Partner Sites


Logo BusinessBecause - The business school voice
mobile search icon

Nanyang MBA Swaps Finance For Top Marketing Job In Sportswear

Mayra Hurtado couldn’t have predicted how much an MBA would transform her career. She switched industry, function, and location to land her dream job marketing for Adidas

SPONSORED BY

Mon Mar 29 2021

BusinessBecause

Mayra Hurtado always knew that a business school education was on the cards, but assumed she would return home to Mexico when her program ended. However, after completing her MBA at Nanyang Business School (NBS) in Singapore, Mayra made the infamous ‘MBA triple jump’: switching industries, function, and country to launch a brand new career in marketing.

Mayra had begun professional life as a financial analyst, working with auto parts manufacturer Delphi in Ciudad Juárez. Although she progressed quickly, she couldn’t see herself in finance long term. 

“I was good at finance, but I wanted to pivot away after a few years,” she reflects. “It can sometimes feel repetitive, and I wanted to find something more business oriented.”

Studying an MBA was the ideal route toward this goal, helping her explore new options and uncover a passion for marketing through the Marketing and Strategy specialization.


A leap of faith in Asia

When Mayra started to research MBA programs, she looked for opportunities the world over—but it wasn’t long before Singapore stood out as her ideal destination. 

She wanted the chance to immerse herself in an international culture and was drawn to the rapid economic growth Singapore had been experiencing. 

“Singapore looked like a place with a lot of foresight,” Mayra says. “So, I quit my job and came to study in Singapore full time—it was a bit of a leap of faith.”

She was drawn to NBS for its rigorous Nanyang MBA program, which is ranked as one of the top 50 programs in the world by The Financial Times.

When she enrolled in the Nanyang MBA, learning from experienced and enthusiastic faculty was an eye-opening experience. One particularly memorable class—taught by professor Wee Chow Hou—focused on business strategy in China, drawing on the lessons of the fifth century BCE author, Sun Tzu. 

She also enjoyed the outside perspectives guest lecturers brought to the classroom, including those from an expert who taught a class on marketing in Asia, which has proved particularly useful in Mayra’s career.

During the class, she had the chance to study the strategies behind iconic Asian brands like Singapore Airlines, Samsung, and Banyan Tree. 

“Successful Asian brands have been effective at putting branding at their center and using it as a strategic business driver,” Mayra notes. 

The class also explored how Western brands can adapt to diverse Asian markets.

“For Western brands to be locally relevant they need to become part of the community through collaboration and being culturally sensitive,” Mayra comments.


Learning to leverage diversity

One of the highlights of living in Singapore was the country’s diversity, which is also reflected in the MBA classroom at NBS. Each cohort has participants from 20 different nationalities.

“Diversity in Singapore is so wide—you can find people here from every nationality and industry background,” she says. 

Fostering the cultural intelligence required to work in an international environment is one of the key pillars of NBS, which means classroom diversity is crucial. To support their development in this area, students can take electives like global management of human capital, regional communication issues, and leading people globally.

Working with diverse peers prepared Mayra for today’s globalized business landscape, she believes, and she keeps in touch with several fellow alumni around the world. 

“For a leader to be successful, you need to learn how to appreciate people’s differences and work together,” she says. 

Mayra also appreciates the “culture of trust” that makes Singapore a supportive place to work. 

“Trust is a very big word here,” she reflects. “Here, people trust each other to deliver what they promised, and look out for the best interests of their community.”


5984ec30d6c9b9ebcd7f9394e438c687f2e784ed.png


A new career in marketing

When Mayra first set out on her MBA, she was unsure where her next career step would take her, but after connecting with Adidas through an on-campus recruitment event, she quickly found the right path.

The company was hiring for a marketing internship, and a member of the NBS Graduate Studies Career Development Office (GSCDO) put Mayra’s name forward.

“Initially, I didn’t expect Adidas to hire me because I had limited experience with sport or retail,” she admits. “But they needed someone with my analytical background.” 

During the internship, Mayra realized that marketing was the right route for her. It allowed her to take ownership of projects from end to end, gaining exposure to many areas of the business. 

“In marketing, we take different data points from different sources and then build a bigger picture—that’s what makes it a good fit for me,” she reflects. 

