“Without fear, the world is truly your oyster.”

Cintia Tavella

Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, Expedia Partner Solutions
MBA 2007


In three sentences or less, could you tell us a little more about yourself?

I was born in Argentina and spent part of my childhood in Spain, and I have been living and working in Asia for the past 14 years. In early 2021, I’ll be moving to the US for my next move within my company. As a true global cosmopolitan, I feel at home wherever my family and friends are. 


Any fun facts?

One of my strengths is collaborating across multiple cultures, teams and business areas and connecting people. I believe that I became really good at that only because of my many years of synchronised swimming competitions, which helped me build those skills! 

When you need to synchronise every movement with a team of eight under water, without talking or even breathing and still looking beautifully pretty to the spectator, a lot of mindful listening is required, along with sensing where every team member is going and what their next move is going to be.


Cintia Tavella

Why did you choose INSEAD?

INSEAD is the only true Business School for the World! The only one where people coming from any place or any background can thrive and feel included, to then go out there and change the world. 

INSEAD truly changed my life, it opened doors for me that I didn’t even know existed, it made me a better business leader, but above all a better person overall. I could never thank INSEAD enough for the possibilities that it opened up for me and that is why I contribute to scholarships for women leaders from under-represented regions (Latin America and Africa), in order to give them access to higher education and a world of possibilities.


How would you describe your INSEAD experience?

Like everyone’s experience at INSEAD, the MBA year was intense and hugely rewarding. But like with many things in life, you only realise its true value when looking back. 

The real value of the INSEAD experience starts after you graduate, as the relationships you built during the programme will last and bear fruits forever. Make sure you nurture them during your time at INSEAD and beyond.


What is one important lesson you learnt from INSEAD?

The world is truly your oyster.


Has the INSEAD MBA benefitted your career?

The INSEAD MBA and the IDP-C (Directors Programme for Board members) have impacted my career more than anything else I’ve done in my more than 15 years of professional life. The MBA enabled me to change function, industry and geography all at once, even if everyone would advise you to not even try to hit the jackpot all at once!


What is your best life hack?

I have an incredible amount of energy and do not need much sleep, which can be a bit overwhelming for some people. However, these “special powers” enable me to always deliver more for myself and others. It can be pretty intense for whoever lives with me though (ask my husband and kids!).


What do you love about yourself?

I’m in love with my mental and physical resilience. I practice a lot of sports and having a healthy body is key for me, but I think I’ve only reached this level of holistic resilience after a lot of meditation practice. 

The amount of energy I have combined with mindfulness and focus enables me to navigate complex situations while staying calm, energised and centred. This has been particularly important for me during 2020. Being in a leadership role in the travel industry, in the year of the most dramatic crisis for travel, has required huge amounts of resilience to stay optimistic about the future.


What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Patience, that’s maybe because it is one of my weaknesses. I prefer to always focus on strengths but I also believe that a bit of impatience can be really helpful to keep pushing ourselves, to not conform, to push us outside of our comfort zone.


What does it mean to you to be Limitless?

For me, being limitless is the ability and courage to pursue and realise your dreams, without fears of what may happen if you fail or what others would think.

Basically, pursuing your dreams unbounded by limiting beliefs from your past or external conditions.


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