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Engineering Goals on a Different Field

Venezuelan soccer player reboots career in tech sector

Christian Zavatti
Advisor, Purchasing, Dell

Vanderbilt MBA 2019

When he was in college in his native Venezuela, Christian Zavatti hoped to follow in his father’s footsteps. So he took a break from his studies to pursue professional soccer.

Unfortunately, his budding career stalled at the semi-pro level. “At that point,” Christian reflects, “I understood I would have a better chance of success if I stuck with the studies and became an engineer.”

After working as an industrial engineer for several years post-graduation, focused primarily on logistics, he reached another plateau. “I knew that an MBA could bolster my business acumen and enhance my leadership and organizational skills. I wanted to be a well-rounded professional, aiming in the short term to become a senior manager in the tech industry.

He confined his search to MBA programs ranked in the top 30, then took a deeper dive. “Vandy was among my top choices,” Christian says, “because it seemed like a really cool program with a relatively small class size where you could forge a stronger network. In addition, Owen has an excellent Leadership Development Program with a well-defined structure that enhances interactions between classmates.”

This time around, Christian’s career leap looks much more promising than his collegiate venture into the sport, by his own description, he is “in love with.”

“Even though I am only at the end of my first year,” he says, “I feel that I have strengthened my managerial capabilities that will help me to lead better in the future.” At the end of that initial year, Christian took a big step toward the tech career he wants, winning an internship in supply chain management with Dell in Austin, Texas.

Fun Fact: A nature lover and avid hiker, Christian enjoys the many trails in the Nashville area and in the Great Smoky Mountains. He played semi-pro soccer in his country when he was 20 years old.

“Even though I am only at the end of my first year, I feel that I have strengthened my managerial capabilities.”