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Cristina Vila Vives

A black and white photo of a lady smiling at the camera

Cristina Vila Vives

Applied Positive Psychology 2022

1. Tell us about yourself.

I am the Founder and CEO of Cledara, an international software management company founded in 2018 that helps businesses discover, buy, manage, and cancel all the software applications that they use to run their business.

Forbes recognised me as one of the 21 Leaders Changing Spain, where I am from, which is an honour as I always strive to make things better. I also received the EMEA Women in Payments Award for the innovative work we do at Cledara.

I spent over a decade of my career in the banking industry. At the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development I had the opportunity to work alongside amazing professionals and I realised the importance of people in business. My experiences there led me to study my Masters in Applied Positive Psychology at ARU.

While studying I decided to make the jump to the world of start-ups, and I joined a Fintech start-up where we were building a neo-bank for emerging markets to provide financial services to the unbanked. That took me to live in Cairo for one year, which was a very enriching experience.

I am passionate about learning, observing the world and helping others.

2. What is your fondest memory of Anglia Ruskin University?
The days on campus discussing with other students how we were going to change the world. If I can add a bonus one, I love learning so getting access to the databases with all the research papers was an absolute highlight.

3. What has been your favourite job?
My favourite job is always the one I am doing now. What I cherish from a job is the ability to do new things that constantly challenge me and push my boundaries while having an impact on people.

4. In one word, how would you describe Anglia Ruskin University?

5. How did your time at ARU help you?
It gave me the opportunity to meet great people with whom I enjoyed debating ideas.

6. What did you love about your chosen course?
I loved that it was a new course, very practical and that it attracted professors and students who were doers.

7. What advice would you give to current students as they’re preparing to graduate?
Love what you do, care, stay curious, ask questions, and do the work to find answers and continue learning.

8. What do you know now that you wish you had known whilst studying?
That there are things that only experience can teach.

9. Who was the biggest influence on your career?
My parents. They taught me two things that have defined my career. 1) Always think of your work as a present to give someone you love. That has enabled me to always find joy in anything I do and give my best; 2) You already have the “no” so go get the “yes”. This has enabled me to pursue paths where the chances of success are low but the reward if you do is high.

10. What advice would you give your younger self?
Dream even bigger.

11. Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
I love birds.

12. What’s next?
With the sponsorship of Cambridge United’s Cledara Abbey Stadium, I hope to be spending more time in Cambridge and contribute further to its community.