"I have gained access to a firm knowledge base as well as all the tools I’ll need to practice compliance with confidence in any sector."

Catalina, Colombia

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Catalina Saavedra

About me

I’m a lawyer and a graduate of the University of Los Andes in Bogotá. I have over 15 years of professional experience as a legal affairs and compliance manager working in the electric power, pharmaceutical, and oil and gas sectors, among others. As far as my academic background, I hold a degree in business law in Colombia, and a Master in Global Corporate Compliance from IE Law School.

Currently, I’m working as a legal affairs manager at GSK (a British pharmaceutical company) in Colombia, where I’m the head of the legal department and of the company’s legal strategy in the country.

I’m very proud to have spent part of my academic career at IE Law School. During my time there, I had the opportunity to experience firsthand the academic excellence that characterizes this institution. For me, the focus on diversity and inclusion was a major highlight. Having the opportunity to interact with classmates—from all around the world and with different academic backgrounds—made the program very memorable. What’s more, my classmates quickly became my lifelong friends. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m leaving here with a global perspective that’s made me more receptive to new ways of working and interacting. Thanks, IE!

Catalina Saavedra, Colombia


Master's Student

Why did you decide to specialize in compliance?

Initially, I was looking for a program that differed from my existing legal training—something which would provide me with added professional value in any sector. I also attended a talk organized by IE in Bogotá where I got to learn more about the compliance program. I found the curriculum very appealing, and the fact that the program would allow me to work and study at the same time made it a great choice for me. Also, the program didn’t require much traveling, so I wouldn’t have to be separated from my kids.

How has the academic experience impacted your career?

I think that holding a master from IE Law School definitely gives you a competitive edge. In addition to everything I’ve learned during the program, being part of the IE alumni community always gives you a significant advantage.

To what extent has the program served to complement your training and professional experience?

I had previously spent nine years working as a compliance officer in the electric power sector, but I had to teach myself a lot during that time.  Thanks to this master’s program, I have gained access to a firm knowledge base as well as all the tools I’ll need to practice compliance with confidence in any sector.

Has your view of business, law or your sector changed or expanded during the program? How has it affected your career path?

I’ve had the opportunity to work in various sectors, including electric power, oil and gas, and now pharmaceuticals. So, in my case, this experience has given me the confidence to continue practicing my profession in any of these sectors.

How important do you think compliance is in the corporate world and your sector?

I work in the pharmaceutical industry, which is highly regulated and where the role of compliance is extremely relevant. Not only does it add value to the business, but compliance also enables adequate risk management, making it a crucial ally for any business.

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