Andrea Cornejo was born and raised in El Salvador. In 2015, she moved to Germany to study for MBA at EU Business School in Munich and has been living in the city ever since. She is a native Spanish speaker, is fluent in English and French, and is studying German. An economist, Andrea has occupied roles in small and large companies and has become familiar with business areas from financial advice to managing employee performance. In this interview she talks about her ambition to advance her career with an MBA and how the programme made her a better professional.
Can you tell us about your role as Senior Financial Analyst at Steelcase?
As a Senior Financial Analyst, I perform a variety of activities, including budgeting, forecasting, building financial models, assisting with financial planning, performing research and analysis, preparing reports and assisting with finalising processes in order to help higher management make better decisions.
What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself professionally in 10 years' time?
I don’t see myself building a career in financial expertise; rather I see myself increasing my knowledge in other areas of finance or perhaps even in other departments. Of course, just like all ambitious people, I aspire to grow vertically in the company and become a board member. More precisely, I see myself as a financial leader, perhaps in the Spanish-speaking market.
Why did you decide to study for an MBA?
I wanted to set myself a new challenge. I wanted to refocus my career path and explore new horizons. I expected the MBA to help me advance in my career; an MBA qualification on your CV/résumé gives you the edge you need to stand out from competitors.
And, as a globally recognised qualification, an MBA opened up greater opportunities to work in a country or geographical region of my choice.
You chose to major in international business. How did you choose this focus?
I chose international business because it gives you a competitive edge in domestic markets and creates new opportunities in foreign markets. So, whether I stayed in Germany or returned to El Salvador, I would have a competitive advantage by knowing how to do business in different parts of the world.
What aspect of the MBA programme did you find most valuable?
The MBA gave me many valuable benefits including access to global job opportunities, a higher salary, and the development of business and soft skills, such as emotional intelligence. It also enabled me to build an international network. Collaborating with people from around the world was very enriching and taught me how to adapt to different cultures.
How has the MBA programme impacted your career?
The MBA didn’t just increase my overall business knowledge, but also helped me develop my own thinking. Most importantly, it developed my soft skills including leadership, people management, networking, relationship development and taught me how to manage difficult situations, such as a financial crisis.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to accelerate their career with an MBA?
If you plan to change careers but the industry evolves in a way that messes with your plans, the skills you develop doing an MBA will help you to quickly adapt and find a new direction. You will also be able to take advantage of economic changes and find new business opportunities when others are simply trying to survive.
You're now part of a network of 27,000 EU Business School alumni. What have you found valuable about being a member of the global community?
EU’s global community offers an excellent way to interact with fellow alumni for a common good. Members of the network have a wealth of experience and skills to share to inspire and motivate current students. And some alumni offer practical support to students through work placements, helping them to launch their careers. The network is also a friendly introduction to the art of networking.
EU Business School offers an internationally recognised MBA programme and a choice of 11 specialisations. Find out more at euruni.edu.