Meet IESE Business School’s MBA Class Of 2021

Tselmegtsetseg Tsetsendelger (Tee) 

IESE Business School Class of 2021 at the University of Navarra

“21st-century Mongolian-American nomad looking to increase her impact on international development.”

Hometown: Darkhan, Mongolia, and Alameda, California

Fun Fact About Yourself: Sang on stage with Chuck Berry in St.Petersburg, Russia (2013).

Undergraduate School and Major: Kenyon College, International Studies and Russian Area Studies Majors

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Regional Program Analyst supporting SHOPS Plus project’s operations in Afghanistan and India at Abt Associates Inc

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Implementing my own project in rural Mongolia impacting the lives of nomadic families by building a greenhouse next to a school so that students have access to more nutritious options beyond the traditional meat and dairy products.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Openly sharing – everyone has been helpful in sharing their experiences from getting through the Spanish immigration system to sharing insights from their professional experiences.

What makes the case method so attractive as a means to learn and become a better manager? Being able to put myself in real-life moments and learning from my classmates as we discuss the importance of the information given is going to be the best way for me to learn and explore my own decisions and blindness. Also knowing that there is no right answer to the decision is both comforting and frustrating!

Aside from classmates and cases, 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? The alumni network. During my summer when I was applying for schools, I was in Mongolia for a month and was searching to see if there are any alumni whom I could meet with while I was in Ulaanbaatar. The only person that responded back to me and who was willing to meet me was an alum from IESE!

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I look forward to joining the Women in Business Club.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? What would my second option be if my chosen field of international development did not work out? As someone who has worked in international development for the past few years, this was a scary thought to have to start all over again with a new career that I may not be as aware of and be as passionate about. But my interviewer was deliberate in making me think hard about myself and even offered his own suggestions based on my resume. I really appreciated how the interview was more of a conversation on how IESE and I would work together.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? My desire to increase my impact led me to pursue an MBA. The skills that an MBA program equips an individual with is being increasingly recognized in international development. I want to be able to bring in the needed skills to improve communities and countries while working with various stakeholders both private and public.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Berkeley Haas, Ross at Michigan and USC.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I determined my fit by establishing what I wanted from a business school and the experiences that I valued. Being both American and Mongolian and speaking three languages (English, Russian and Mongolian), I wanted to be among people like myself who valued intercultural exchange and wanted to learn from each other as much as from the school. I researched culture by speaking with people from the school, it was clear when the interactions immediately clicked! Every step of the way, IESE alums that I met in Mongolia and D.C. – as well as the admissions committee over email and at events – were the best people that I met!

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Moving to the United States as an 11-year-old was a defining moment in my life. It made me question the inequalities that I witnessed between the countries that I had been to by then and I continue to pose those questions to all the countries that I have traveled to since then – from Senegal to Ukraine and India to now Spain.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? In 10 years, I hope to be leading my own impact somewhere in the world and making a positive change.

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