Originally posted by Jordan Fujiwara.
Let’s jump right into this one, because there’s a lot to cover! Matilde de Antueno is coming to the end of her exciting residency as a Global Internal Auditor for McCain Foods Limited. She grew up in Coldbrook, Nova Scotia, but still has a deep connection with her birthplace’s culture (La Plata, Argentina). She speaks fluent Spanish and English and received a BSc Major in Biology, Minor in Business from Dalhousie.
“I’m very interested in the concept of international business,” she says. Well, as a Global Internal Auditor for McCain, she definitely got the right kind of exposure for that career aspiration! “The most exciting thing for me during this residency was, without a doubt, getting to travel to various locations. Mainly Mexico and Colombia, though I spent a lot of time in Florenceville, New Brunswick, as well (which is where McCain was founded). You can’t handle situations in different countries like you would in Canada, you’ve got to pick up on cultural clues. I got to apply some of what we learned in class; for example, in Managing People we learned about managing other cultures and in Global Business we did some international situation simulations.”
Apart from the travelling, her work is also pretty interesting. Check it out: “So there’s a difference between an external auditor (like PwC or Deloitte) and an internal one. We [internal] don’t necessarily look just at the financial statements. You look at all the processes of the company. You will start with the farmers and the potatoes, all the way up to, say, HR and how they deal with hiring. So, for example, in Colombia, we’d look at the contracts with the farmers and make sure they are following the right protocol and health and safety standards. Then when we go to the Sales office we have to make sure that the people buying and selling the potatoes and products are doing so in an ethical way. Basically, you go in and ask a variety of questions, you go through the steps and see if any issues arise. It is a great experience as I get to see all the different areas of the company.”
Matilde’s exceptional exposure to different parts of McCain’s global operations allowed her to see the same company through the lenses of different cultures. She found it interesting to see how a company’s culture could be expressed in so many places. “McCain prides itself on being a family-owned business,” she explains. “Everywhere I went it still sort of had that same feel.” In Canada, Matilde experienced this attitude when she was able to have lunch with the CEO and President of McCain Foods Limited. “It was a great opportunity! I asked him: ‘What does it take to be successful? Hard work? Or finding the right opportunities?’ He said: ‘Both, but there are no wrong decisions.’ What I took away from that was: ‘Don’t regret making one decision over the other – you learn something from everything you do.’ I’ve heard that kind of stuff from my parents before, but I really took it to heart this time after hearing it from someone in such a successful position!”
I can’t think of too many scenarios where Matilde could have had a better experience on her residency, especially considering her interest in international business. She is, unsurprisingly, quite happy with the opportunity that the Corporate Residency MBA has afforded her: “Being able to have these eight months, to be a real part of the company, means I’m not like every other co-op student. Without a doubt, the corporate residency was the most attractive part of this program for me because I lacked a lot of business work experience and I definitely needed something that would give me a little advantage.”
Coming into the final, eight-month academic portion of the program, Matilde is continuing her focus on international business. She is the Internal Vice President for the freshly revitalized Dalhousie International Business Society. “The contacts that I made at McCain have allowed me to already line up speakers that are willing to come to Dal to talk about their experiences with international business and how they got to where they are. The Society is a great way to stay involved in the student community and be a part of something that I am interested in!”
In parting, Matilde has a message for the new class: “Don’t be scared and take every opportunity that comes along. There is NO wrong decision, you just gotta GO for something – and then you can figure out if you do or do not like it. I love being in the program. I know I made the right choice and I am so excited for the future and to be at this stage in my life!”
Tremendous! I’m excited to see everyone lining themselves up for success. And you’re excited to come back next Thursday for another awesome story!