Agnes's close-knit team gave her a memorable experience in big data, Spanish culture, and business leadership that will continue to influence her career
The Strategy & Innovation group, along with Agnes Chu, at LaCaixa


As a graduating MBA with a summer gap before her full-time job began, Agnes Chu interned at the Strategy & Innovation group of the largest retail bank in Spain, LaCaixa. The closely-knit team of 6 women in their mid-thirties, led by an ex-McKinsey and Novartis director, is at the epicenter of LaCaixa. They partnered with various large technology firms to inject life into a conservative banking industry through social media, big data, natural language processing, and mobile technologies.


Agnes researched various projects on crowdsourcing to increase employee productivity, using big data to more accurately score risk (via credit-scoring algorithms), and the future of banking. She attended various banking conferences in Barcelona, flew to Madrid for a meeting with a technology partner, and created presentations that would be read by the CEO in Spanish. Although business is done in Catalan in Barcelona, her group graciously spoke Spanish, patiently teaching her many words and customs.

"As the only foreigner in my group, I needed to adapt quickly and took away a whole new perspective on how business is done in Spain. I was also fortunate to have a strong team of females who were excellent examples of women leadership in business.” 

  • Spain
  • Internship
  • Management