Marixcela Victoria was voted the best leader in the class at the end of The Lisbon MBA International, a partnership between Portugal’s top two business schools – Católica-Lisbon and Nova SBE – and US b-school behemoth MIT Sloan.
Now, she’s an operations manager at Amazon in the UK, managing over 100 people.
Marixcela applied for Amazon’s Pathways Leadership Development Program after the firm presented to The Lisbon MBA class on campus. She had a phone interview, an in-depth interview with HR, and a day of four Skype interviews before securing the job.
She completed The Lisbon MBA by January 2017. She started her new job in April.
Before business school, Marixcela worked the entirety of her early professional life in her native Panama. The Lisbon MBA – which includes a one-month immersion in the US at MIT Sloan – was her number one choice.
At Amazon, Marixcela is still in a minority in a famously male-dominated industry. However, The Lisbon MBA is promoting women in tech.
From the last class, two of Marixcela’s close female friends got jobs at Microsoft, three more women went into Amazon’s pathways program.
What advice do you have for MBAs applying for jobs at Amazon?
Amazon is very focused on its leadership principles, and anyone that wants to fit with the company will identify themselves with them. Go to the website, look through the leadership principles, and if they’re related to the experience you have, and what you’re looking for in a company, then Amazon is something worth looking into.
Amazon offers a lot of opportunities. It’s constantly changing and growing really strongly in the UK. Going to business school gives you more opportunities to meet recruiters face-to-face. You have careers fairs and the careers team can put you in touch with companies. Business school opens more doors than if you were just applying on your own.
How are you applying your MBA learnings in your current role?
The Lisbon MBA focuses a lot on soft skills. Right now, I’m managing over 100 people. It’s really important to have strong soft skills, like leadership and communication.
I’m able to use all those little tricks and things we practiced during the MBA – how to present, give feedback, and engage with people working with me.
Why did you decide to pursue the Lisbon MBA?
I’ve travelled quite a bit for my education. I did my bachelor’s degree in Canada, and my master’s in Spain. I wanted to try somewhere else in Europe. I had visited Portugal before, it’s a beautiful country with a strong startup scene and a lot of cultural diversity – a really good place to be.
The Lisbon MBA caught my eye because of its ranking, value for money, and because it offered the one-month immersion at that tech mecca MIT. At MIT, we had a month of nine courses relating to entrepreneurship, leadership, and the latest economic trends.
What else stands out from your Lisbon MBA experience?
In middle of the MBA, we were able to choose between a summer internship, a consulting project, or working on a startup idea. I decided to do a summer internship and was accepted to intern at a Portuguese highway company. I got to improve a new language, and work on the marketing side – something I’d always wanted to explore.
Would you be where you are today without the Lisbon MBA?
The Lisbon MBA was a pivotal point in my career. Amazon’s visit to campus made it much easier to meet the HR recruiters and get to know about the Pathways program. Definitely, that first contact was very important in getting me where I am right now.
The network of people I’ve created has also been really important. I was able to polish my leadership skills, and I was recognized as the best leader in the MBA class, winning an award at the end of the year.