IESE Business School
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Striving to fast forward gender parity, travel the world, and make people laugh.
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Fun Fact About Yourself: I have an uncommon hobby – making cosmetics and personal care products like lip balms, soaps or body butter bars. I don’t know what it is, but everything from pouring the wax to stirring in the colors and scents is just so soothing. Pro tip: Cocoa powder makes for a really awkward texture and color on application.
Undergraduate School and Major: University of California – Berkeley, Economics
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Staff Through Manager at Ernst & Young in Munich, Germany
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My proudest accomplishment is my fast track to manager (less than four years instead of the typical five to six). However, my most meaningful accomplishment is the bond I have with my teams. When I started with the firm, it was quite common for my teams to have one large party or dinner after every project; all the team building was concentrated at the end after an engagement was already over. As a senior, I started planning events during the week like rock climbing, beer garden trips, or just a casual dinner. I also tried to make coming in on Saturdays more fun by organizing brunches. These events not only improved morale, but made us more efficient as a team as this closeness made it easier to ask for help since we were vested in each others’ development. Plus, we would work harder in order to continue scheduling these fun events. These bonds are something that will enrich me for life – in fact, one team has already planned their next team event in Barcelona!
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Recommendations are the only part of the application that are not 100% under your control, so it is essential to give your recommenders adequate time to prepare meaningful responses, and to make sure they are prepared for the task. They may be your greatest fan, but it is not a given that they will know how to put that down on paper. You should not be afraid to sit down with them to share some advice on how to write good recommendations. Show them the STAR model, or go over some big projects you worked on together. Their recommendations will be much more meaningful if they can deep dive into some examples of how you are a good leader, team player, whatever, versus just listing a bunch of traits. Depending on your relationship with them (hopefully great!), consider sharing your entire application, motivation for the MBA, and career goals so that they see the overall big picture and know where they can add value. For more tips, read “Wrangling Great Recommendations” from Poets & Quants. Last but not least, once they have successfully submitted everything, do not forget that hand written thank you card or small gift depending on your culture.
What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? “IESE is committed to the development of leaders who aspire to have a deep, positive and lasting impact on people, firms and society; to inspiring leaders to work with a spirit of service and integrity, basing their actions on the highest standards of professionalism and accountability; and to educating leaders to whom we can confidently entrust the future of business and society.”
Wow, right? Every top MBA program will prepare you for a future leadership position, but what really sets IESE apart is how the desire to make a positive impact is tangible in every student. Let me give you an example. As part of IESE’s admissions process, you may be invited to an Assessment Day on campus, where you are placed into small teams to prepare and pitch a business idea in just a few hours. Applicants are not only competing for admissions, but also scholarships. Hunger games, right? Actually, the complete opposite… I believe the most commonly said phrase that day was “And ___, what do you think?” Also, IESE hosts the largest student run conference in Europe called Doing Good Doing Well. The people that come to IESE want to make an impact that will make the world a better place, and that was a key factor for me.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? In a perfect world, I would have helped the Women in Business club plan some events, landed the summer internship of my dreams, and be able to speak a decent level of Spanish. Did I mention IESE has a wonderful business Spanish program that’s free for students and integrated into the MBA?
But it’s only day four and I’ve already read 12 cases, danced until 3:00am (not a good idea with 8:30am classes), had four hours of business Spanish, been to three career services or club events, and somehow found time to call my mom. At this point, maybe simply survival would be success…