The Independent MBA Student of the Year Award Finalists

The most prestigious and sought-after distinction in the field of business education, The Independent MBA Student of the Year Award rewards truly exceptional achievers, the leaders of tomorrow.

Here are this year’s finalists who have proven top academic records, entrepreneurship as well as an outstanding career trajectory:

Marta Rodrigues Cordeiro e Cunha
Marta Rodrigues Cordeiro e Cunha, Porto Business School

Marta Cunha is a true force of nature! She is the Innovation Manager at Sonae, the largest Portuguese retailer, and she has a natural ability to effectively stimulate and inspire everyone around her. Married and mother of two children, the EMBA at Porto Business School is about to become her latest great achievement!

“In the MBA we learn in a mature way: in a way that we profoundly understand each concept and discover how can we apply it in real life and real business. The MBA Student of the Year Contest gives us the opportunity to look back and become conscious about what we’ve accomplished so far and the responsibility to take this journey one step further.”
Chris Cornell
Chris Cornell, Kent Business School

Chris has spent the last ten years working in housing, youth work and faith based charities across the UK. He has encouraged charities to learn from business as founder of two social enterprises, a trustee and now a PhD scholar.

"The MBA is an important milestone in many people's careers, an opportunity to learn about yourself and how business frames our everyday lives. It is an honour to meet other people who have shared that journey."
Guðmundur Ingi Þorvaldsson
Guðmundur Ingi Þorvaldssonl, Reykjavík University Business School

Gudmundur Thorvaldsson is an internationally known artist. In 2015 he’ll star in the English feature film Chasing Robert Barker and co-star in the film Reykjavik. He has been the director of Tjarnarbíó theatre for about a year and has turned it from tatters to the talk of the town.

"I'm very much looking forward to being part of the occasion. I'm curious and excited."
Steve Kelly
Steve Kelly, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School

Steve is a natural leader, airline Captain, passionate Social Entrepreneur, and blues band singer who has brought people together to join his merry crew of supporters and fundraisers. Despite his self-effacing and modest demeanour, Steve will continue to add value to his company and charity, Young Horizons, in the years to come.
Anca Mandruleanu
Anca Mandruleanu, Kingston Business School

Anca Mandruleanu is Head of Academies and Development at Winmark. Anca holds a PhD in Management, a double-first degree in Business Administration and Political Science and she has completed an MBA with Distinction from Kingston University. She has seven years professional experience in research and consultancy roles for public and corporate organisations.

"It is an honour to be nominated for the MBA Student of the Year Award as this award reflects ambition, drive, excellence and responsibility. It also means commitment to promoting high MBA standards and supporting quality management education."
Varun Tyagi
Varun Tyagi, IE Business School

Indian citizen Varun Tyagi is a student of IE Business School’s IMBA program. On graduation he aims to return to India to carve an entrepreneurial career through which to serve society, educate the underprivileged and improve standards of living. Varun holds an Engineering Degree from the Delhi School of Engineering.

“I am very excited to be taking part in such a prestigious award alongside candidates from across the globe. Whatever the result may be, I look forward to carrying myself as an ambassador of AMBA, IE Business School, and the many people who have accompanied me on my MBA journey.”

Book your tickets to the Association of MBAs Awards and Gala Dinner to find out the winner.