During the internship, she worked on diverse projects, from merchandising to market segmentation. After she graduated from NBS, Adidas invited her back as an assistant manager with the Singapore trade marketing team.

She quickly rose through the ranks, taking up the mantle as a senior director for product and strategy. 

Today, Mayra is setting out on her latest challenge: joining consumer goods startup Ramblin’ Brands as director of global sales and marketing. The company is currently building its first brand, Smile Makers, which offers sexual wellness products for women.

Transitioning from a large multinational to a startup will require some adaptation, but Mayra is confident that the skills she developed at NBS have prepared her well for the diverse challenges ahead.

“NBS really encouraged me to use different frameworks, which makes a big difference in how I solve problems,” she says. 

“Through the Nanyang MBA, I feel like I’ve been given a toolkit to arrive at solutions that I use every day.”

Student Reviews

Nanyang Business School

Student

Verified

6/07/2020

Good campus life and extra-curricular activities

This is a great place to learn and interact with more like-minded people. The campus is something that stands out to me. The infrastructure is great and the university is very well-built. There is lots to do on the high campus, from a large number of eating joints to the numerous clubs and sports activities. I also quite like Singapore as a country, as there is so much to do around not very far from campus. The educational facilities are extremely good, there are lots of opportunities to take on research projects and do industrial projects, which I really enjoy. The only thing I dislike about NTU is that the number of international students is really low and I would like to see a larger international intake in the future. Definitely recommend for the amazing educational facilities and on-campus social life.

Student

Verified

12/06/2020

An international campus that provided diverse choices for students

It's a beautiful campus with a high degree of internationality, providing diverse choices for students in terms of research opportunities and career consultation. Also, scholars are knowledgable and very inspiring, and are good at motivating the thinking of students.

Student

Verified

12/06/2020

Great University

In overall, the university has met my expectations with its wonderful lectures and research staff. However, there are some issues with the administrative side, i.e. administration may give you different answers on the same question. Also, the university’s website often provides outdated information and it takes time to get what you need; perhaps there is not enough people for managing it.

Student

Verified

1/06/2020

Good resources

I would recommend. Good resources for research. Knowledgeable professors and instructors. Conducive environment for studying and doing assignments. Helpful staff and faculty. Food options are good. An overall good place to study.

Student

Verified

18/09/2023

On Campus

inefficient communication and lack of transparency

The administrative team at the university is slow to respond and is often inadequate in their responses and solutions. The uni is also unclear and resistant to explain their actions and motivations when carrying out policies or when questioned

Nilah

Verified

13/03/2024

On Campus

Formative experience for success

NTU prioritizes giving students ample time for independent research. The academic schedule consists of 6–7 weeks of study, followed by a week without classes, allowing students to catch up on any material they may have missed. This is succeeded by another 6–7 weeks of study, culminating in a week dedicated to final exam preparation and exams. The curriculum is designed to be student-friendly, minimizing burdens such as excessive assignments, projects, exams, quizzes, and attendance requirements. This approach affords students the freedom to pursue personal interests and self-development. In my experience, each of the four courses I took had a comparable workload, typically comprising 2 assignments, 3 easy labs, 2–3 quizzes (some without), and 1 final exam. In contrast, comparable courses at other universities often entail significantly heavier workloads, including 3 homework assignments, 5 projects, 5–6 pop-up quizzes, mandatory attendance, 2 midterms, and 1 final exam. Moreover, each project typically demands 3–4 days of work. It is hard work, but it pays off.

Lim

Verified

11/04/2024

On Campus

Academic atmosphere

Nanyang Technological University offers a vibrant academic atmosphere that fosters innovation and excellence. The strong emphasis on research and practical learning equips students with real-world skills. Positives include access to state-of-the-art facilities, collaborative projects, and a diverse student body. However, the competitive environment can be intense, leading to high stress levels. NTU's academic atmosphere encourages growth but requires resilience to thrive.

Xu

Verified

11/04/2024

On Campus

Diverse professors

As a student at Nanyang Technological University, I have been extremely impressed with the quality of education I have received. The professors are knowledgeable, approachable, and passionate about their subjects, which makes learning engaging and enjoyable. The teaching styles vary from lecture-based to interactive discussions and group projects, providing a well-rounded learning experience. The use of technology in the classrooms also enhances our understanding of the course material. One of the things I love about NTU is the diversity on campus. Not only are there students from all over the world, but the professors also come from various backgrounds, making the learning environment truly global. English is the main language spoken on campus, which makes it easy for international students to feel at home. In terms of examinations and coursework, the workload can be challenging at times, but the support from professors and classmates makes it manageable. The exams are fair and assess our understanding of the material effectively.

