Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Ignacio Guitard, IESE Business School

Ignacio Guitard

IESE Business School

“Learning husband and father very curious on how to help other people through business and innovation.”

Hometown: Madrid, Spain

Fun Fact About Yourself: Played against the Real Madrid under 21 team back in the old days

Undergraduate School and Major: ICADE, Law and Business Management

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Bain and Company, Consultant

What makes the case method so attractive as a means to learn and become a better manager?  I think the same attractiveness as working in consulting: You learn from different industries and sectors in a very short time. The fact that you prepare almost 15 cases per week leaves a knowledge base that I found hard to achieve through other learning processes. Beyond what you can learn by preparing the case and participating in class, seeing how others tackle the same problem is eye opening and makes you question your learning process and conclusions on every step.

What has been your favorite part of Barcelona so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA? The city is beautiful. This is coming from Madrid there is a non-written rivalry between both cities. Yet when I came… wow, it’s much more beautiful than what I expected.

I live in the upper part of the city (Sarria – Sant Gervasi), which is great for families. Sometimes, I miss L’eixample, which is more suitable for beers and hanging around. If I would have to select one thing about Barcelona though, it would be its cultural heritage, especially all of Gaudi’s architecture. We (my wife, baby and myself) have been to Park Güell and La Sagrada Familia and we are in love with how he saw the world, his faith and how he lived his Christianity.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of the IESE Business School MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you?  I guess it was a mix of things. Yet above all, I was called by the supportive and serving spirit that IESE has and that I see across the faculty members and classmates. If I were to select something more academic, it would be the set up for entrepreneurs. They offer the Summer Entrepreneurship Experience and have a very strong club, which has been enormously helpful.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at IESE? The entrepreneurship ecosystem on the campus. The setup is above my expectations. I knew beforehand that some teachers were experts in the topic, especially in new ways of entrepreneurship such as search funds. However, I didn’t expect such a solid entrepreneur club that fosters creativity. Just as an example, I had a plan to launch an NGO during the two years of the MBA. My original idea was to start it at the beginning of the second year, right after one year of learning and doing an internship in a VC or a startup. However, it only took the opening meeting of the club and the advice of two second-year students to launch the idea to the market. So far, I’ve already launched the pilot and feel very confident on the next steps. In all this process, the club has been very involved and I even created a board council (which we call the wisdom committee) that gives me feedback on my idea.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: There are certain cases that come to my mind where we delivered a great output for the client and I feel proud of the work I did. However, I would say that my biggest accomplishment is learning from every experience (good or not that good) that I lived in the cases. During these years, I put under practice and develop things as being humble, listen first, appreciate any piece of feedback, gain perspective on problems, understand people… I’m definitely not the same professional who entered Bain in 2018; People helped me to make the best of every situation and that’s my biggest accomplishment.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: Well, the biggest accomplishment here should actually go to my wife. I’m writing about how amazing it is to be part of IESE, but she’s the one who has given me all the support and who has been spending time with our son while I am in class. Without her, I would not be able to accomplish anything. And I think it is important to mention this, because in general, lots of people have family (parents, partners and children) who support them in these ventures and they are a key factor to us reaching our goals. So many thanks Rocio!

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the IESE MBA program? I see that IESE cares the most about the people, and that is something you realize from the first moment you enter the campus. For example, every morning when Conchi, the server attending the cafeteria, sees me entering, she prepares me the coffee with skim milk that I always ask for (no need for me to ask). I know it is a minor example, but it represents very well IESE. I would suggest any applicant to stress those situations in their lives where they focus on putting others first.

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