2022 MBA To Watch: Joel Garrido Gallardo, INSEAD

Joel Garrido Gallardo


“Nonconformist, ambitious, energetic and empathic person who is always looking for the next adventure.”

Hometown: Barcelona, Spain

Fun fact about yourself: I did a gap year after finishing high school before starting university, travelling a lot mostly within South America.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering (ETSEIB – Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya)

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Accenture – Strategy & Consulting Consultant

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

Where will you be working after graduation? Currently I am exploring different options, mainly interested in strategy consulting and the startup ecosystem.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Although we are still in P1, I am part of different clubs at INSEAD, such as the Consulting and PE/VC clubs.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Still in P1 (N/A)

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of the growth that I had in Accenture and the confidence shown towards me from my partner and all the managers that I had. Thanks to my good performance, I was early promoted from analyst to consultant, getting to work in very international projects for multiple clients, constantly leading many complex meetings and workshops with more than 30 people from more than 25 different countries, always building very healthy relationships.

Why did you choose this business school? Prestige and diversity are the first words that come into my mind when thinking why I wanted to apply to INSEAD. I knew from the very first moment that coming to INSEAD would grant me a knowledge and a wide range of possibilities very hard to match in any other business school. When it comes to diversity, INSEAD has always been one of the leading schools in the world. Therefore, I always felt it was a safe shot since I was completely sure I was going to enrich myself from many different cultures, something that has always fascinated me.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? All teachers at INSEAD have the ability to transmit a lot in all the classes, always getting to capture students’ attention and having everyone committed all the time. Nevertheless, if I had to highlight the teacher who I liked the most so far, I would say it is Lite Nartey. She teaches Strategy, and what is really special about her is that she is always able to connect with all students, making everyone feel very comfortable all the time. She is able to transform a simple class to a very dynamic discussion in which we all want to participate and challenge each other, making it both very insightful and funny at the same time.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Not worrying so much at the beginning about how would be living such an impactful experience, in which I was going to constantly meet new people in such a short amount of time. I remember thinking that it would be very overwhelming, but it ended up being funny, natural, and fascinating.

What surprised you the most about business school? The quality of the teachers, as well as the constant feeling of being in a very special place, is going to change your life.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I would say being myself all the time and trying to project that image, without trying to pretend being something I am not. In summary, being sincere and real.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? To be honest, I have many sensational, interesting, and smart colleagues, but if I had to choose one would be my classmate and friend Carmen Ramírez. She was a lawyer before joining INSEAD. Even though doing an MBA was not very common in her field – and despite having many close people not really sure about the idea of pursuing and MBA – she was always committed to learning and changing the sector she was working in. Therefore, she threw herself to the adventure. Last but not least, I have always been very impressed by Carmen ‘s personality. She is a wonderful person, always with a smile on her face and ready to help anyone. She is a hard-working person always willing to give it all to achieve her goals, which I am sure she will end up accomplishing.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Definitively one of my best Friends, Pablo Consuegra, who joined INSEAD the previous batch (22J). We met each other when we worked together in Accenture. I will never forget the endless moments we spent together studying for the GMAT and preparing the INSEAD application, as well as always pushing each other and talking about how our future would be after joining INSEAD.  

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Having a leadership position that allows me to have a real impact, and eventually creating my own company with the ultimate goal of improving society somehow.

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? Spending so much time at home made me reflect a lot in my life and my future. It helped me confirm that I wanted to leave my comfort zone. Surely, having so much quiet time without moving much made me feel even more anxious to live the tremendous experience and adventure of pursuing the MBA. At the same time, and most importantly, it helped me to understand what I want in my life and what would really make me happy in my professional career.

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

“The Admissions Committee thought that Joel had demonstrated tenacity and drive as a professional horse rider who had won multiple times the Catalonian Regional Championship and the Spanish National Championship as well as represented the national team in international championships. Joel made the difficult decision to stop horse riding to go back to university. Then did an internship with Accenture which transformed into a full time position.”

Virginie Fougea
Global Director of Admissions & Financial Aid


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