2015 Best MBAs: Elena Rittstieg

E Rittstieg -INSEAD-PoetsAndQuants

Elena Rittstieg



Elena Rittstieg was a star player at Bain & Company in Zurich, Switzerland, before business school. Now she will undoubtedly be a star player for Bain in Singapore. In between this certified Yoga instructor, who used to lead office mates in Friday sessions, distinguished herself at INSEAD, where she led the school’s Women in Business Club (WIB) as president. During that leadership stint, Elena established a successful mentoring program that connected current MBA students to INSEAD alumni via LinkedIn while being a stellar student. She was also a member of the school’s Dean’s List.

Age: 26

Hometown: Hamburg, Germany

Undergraduate School: University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Consultant with Bain & Company, Zurich, Switzerland

Where did you intern during the summer of 2014? I used the time between work and the start of the MBA to travel to Peru and Bolivia

Where will you be working after graduation? Consultant with Bain & Company, Singapore

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I listened to my friends as they recounted their business school experiences – every single one of them wished they could do it all over again.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…missing out on an amazing experience.”

What are your long-term professional goals? I would love to (potentially start and) run my own company in the health and well-being industry. In the long-term, I want to coach executives on how to lead a balanced and fulfilled professional and personal life.

Favorite Courses: ‘Realizing Entrepreneurial Potential’ with Timothy Bovard (“Don’t start a company – buy one!”) and ‘Negotiations’ with Horacio Falcao (“Don’t fight for your piece of the pie, but understand the needs of your counterparty to make the pie larger”)

Which academic or professional achievements are you most proud of? In 2013, I received Bain Zurich’s award for role-model behavior and outstanding teamwork – it was a great honor. Since I care deeply about effective teamwork, it meant a lot to me!

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My family, boyfriend and close friends for their never-ending support, countless fun memories and the occasional kick in the butt…

Why did you choose this business school? It was INSEAD’s incredibly diverse student body (especially in terms of nationality), the breadth of interesting electives, and the dual-campus set-up with one campus in Asia that appealed to me. But more importantly, every alumni and faculty member I ever met was passionate about the school, fun and inspiring.

What did you enjoy most about business school? No day is like the other, but each one is filled with opportunities to learn and grow. Be it through lectures, class interactions and group work, or through chatting to other students over drinks, participating in the numerous student clubs, attending talks, events, and trips – there was never enough time to fit everything in.

What is your most memorable moment from business school? A very memorable event (which is at the same time very characteristic of INSEAD) was the Wednesday night that our cafeteria courtyard was transformed into a dance floor with dozens of students dressed in African dresses, dancing to live African beats as part of the African National week on campus – incredible energy!


Fun fact about yourself: I am a certified Yoga teacher and used to teach small classes in the office on Fridays.

Favorite book: ‘Thrive’ by Ariana Huffington – led me to discover the power of meditation.

Favorite movie: ‘The Imitation Game’

Favorite musical performer: John Legend

Favorite television show: Suits

Favorite vacation spot: Nieblum auf Föhr – a beautiful village on a tiny, green island in the Northern Sea of Germany. It’s an ideal spot to disconnect and spend some quality time with family and friends.

What are your hobbies? Yoga, running, golf, cooking and backpacking

What made Elena such an invaluable addition to the class of 2015?

“Besides her already condensed schedule, Elena did not hesitate to take on extra responsibilities, accepting to act as a career representative while being an active student at many levels. One of the projects she can be most proud of is setting up a mentoring programme on LinkedIn for the INSEAD “Women In Business Club” (IWIB).”

– Andy Fischtrom, assistant director of student life, MBA Programme Management

Best of 2015

The Story: Class of 2015: The World’s Best & Brightest MBAs

The Complete List: The 50 Most Exceptional MBAs of 2015


Katie Benintende: Making A Difference At UC-Berkeley’s Haas School