MBA Success Story: Taking Advantage of International Career Opportunities
Interview with Hector Reyes, Global Director of Finance M&A Integration with Stanley Black & Decker
From Mexico to Germany and now to the United States. Full-time MBA graduate Hector Reyes is embracing the international spirit that he was introduced to at HHL. Today he works as Global Director of Finance M&A Integration with Stanley Black & Decker in Indianapolis, Indiana. We talked to him about how his MBA prepared him for an international career and what opportunities you should keep in mind when choosing an MBA program.
Interview with Hector Reyes
What specifically made you decide to study at HHL?
That is a really good question! It all started with a strong desire to live in Germany. I had visited the country a few years prior to joining HHL and had fallen in love with its culture and people. I did a lot of research on the best business schools in Europe and I came across HHL as one of the top business schools.
However, what really made me decide on HHL were two things: Firstly, HHL’s emphasis on a truly international MBA program in Germany and secondly the opportunity to live in Leipzig, which for me was a win-win situation. I get to attend one of the best business schools in Europe, with a strong international focus while living in a city with great history and culture but without the challenges of living in a big city.
As a Global Director of Finance M&A Integration with Stanley Black & Decker my role is to lead the multimillion Mergers & Acquisitions Integration projects, working with cross-functional teams across different continents during due diligence, deal negotiation and post-close integration to help the organization achieve the intended synergies.
What opportunities did you have with an MBA when starting your international career?
Studying an MBA gave me “Latitude”. It help me be a more rounded professional and it allowed me to tackle problems from different angles, but it also allowed me to stand out from the competition.
After graduation, when looking for my next career opportunity, I noticed that companies were not only interested in what my professional experience was but also in the “intangible”. This is something that an MBA can bring to an organization, especially if that MBA is completed at a business school of the caliber of HHL and thousands of miles away from my home country.
You are originally from Mexico, studied in Germany and now working in the US. What are some of the biggest cultural differences you have noticed in the work culture? Do you have any advice on how to adapt to new work cultures quickly?
This is arguably one of the biggest assets that I developed through my time at HHL. The HHL program is a really good proxy for what it takes to develop a career nowadays. Let me give you a snapshot of my time at HHL: I studied, interacted, and lived with people from all over the world in a city thousands of miles away from home.
Even though it was challenging at the beginning because we all had different points of view, by the end of the program we were “citizens of the world” and I learned that there is no “one size fits all” approach. So I strongly recommend that you seek out opportunities to learn from other cultures and challenge your own assumptions because that will not only make you a better professional but it will also make you a more inclusive and objective person.
I got to study, interact, and live with people from all over the world in a city thousands of miles away from my home country. Even though it was challenging because we all had different points of view, by the end of the program we were “citizens of the world” and I learned that there is no “one size fits all” approach.
Hector Reyes, full-time MBA alumnus
What advice would you give someone considering an MBA today?
If you are considering studying an MBA, you should obviously look for a business school that offers a program with a strong curriculum that will help you advance in your international career, but you should also look for opportunities that will challenge you to step out of your comfort zone, that will make you grow not only as a professional but also as a human being. Doing an MBA at HHL was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life, not only because it help me accelerate my career but because of the friends and great memories that I made at HHL.
Thank you, Hector, for taking the time to share your experience with the HHL Community!
This interview was conducted in December 2021.