Meet IE’s MBA Class of 2017


Karin Erbacher

IE Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less:  Ambitious career woman at work – adventurous traveler, enthusiastic dancer and passionate foodie at heart.

Hometown: Arlesheim, BL, Switzerland

Fun Fact About Yourself: My love for travel and discovery landed me in over 50 countries – as flight attendant after high school and on vacation and extended trips in my free time until today.

Undergraduate School and Major: Florida Atlantic University; Intercultural and Organizational Communication

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

– Brand Assistant with Branders Group AG; Zurich, Switzerland

– Head Communications Novartis Service Center Switzerland (NSC-CH) with Novartis Pharma AG; Basel, Switzerland

– Marketing Communications Manager with Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Inc.; Emeryville CA, USA

– Marketing Communications Manager with Grifols Diagnostic Solutions Inc. (formerly Novartis Diagnostics); Emeryville CA, USA

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As part of a post-acquisition-related project, I had the opportunity to develop a simplified, integrated brand architecture and shared brand for the products of a new, extended divisional portfolio. The project included buy-in from executive management and collaboration with the Global Marketing team based the US and Europe, the agency, colleagues from four regions, and stakeholders from various other functions. The result included reduction from six distinctive product brands to one unified portfolio brand that represents the entire divisional offering.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? The key advice I have is to take enough time to know yourself, your goals, and what schools best help you achieve them. Ideally, reserve a good year to prepare for the GMAT and complete the applications including essays – especially if you have been out of school for a while and work full-time. I underestimated the effort and ended up studying non-stop besides work for several months, which ended in exhaustion and did not help initial GMAT attempts either.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? There were a lot of reasons why this IE program made it into my top three: a friend of mine mentioned the school and when I checked the rankings, IE sparked my interest. The program’s flexible course make-up and tailored two-track system, the short length and the choice of electives related to my field seemed like the perfect match for me. Finally, the location in a metropolitan city where I can also perfect my Spanish sealed the deal.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? My dream job would be an executive communications role in a global healthcare company with an established communications function. This would maximize my ability to provide effective communications – be it product communications, change management, or reputation building — just to name a few — in support of business needs. Only as a true strategic business partner, Communications can support quality results that do not only further the business but eventually also benefit patients and communities.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? Karin added a lot of value through her extended experience in a field that is rather atypical among business students. Working with Karin was easy, effective and fun — on the professional as well as interpersonal level — thanks to her strong work ethic and positive attitude. During the year at IE, we shared a lot of enriching experiences which formed a great connection that hopefully continues into the future.

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