Meet IE Business School’s Class of 2016

Michael Costevec

Michael Costevec

IE Business School

Hometown: Paris, France

Undergraduate School and Major:

ESEO, Angers, France: Engineer in Electronics, Computer Sciences, Telecommunications and Networks.

Universidad de Belgrano, Buenos Aires, Argentina: Engineer in Computer Sciences

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: (from newest to latest)

Teleperformance (Paris): EMEA Operational Assessments Manager

Teleperformance (Paris): EMEA Audit & Service Delivery Manager / Project Manager

Teleperformance (Buenos Aires): SouthCone Business Analyst / IT Project Manager

Deloitte Argentina (Buenos Aires): Consultant IT Governance & Strategy

Cap Gemini Argentina (Buenos Aires): Junior Consultant

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Recalling my memories, I would recommend people to be disciplined. I believe this is the most important part. Traveling every week for an international company in the contact center industry to supply customers and be reactive to customer trend is very demanding. And so is the preparation of the GMAT. So to make sure I was able to be prepared for the GMAT, I designed a plan eight months before the date I scheduled the GMAT with clear milestone and broke it down into daily activities to be completed. And I simply executed it every day (week and weekend) no matter what was happening during this day. Another recommendation could also to use today technology and particularly tablet and apps that allow anyone to work at any time and for me it has been useful to make productive my time during flights or at airport.

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? I started to think profoundly on what were my personal and professional objectives. Then due to my background (and the fact I am really process-driven), I started to define the list of elements that really mattered to me (objective and subjective – including the type of MBA and the city where the MBA is completed), I drew a table and gathered all the information of different schools. Some criteria were ample. For example, I looked at going from the ranking, exchange possibility, diversity, length of the MBA, date of application, cost of the tuition, city of the MBA, Spanish speaking city, cost of leaving, etc. I had at the end around 30 criteria, which were discussed with my wife. It looks complex, but the effort and time needed to gather all data helped me ensuring that the criteria chosen where the right ones. I choose a list of 15 schools on a one year program.

Once I filled the table, I ranked it by the importance of the criteria and coloured those criteria with green, yellow and red (with red being really bad). Once I did finished the final list, only one school was shown with almost all green criteria and no red at all.

So, I believe the most important part during that process is to know what the right criteria are actually looking for you. As it can be found on internet, a lot of people look for a school based on “wrong” or maybe not “adapted” criteria. Therefore, they have the wrong expectation, get lost during or after the MBA, and feel disappointing. And after investing such an amount of time and money, this is a risk that need to be reduced and I believe the method used contribute to it.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf?  My main advice on this is to not rush the process as it requires quite a lot of effort. For the essays, I did look at the different essays on the schools on my list to get an overall view. I did a list of the important things to me in terms of objectives, who I was, why I wanted an MBA, what I wanted to do next, etc. I took me one month to really think this trough in the depth that I judged appropriate. I really drilled down to each of those questions.

This task was in correlation and continuation of the criteria list done within the school selection process. Later, I took the full list of the IE essays. As we had the opportunity to choose, I then look at which one would show how I could contribute to the class and future classmate experience. I picked three from which one I did on a really different format by using Prezi. I really developed the essays in a way to transmit my values and why I could be a good fit for the school without forgetting how I could present them to the interviewer. Then for the recommendation, I made a list of the people whom I had truly the chance to work with (I valued more people knowing me than people ranked higher in the company hierarchy). That way, I would receive the fairest judgement on what I did for my company, what were my opportunities to improve (including during the MBA), and requested them to help me. I had the chance that the two persons I choose experienced directly or indirectly the MBA experience so it has facilitated the explanation to them of why I wanted to do it, why this school, and why I was thinking it was the right time so they could help them get the full picture and be in condition to write the letters and get their full support. I will always be grateful to them for their time and effort.

Finally, for the interview, I prepared myself by discovering the profile of the interviewer. Today, it is easy to have a quick look on Linkedin and I believe interviewers expect it. I then worked my essays to be able to defend them and reviewed all pre-work I did for the process, prepared some questions I had on the school, and tried to just be me during the interview. Even if I was stressed at the beginning, the interview lasted for almost two hours through skype as I was in business trip and have been a really great exercise!

The main lesson from this whole experience is to “be yourself” and prepare the process with appropriate time.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? The reasons why I choose IE are multiple.  IE was complying with my mains requirement as detailed earlier in the article: a diverse student body, the entrepreneurship mind, the ranking, the network, the size of the student body, the city of Madrid that is Spanish speaking, the opportunity to do an exchange, the people/ alumni I met where accessible, the size of the network, etc.

Ultimately IE was the only school where I did apply as this was the single school with a rolling admission process that was on my list (that truly shown me that the school allows students to go to their own pace which for me is another clear differentiator), and I wanted to make sure I invested 200% of the effort into achieving my goal into entering it.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? I really would like to be able to balance the success into the MBA with involvement in extra-curricular activities within different clubs such as the Consulting, the Operation Management and sports clubs. As I learned from participating in junior enterprise during my engineering school in France, a lot of experience and knowledge is not just gathered from the class activities. This time is also for contributing to individual growth and learning and  also to the school life and radiance of the school internally and externally. Furthermore I also would like to initiate Cantonese language learning.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.