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MBA Student in the Spotlight

ABS student Executive Programmes

My name is Aline Villaschi, I’m Brazilian, passionate about life and always eager to learn and develop myself further.I was born in an amazing and extremely stimulating family. When I was 9-months old I moved with my mom, dad and three teenage brothers to the UK, where my parents pursued their PhDs.

For the next 4 years, we had the amazing experience of living abroad as a family and travelled a lot around Europe during school holidays. My parents and brothers are my biggest supporters in life and have always encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and pursue my dreams. So far I’ve lived in 5 countries (Brazil, UK, Italy, France and Netherlands) and speak 5 languages (Portuguese, English, Italian, French and Spanish). I love travelling (37 countries so far on the list and still counting ), dancing, reading and spending time with my loved ones.

Could you tell us more about your educational and professional background?

I went to university in Brazil where I completed by Bachelor’s in Psychology. Following that I pursued my dream of doing a Masters abroad by attending Birkbeck University of London. I joined the department of Organizational Psychology and attended the  Human Resource Management programme from 2011-2012 on a full-time basis. Afterwards I was offered a job as a HR Specialist within MANGO, a Spanish multinational fashion retailer. I was responsible for the HR operations within the UK & Ireland but a few months down the line I was given the added responsibility for supporting Italy as well. In September 2014 I was offered the Regional HR Manager for Benelux and moved over to Amsterdam, a city I instantly fell in love with. Last year (2016) I decided I wanted to broaden my knowledge of the business world and applied for the Amsterdam MBA program at ABS/UvA. A few months later I was offered a position at which I happily accepted and since then I work as a HR Business Partner for the Technology department.

Why did you decide to pursue your MBA at the Amsterdam Business School?

I decided to pursue the Amsterdam MBA for several reasons: as mentioned before, I wanted to broaden my business knowledge and understanding of strategy, innovation and how I can play a role in the world of business transformation. In addition, my experience working for two international, diverse and inspiring companies made me realise how much I enjoy working environments that provide me with such exchanges and experiences. Amsterdam Business School is such a place and has been offering me great learnings, amazing people to interact with and an environment I truly enjoy being part. Finally, the reputation of the University of Amsterdam, together with its location in the heart of the amazing city was the cherry on top of the cake!

What is the highlight of your studies so far?

I really enjoyed the Amsterdam Leadership Programme and the Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability course. Both made me very eager to make a difference in the very agressive corporate environment we all live in. I also appreciate the fact that the MBA programme is so varied in the topics and subjects it covers and I feel I have now a much better overview of business, strategy and innovation then I could ever imagine.

Who was your favourite professor?

My favourite professor up to now was Professor Jack  van der Veen, who taught Operations and Supply Chain Management. Both his passion for the subject (I must say I wasn’t very excited about the course before it started) and his teaching style were truly inspiring. The fact that he could truly engage us and share all his knowledge in this field made me realize how fundamental it is for people to work with what they are truly passionate about.

Could you tell us more about your current additional activities (beside your job) if you have any?

Well, I must be honest and say that when you work full-time and do a part-time MBA, there’s not too much time left (haha), but whenever I can I try to spend time with my friends and I very frequently have friends and family visiting me in Amsterdam from different parts of the world. In addition, I enjoy dancing and have even been taking my friends from the MBA to some Brazilian samba parties once in a while ;)

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Kind, passionate and ambitious

What is your favourite place?

My favourite place is my home, the small yet very cute apartment I bought in Amsterdam last year. It’s where I love having friends and family over from several different places in the world and represents a very important step for me in life, in which I came to the realisation that Amsterdam is where I want and love to live.

What is your motto in life?

My motto in life is do what it’s right even if no one does it, and don’t do what’s wrong even if everyone else does. I have learned from a very early age that a clear conscience is the most valuable thing someone can own.

What is your advice for potential MBA students?

Planning is key. You don’t need to stop living because of the MBA: it should be a very important part of your life, but the magic of it is making it a pleasant journey and enjoying the ride. Sometimes you will be on top of things with all readings up to date, sometimes you will fall a bit behind, and that’s fine. You’re not alone in the process, and if you end up to be as lucky as I am with the classmates you get, the journey will be full of fun, joy and friends for life.