still interested in the link to the customer and in the final product. But I want to see those aspects of a project from the general management perspective, either working in disciplines such as Operations or Strategy, or even consulting about it. I want to understand how the whole company moves, and not to limit myself to some of its areas.
HBS was therefore my perfect answer. Two years to take a deep breath. To explore career options dealing with real business cases. To become involved in the Women’s Association. To make lifelong friends from every imaginable origin. All this in a truly international, highly prestigious, and genuinely unique environment: HBS. A place to grow personally and professionally, where the prism of my personality with all of its faces and interests gets polished. I am excited, eager, slightly fearful and totally thrilled to start that process. Only a polished prism can shine.
– Yolanda Anton Perez, MBA 2015