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Val Strappa, '11

Reengineering Director and Channel Development, Citigroup, Latin America


Nationality: Argentinean/Italian/Mexican

"Right now, my best friends are from Kazakhstan and Dubai, something that would have never happened without the Global Executive MBA program."

Global View

The global nature of Duke's Global Executive MBA program has helped me to expand how I make decisions and how I see things. I now understand Dubai and its financial restructuring, China and its economic development, and the challenges India faces in opening up its markets. The world is changing so quickly that I can now see how it might impact my own reality. For example, Mexico is highly dependent on the U.S. economy for exports and could regain market share from China and India in delivering services to the U.S. with the same or better quality and with easier logistics.

Five Program Strengths

Fuqua's Global Executive MBA program is the best choice I ever made as a business executive. It combined five very important features: 1) a strong focus on finance and leadership; 2) a sociological, political, and economic view of the world's most important economic centers; 3) the ability to continue growing at work; 4) an amazing network of friends; and 5) a great executive recruiting process.

Discipline Yields Success

I am very disciplined, which is a carryover from my professional tennis career. To manage my school and professional obligations, I realized that if I devoted two hours every day and six to eight every weekend, I could avoid being overloaded. I have proof that it worked because I managed to do an Ironman while working and studying toward my MBA!

Lesson Learned

Since completing my MBA, I am now able to see things from different social, economic, and cultural perspectives and have become more open and tolerant. We tend to characterize people, their cultures, and their countries, but once you see, first hand, their world and understand why they behave in certain ways, it opens your eyes and helps you to judge less. Being tolerant is critical to being successful in today's global marketplace.  It helps in your relationship with clients and suppliers and within organizations to better facilitate and execute projects globally.