Maria Ximena Guzman
Full-Time MBA student

Work experience prior to the Business School: I am a corporate lawyer and experienced in-house employment relations lawyer for a multilateral organisation. For the last three years, I worked as a corporate matters and labour relations consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), which is the leading source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Greatest academic, professional or personal awards/achievements: I am a lawyer admitted to practice law both in the State of New York and Colombia, which means I am licensed to practice in a Common Law and a Civil Law jurisdiction. I am a scholar recipient at Imperial College for the Full-Time MBA.


Why did you decide to study your programme and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?

The MBA was a great opportunity to further develop my leadership skills. As a lawyer, I also wanted to work on my quantitative skills and the MBA is the right programme to work on both of these aspects at the same time. The personal leadership journey at Imperial College was one of the reasons I decided to come to the school. Because we are a small cohort I had the opportunity to really develop a personal relationship with my career coach, making the most out of my time and all the resources available. Having a small group also makes you closer not only to your classmates but also to the faculty and administrative staff, and everyone gets to know you.

What makes the programme you are studying at Imperial College Business School unique?

The relationship you build with the school. You are not a number or one more student. Everyone here knows you by your name, they know your background.

What has been the most rewarding and most challenging part of the programme?

The 360 challenge was an opportunity to step completely out of my comfort zone and put a project in place in less than three days. The results were outstanding and it was very satisfactory.

Coming from a non-technical background is has been challenging learning to work with engineers, doctors and people from other backgrounds, while I think in words, they think in numbers.


Which seminars, events or guest lectures at the school that have been useful in developing your skills and knowledge?

Professor Charlie Donovan is great. His workshop on corporate ethics was outstanding. Also, Professor Franklin Allen on Corporate Finance is remarkable, he is very dedicated to his students and very patient with people who like me come from a different background, I am not afraid to talk numbers anymore.

How would you describe your cohort at Imperial?

Diverse is the only word.

What clubs, societies or other activities have you been involved in at Imperial?

I have been involved with an initiative called Womentourage, trying to promote women at the Business School, and raising awareness about gender equality. I have also participated in several events of the consulting club.


What has been the greatest opportunity you have had at Imperial that you wouldn’t get anywhere else?

Having a career coach assigned to you, with whom you may talk every week about anything from which industry to look into, all the way to doing case interviewing practice.

How have you benefited from the services provided by the Career and Professional Development Service?

I have attended several of their workshops and they have definitely helped me improve my presentation skills and overall leadership style.

What are your career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?

I would like to work on consulting and Imperial has helped me develop several of the skills necessary to success in such environment, like strategic problem thinking.


Whereabouts do you live in London and why did you choose to live there?

I live close to King Cross, I like to be very central and close to an area with restaurants and places where I can go to grab a beer and watch a football match.

As an international student, what have been the benefits in regards to moving to London?

The benefits are the access to cultures from all over the world. You can find food from anywhere in the world in London.


What advice would you give someone who was thinking about applying to this course?

Make the most of the opportunities outside of the classroom, attend as many workshops as possible and don’t forget to enjoy the city.

Full Time MBA
Undergraduate education:

Law Degree from Universidad de los Andes LLM Corporate Law from NYU School of Law

Job prior to Imperial College Business School:

Corporate Affairs and Employee Relations Consultant, Inter-American Development Bank