2022 Best & Brightest MBA: Victoire Ferrari, ESMT Berlin

Victoire Ferrari

ESMT Berlin

“Experienced marketing manager with 10+ years’ experience honed through international assignments. Women in leadership advocate.”

Hometown: Lyon, France

Fun fact about yourself: I strongly believe that there is only one way to eat French fries: from the shortest to the longest.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Master’s in marketing and international business – INSEEC, Lyon, France

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Expedia Group – Marketing Manager

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? N/A

Where will you be working after graduation? Adidas AG – Senior Manager Brand Calendar

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Co-president, ESMT Berlin Women in Leadership Club, 2021

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Together with my team, we created and hosted the first ever ESMT Women in Leadership Week, incorporating conferences, workshops, and networking events to raise awareness, create opportunity for empowerment, and build a community supporting more equal chances in the work place.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Having built and run my own wedding planning agency in the French Alps. Being your own boss is an incredible opportunity to understand all the aspects of what business is. Mistakes are fully on you, hence you learn hard but fast; successes, though, are all yours and this is the most rewarding feeling I’ve ever experienced. Planning weddings is extremely demanding as well as fun and magical!

Why did you choose this business school? I chose to do my MBA at ESMT because of the strong international exposure of the program. Our batch was made of 27 different nationalities, and our teachers and lecturers are also from so many different countries and cultures. This is something books cannot teach, the open-mindedness you grow when collaborating with different mindsets and ways of working.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Guillermo Baquero, our finance professor. Finance is not my thing. At all. But Prof. Baquero has so much passion for it. He is so eager to help you see the beauty in it and so full of positive energy that you can only have an incredible experience during his module.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? I am very biased here but my favorite event has been our first ESMT Women in Leadership Week! We were not expecting the amount of support we received from inside and outside of ESMT as we started putting it together. Men and women, from all generations and backgrounds: so many raised their hands to be involved. This energy can move mountains! Moreover, I do hope this is going to be a tradition moving on.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? 2021 made it a special year. In other circumstances, I would have pushed my introvert self to get out of my comfort zone earlier and mingle with my classmates. This is all about human relationships, friendship, and networks, make the most out of it!

What is the biggest myth about your school? ESMT lived up to all my expectations and beyond. And if you hear about squirrels in the garden, even this is not a myth.

What surprised you the most about business school? I was expecting a very competitive atmosphere amongst our class, but it has been very collaborative, actually. It seems like we were all competing against our own selves, willing to be a better/different version of ourselves at the end of the program. The group dynamic and mindset have been of tremendous support.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? The interview process that was actually more about mutual discovery rather than a one-way discussion. You could tell that the program managers were trying hard to create an actual diverse group.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Li Gao, hands down! Not only is Li one of the smartest people I have ever met, but she went through this crazy MBA year while raising her toddler at home (because of COVID). Her ability to be fully invested in our class lectures and conversations while having her daughter seating on her lap is truly humbling. She is such an inspiring example that it may not always be easy to balance all one’s life choices, but it’s up to society to be flexible and adapt to make it happen. Li, you are my hero!

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? It’s a role model, a woman who made me open my eyes on this opportunity. I’m grateful to be surrounded by people like her, who once in a while will shake me up to make sure I make the right and sometimes bold choices for myself.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

Managing a team

Mentoring younger women

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? It opened brand new perspectives to me. Just when we were all lock down at home, I felt more freedom than ever to drive my career above and beyond thanks to the generally available option of remote working. I looked at this crisis as a sign for me to invest in my career by doing an MBA to continue fueling my professional trajectory in our new normal.

What made Victoire  such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“Victoire is indomitable once she gets an idea in her head, and she’s always thinking of new ideas. She wants to live in an empowering environment that provides opportunities for each person’s path to success, so as soon as she started her MBA program, she started taking actions to cultivate community at ESMT. She brings her quick and reflective mind, big heart, and dedicated soul to the actions she takes, whether in the classroom, in one-on-one discussions about personal and professional development, or while creating and implementing initiatives and collaborations at ESMT. Victoire served as co-president of the school’s Women in Leadership Club and she was a driving force behind its progress in 2021. She and her teammates conceptualized and carried out Women in Leadership Week, the school’s first event of its scope to focus on and promote awareness of the necessity of gender equality in the workplace. For her contributions to an inclusive campus culture, her leadership skills, and her commitment to furthering ESMT’s sustainable development, her classmates and ESMT’s faculty and staff awarded Victoire the President’s Award.”

Karen La Macchia
Library and Information Center Manager
ESMT Berlin



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