“Be passionate”: Sebastian Figueroa details his keys to success
For Sebastian Figueroa, Vice President of the South American team and Head of Wealth for Chile at global asset management firm BlackRock, passion is the key to a successful career. Recognizing what you’re passionate about is the first step to constructing goals that manifest that passion into work you love doing.
Originally from Chile, Sebastian took a major leap by leaving his job and moving to Madrid to study the International MBA from IE Business School. He emphasizes that it’s decisions like these to invest in yourself that yield the most fruitful outcomes, both personally and professionally. Overcoming the fear of doing something different, Sebastian says, produces results that are worth the discomfort of facing the unknown.
Today, Sebastian is dedicated to educating the Chilean public on financial matters and implementing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria into the emerging Chilean market. In other words, Sebastian and his team work on integrating Environmental, Social and Governance factors into the Chilean ecosystem to achieve modernization through collaboration with businesses, regulators and stakeholders.
Additionally, Sebastian works on increasing the general public’s knowledge of various financial concepts, such as inflation or retirement, that are crucial to a better financial future in the long term. Sebastian’s love for education—he used to teach at a local university in Chile—is something he’s particularly passionate about, and he feels satisfaction when he can make complex, technical ideas more accessible and easy to understand. Both of Sebastian’s current roles allow him to use this passion for education and teaching to drive the Chilean economy and public towards a stronger domestic and global financial position.
“Education is so important. Many people struggle with understanding finance, and one of my main accomplishments throughout my career has been making complex concepts related to [that] easier for people to understand, and [helping them] towards a better financial future.”
Similarly, as a team leader and manager, Sebastian underlines the importance of clarifying main objectives for everyone on a project through clear communication about priorities and expectations. In this way, the message and goals of a project are clearly transmitted to all relevant team members as well as stakeholders.
Another way in which Sebastian honed his skills as a teacher and collaborator was through his experience in the International MBA at IE Business School. In Madrid—one of his favorite cities—Sebastian experienced an openness and an exposure to numerous cultures that helped him to unlock new ways of thinking and approaching problems. In fact, one of his reasons for choosing IE Business School was precisely this: that it offered him the chance to come into contact with people from countless cultural backgrounds, each of whom presented a new opportunity to learn and grow and to establish new networks of partners and friends.
Sebastian makes an analogy with cycling to illustrate the intersection that passion allows between life and business: “You need to set an objective, you need to train, you need to persevere in what you really want. But at the same time, you enjoy what you do. You enjoy nature, you enjoy partnering with your friends.” So, whether in academics or business, understanding what you want before you dive in will lay the foundation for a successful experience. It is this combination of self-knowledge, diligence and genuine enjoyment of one’s work that results in a fulfilling career and life.
To celebrate the 50th intake of the International MBA at IE Business School, we’re sharing the stories of our inspiring alumni. This change-making leader is just one of many International MBA alumni who have gone on to make waves in the business world and society at large. To read more stories from graduates of the International MBA, and to learn more about the program, click here.