2018 MBAs To Watch: Adelina Gerteis, IESE Business School

Adelina Gerteis

IESE Business School

Passionate hard-worker who loves deeply, enjoys life and faces its challenges head on.”

Age: 28

Hometown: Munich, Germany

Fun fact about yourself: I got a tattoo during my MBA in Barcelona that will always remind me about my learnings and my transformation at IESE. I was inspired by the statue “La girafa coqueta”, which is close to my house at the Rambla de Catalunya in Barcelona.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Bachelor of Arts (Logistics & Supply Chain)

Where did you work before enrolling in business school?

Inverto GmbH – a Boston Consulting Group Company as Project Manager

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017?

Microsoft – Munich, Germany

Where will you be working after graduation?

Microsoft – Product Marketing Manager Artificial Intelligence Germany

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am really proud of gaining a sponsored exchange term to Boston MIT & HBS from IESE. There are in total just two spots for the whole class and I felt really honored to be able to represent and transmit the IESE spirit across the big pond.

From a personal perspective, I am really proud of how my husband and I have managed our marriage during the MBA journey, since we have been apart the whole MBA living in different countries and even at times different continents. We have managed to stay driven and focused to follow our own dreams, but without forgetting about the joint impact we want to create.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am really proud of my promotion to Project Manager within 12 months after becoming a senior consultant just the year before. This promotion was an important milestone in my career since it showed me that I was not just able to be analytical, but was also trusted to lead a team of five consultants.

This first exposure to leadership gave me a great opportunity to learn a lot about myself but especially to learn what my impact on others around me is.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? IESE has lots of amazing and dedicated professors who always go beyond teaching in class. For me, I always enjoyed the classes with Wei Luo, who was always very energetic and dedicated until the last minute in class. Wei always managed to make any theoretical content as tangible as possible and never forgot to illustrate the human aspect in everything. His enthusiasm is contagious and really gives you the sensation that you are learning for life.

What was your favorite MBA Course? I had my biggest “ah ha” moments in “Analysis of Business Problems”. Even though it seems to be a very structured and analytical subject, I found myself being surprised about how often numbers and concepts are important but not the most crucial components to making a decision. It was interesting to see that even if analytically speaking and number-wise it made sense to go for a certain decision, it was sometimes the wrong one because it ignored the human setting around it. To focus more on the human-centric perspective of business is absolutely something I will take way more into account.

Why did you choose this business school? IESE manages to recruit the right people. We have an amazing community that is very collaborative and supportive in every sense. I have never met so many successful and driven people, who are empathic and caring at the same time. Throughout the admissions process, I had that warm and caring impression about IESE and it carries on.

Another criterion was definitively the diversity. IESE is very international in comparison to many other schools. The multitude of perspectives that you can gain at IESE is incredible. It really enriches your MBA experience.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Be authentic and be yourself. Grades are important, but everybody who is applying has great grades; try to stand out as a human being and bring a growth mindset to the table.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Being a business achool in Spain, IESE’s internationality and amplitude of diverse perspectives is underestimated.

I was personally surprised by how far many of my classmates traveled to be part of IESE. My core team of nine people, for example, came from Malaysia, Philippines, Brazil, Peru, Romania, Germany, Spain and Australia. Just imagine our discussions and intercultural experiences. I really learned to think outside the box and put myself in at least 40 culturally different shoes.

What was your biggest regret in business school? I do not have any regrets, since I believe in learning instead. Every day, we have the power make choices and I believe that as long as I am taking my choices based on well developed information, I should not regret anything. It is always easier to judge in retrospect, but that just makes us undervalue what we have learned and earned from that.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…way better off financially but way poorer in life-long international friendships

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience?

–     Build a Gym on campus.

–     Create an interactive app that consolidates the various platforms and resources we have at IESE.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

–     Sabbatical in South East Asia

–     Run the Berlin Marathon

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As a passionate and approachable person who you can go to for any advice you might need in your personal life or business!

What is your favorite movie about business? My favorite movie is Catch Me If You Can, since it shows how important it is to challenge the way things are today. It really triggers your creativity and gives you a great spirit to find a solution and not be problem-oriented.

What would your theme song be?

“Feel It Still” / Portugal.The man

Favorite vacation spot: Tulum, Riviera Maya / Bohol, Philippines

Hobbies? Canyoning, Skiing, Sailing, Hosting dinners and cooking for my friends

What made Adelina such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

From the start of the MBA program, Adelina brought a mixture of tremendous energy and very strong analytical and interpersonal skills, getting involved in a number of initiatives and projects as well as doing her coursework extremely well. At the same time, Adelina has a degree of humility which is surprising in a woman who is so driven and succesful. She played a key role in bringing her team together at a critical juncture and has been an asset to the program in every way.”

Mike Rosenberg

Assistant Professor Strategic Management

“Adelina is one of those students who make it a privilege to be working at IESE. Her high levels of energy and spontaneity go hand in hand with a strict “zero bs” attitude and deep humility. She is a doer who makes things happen – someone I look forward to working with in her capacity as supporter of the school and advisor to MBA Admissions.”

Pascal Michels

MBA Program Admission Director







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