Luis Vega, '11
Chief Strategy Officer, Vecchiola S.A.
"Upon finishing the program, I started a new job as a Chief Strategy Officer that uses both my engineering and business school knowledge."
I met so many interesting people during my MBA, but one of the most amazing moments happened during a dinner while at one of our residencies. I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sit next to Tom Albanese, the CEO of Rio Tinto (2007-2013), the largest mining company in the world. We spoke about the rescue and backup plan of the trapped Chilean miners. He also gave me his opinion on the role of contractors in the mining industry and how it will change in the future. It was an unbelievable experience.
The greatest lesson I learned at Duke was how to work within the confines of a multi-cultural team. In the beginning of the program, I noticed that our differences were very apparent, but as we worked together, we learned to overcome those differences and develop effective strategies to complete assignments.
Learn Today. Apply Tomorrow
An immediate benefit from the program occurred while my company was in negotiations with a supplier. They weren't going well and we first thought our best course of action would be to cut the relationship and fight them in court. I presented different options to upper management using a decision tree, and based on my results, we determined that our best financial course of action was to continue the relationship. Also, after my last residency, I was part of a union negotiation team where I was able to use the formal negotiating skills I learned during my MBA.
New Global Role
After going through the program, I am better at developing relationships with new customers and suppliers all over the world. In the mining industry, you need to be strategic in choosing your suppliers because they provide the technology that allows you to compete in the marketplace. Now that I'm more comfortable working across cultures and engaging in a global business environment, I have greater potential to establish strong relationships and grow our business beyond Chile.