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MBA Student Spotlight: Ana (Mexico)

Aug 16, 2022

Ana Paola De la Parra - Mexico

Darden Full-Time MBA '24


Q&A with B-Speak! Director Christina Ball 

Ana, tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am Mexican and hold an undergraduate degree in Finance and 9+ years of business experience in information analysis, strategic planning and socially responsible management across different industries including banking, non-profit, education, and industrials. I’m globally-oriented and social impact driven with an entrepreneurial spirit and a client solutions attitude. I’d say that my life’s purpose is to enjoy a “career with impact." I’m also a mother of two.


What initially inspired or motivated you to pursue an MBA at UVA Darden?

It was working at Mexico´s most renowned NGO a few years ago when I decided I wanted to pursue a career with impact. So, I decided to focus on strengthening my business judgment, my team working skills and my quantitative knowledge in order to help companies, governments and institutions to solve the world´s biggest challenges, while helping them create distinctive impact..

Tell us about your business background and your mission or goals for the longer term.

Leading a Mexican NGO to promote development and performing diverse roles at world-class corporations allowed me to visualize how socially responsible professionals can truly make a difference. My goal is to become a trusted advisor for institutions to help them be sustainable in their environments. The Darden MBA will fast-track me to becoming a development finance director by providing me with greater access to entrepreneurial resources, advanced financial tools, and a better understanding of different industries. I hope to eventually own a private equity fund to promote sustainable projects.

What are your first impressions of Charlottesville, Virginia and Darden/UVA?

Charlottesville is a college town full of energy, smart people, and a strong cultural environment. It is a wonderful city full of nature and incredible community. I am looking forward to meeting new people, having new personal and professional experiences, and exploring its natural beauty over the next two years.

What were your initial goals when you signed up for B-Speak! coaching?

Expanding vocabulary, improving pronunciation, and feeling more confident when speaking English with Americans.


How did your coaches, Beverly (Business English) and Ray (Public Speaking) help you towards these goals? How have they helped you prepare for your MBA program at Darden and, of course, life in the U.S.?

A 30-hour B-Speak! Business English course has helped me improve my pronunciation, expand my vocabulary and given me an overall feeling of confidence in my English language as I start my Darden MBA. Having my own moment to reflect, practice and converse with my professional, native speaking’ teachers -who are now also my friends- has been a growing experience, both personally and professionally. I am better prepared because of the tools, knowledge, and skills I gained through my B-Speak coaching course.

How would you describe B-Speak! to a friend or colleague?

B-Speak is a pre-MBA Business English Speaking coaching course that will help you prepare for your upcoming learning experience. Full of conversations, exercises, videos, articles, tips, and tricks, the course is a personalized tool that is tailor-made to your own requirements. It is a “MUST tool” if English is your second language.


Interested in learning more?

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