For Shaun Hundle, MBA 19, his International Business Development (IBD) experience in Mexico City provided exactly the opportunity he wanted to hone his ability to “leverage influence in a larger institution.” It also proved to be “invaluable as an internship-like experience to talk about in interviews when I was recruiting in the Fall semester, which can be particularly important for Evening & Weekend MBA students who want to switch or advance their careers with a new employer.”
IBD is the flagship global management consulting program at the Berkeley Haas School of Business. Its impact is twofold: IBD connects clients with talented MBA students ready to tackle a variety of value-enhancing projects, and it provides students with practical experience in international management consulting.
For two months in the summer of 2018, Shaun and his team worked with a large retail bank based in Mexico City. The five-member team was tasked with developing a plan to improve the customer acquisition experience. “Although I had previous consulting experience, I didn't have much experience working in fintech, retail banking, or payments, so this exposure to the industry was great in helping me decide where I wanted to focus my job search,” he says.
Starting on campus, the team applied lessons learned in core classes, including Micro- and Macroeconomics, Data & Decisions, and Design Thinking. “We created a structure, scope, and approach to the problem. We also tapped the Haas Alumni Network to identify benchmarks from similar projects using the same tools,” Shaun says. Onsite, they dove into the client’s data, conducted interviews, and applied behavioral economics concepts to develop a series of recommendations. “Our communication and presentation skills came to the fore in our final presentation to stakeholders, when we needed to be both succinct and persuasive,” he says.
In addition to the exposure to fintech, Shaun credits his IBD experience with sharpening his skills in managing various stakeholders from different divisions who sometimes had diverging perspectives. His biggest take-away? “It's important to listen and build trust with stakeholders before doing the more complicated work of presenting and recommending solutions that some stakeholders may not like.”
While in Mexico City, the team also took in the sights. “None of us had been to Mexico City before, so we visited the Frida Kahlo Museum, enjoyed the culinary scene, from taquerias to fine dining, and took a side trip to the Pyramid of the Sun in the ancient city of Teotihuacán,” he says.
As for that transition into fintech, after graduation, Shaun will take on a new position as a manager in the Consulting & Analytics division at Visa. “Unlike my previous consulting experience at the Swedish Trade and Invest Council, I will be working with fewer clients simultaneously, and I will be doing more quantitative data analysis than the qualitative consulting I had been doing,” he says. “My Berkeley Haas coursework, culminating with IBD, was an excellent opportunity to gain a new skill set and transition to the fintech industry with a globally recognized company.”