Interview with ‘19 MBA Libby Andrada; IBD Alum and now 2019 IBD Graduate Student Instructor
IBD is fortunate to have former ‘18 IBD Team Lead, Libby Andrada, join this year’s IBD program as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI). Her role is to offer the IBD Staff and Faculty Mentors insights into the current student perspective on the IBD program. IBD interviewed Libby about her experience as an IBD student last year, as well as her role as a GSI this year.
IBD: As a Team Lead for the Spring 2018 IBD Program with Makerere University. Tell us a bit about the project you worked on while in Kampala?
Libby: We worked with Makerere University and the government of Uganda to develop a strategy to grow the country’s tourism sector. Our time in Uganda was spent interviewing tourism industry stakeholders and exploring the country as tourists ourselves.
IBD: What surprised you most about what you got out of the IBD program?
Libby: What surprised me most about the IBD program was the access and responsibility our team was given. Our project was focused on growing one of Uganda’s most promising industries. We presented our final recommendations to the Prime Minister and various Ministers and members of government, including the Minister of Tourism.
IBD: Why did you decide you wanted to return this year as a GSI for the IBD program?
Libby: I had such a positive experience with IBD last year and learned so much that I wanted to give back to the program. Additionally, thinking back on my experience, I thought I would have benefited from knowing more about the student experience before our time in country with the team and the client – and wanted to share my learnings and experiences with this year’s IBD class.
IBD: It’s early in the semester, but have you gotten what you wanted out of the experience?
Libby: My favorite part so far has been brainstorming and problem solving with the different teams. The projects are all so different and I’ve enjoyed learning about the projects and trying to provide insights or examples from my own experience where I can.
IBD: How does it feel to be on the other side now, working with the staff and Faculty on the program verses being a student in the program?
Libby: I have so much more insight into all the behind the scenes work that takes place in order to make the program possible! I’m also realizing how, despite the differences in projects, there are a lot of learnings and experiences that can be shared across groups.
IBD: Do you have any advice for MBA students in IBD now? How about for prospective students looking at Berkeley Haas and IBD?
Libby: For current IBD students, my advice is to enjoy it! It goes by so fast and it’s one of the most unique experiences you can have at Haas. For prospective students looking at Berkeley Haas and IBD, I’ve learned that IBD is very unique to Haas. It allows students to not only gain consulting experience, but experience working in a different country with a different culture, which is extremely valuable.
IBD: What was the most memorable thing about IBD or traveling to Kampala?
Libby: The most memorable thing was presenting to the Prime Minister and then sitting next to him at a dinner that was hosted in our honor – that was a ‘pinch myself’ moment. Our team also got to go on safaris in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls National Parks, which was a definite highlight.
IBD: After you graduate, what will you be doing? Will you bring any of the skills or experiences learned in IBD to your new role?
Libby: After graduation I’ll be at Parthenon in San Francisco, so the skills I gained through IBD are very relevant! One of my biggest takeaways is the importance of expectation setting and being open and comfortable with ambiguity.
The IBD staff and Faculty Mentors are thrilled to have Libby on the team, and we look forward to her continued insights and contributions to the 2019 IBD program.