Lee

Verified

11/04/2024

On Campus

Video lectures

As a student at Nanyang Technological University, I am extremely impressed with the transportation options available on campus. The buses and shuttles make it easy to get around the huge campus. The beautifully landscaped garden campus adds a peaceful and scenic vibe to studying. The facilities, from the state-of-the-art labs to the comfortable study spaces, are top-notch. The video lectures are a convenient and effective way to supplement classroom learning.

Jain

Verified

11/04/2024

On Campus

Focus on science

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) excels in its focus on engineering and science degrees. The curriculum is robust, integrating theoretical knowledge with practical applications. Professors are industry experts, providing invaluable insights. State-of-the-art facilities enhance learning experiences. Opportunities for research and internships abound, fostering innovation and professional growth. NTU's emphasis on cutting-edge technology prepares students for real-world challenges. NTU's commitment to engineering and science education is unparalleled, shaping tomorrow's leaders in these fields.

Haidar

Verified

10/04/2024

Blended

great canteens

While at Nanyang Technological University, I can confidently say that the quality of education here is excellent. The professors are knowledgeable and passionate about their subjects, and the curriculum is challenging yet rewarding. The campus itself is green and natural, providing a peaceful and inspiring environment for learning. The canteens offer a wide variety of delicious and affordable food options, catering to different dietary preferences. From local delights to international cuisines, there is something for everyone. The student housing facilities are also well-maintained and comfortable, providing a home away from home for students. NTU's reputation as a top-ranked university is well-deserved, with cutting-edge research and a strong emphasis on innovation.

Naili

Verified

10/04/2024

On Campus

high quality education

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is a top-notch educational institution that offers a wide range of programs and opportunities for students. The campus is well-equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, and the faculty members are highly experienced and knowledgeable in their fields. As a student at NTU, I have had a positive experience so far. The university provides a conducive learning environment and encourages students to think critically and creatively. The campus is vibrant and diverse, with a strong sense of community among students and staff. I would definitely recommend NTU to prospective students looking for a high-quality education in a supportive and stimulating environment. The opportunities for research, internships, and extracurricular activities are plentiful, and the university is committed to providing a well-rounded education that prepares students for future success.

Tan

Verified

11/04/2024

On Campus

Student experience

As a student at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the experience is vibrant and enriching. Surrounded by lush greenery, the campus offers a serene environment for studying and relaxation. While parties and nightlife options are available, the focus leans more towards academic pursuits. The campus buzzes with activities, clubs, and events, catering to diverse interests. However, the tuition cost is competitive, offering value for the exceptional education and resources provided. I recommend my university

Ilyanajwa

Verified

11/04/2024

On Campus

High quality of life

As a student at Nanyang Technological University, I'm thoroughly impressed with the quality of education. The faculty is highly knowledgeable and supportive, fostering an engaging learning environment. Tuition fees are reasonable for the value provided. The campus food options are diverse and delicious, catering to various dietary preferences. The transport system is efficient, with easy access to public transportation. NTU offers a high quality of life, combining academic excellence with a vibrant campus culture.

Shi

Verified

12/04/2024

On Campus

good value for money

At Nanyang Technological University, I find the tuition fees reasonable considering the quality of education and resources provided. The university offers diverse programs, experienced faculty, modern facilities, and opportunities for research and internships. While tuition costs are substantial, the value for money is evident in the comprehensive learning experience and the potential for career advancement. NTU delivers on its promise of excellence, making it a worthwhile investment in one's future.

Yu

Verified

7/05/2024

On Campus

Educational experience

I am a student at Nanyang Technological University and I am thoroughly impressed with the quality of my program. The lectures are engaging, delivered by knowledgeable professors who make complex concepts easy to understand. The classroom setup is modern and conducive to learning, with interactive technology enhancing the educational experience. Exams are challenging yet fair, testing our understanding and critical thinking skills effectively. In my leisure time, I appreciate the vibrant campus life, with a variety of clubs, events, and facilities to explore, fostering a well-rounded university experience.