Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Boyd Williams, IESE Business School

Boyd Williams

IESE Business School at the University of Navarra

“I am driven, disciplined, competitive, and passionate. I love to help others, learn, and push myself to the limits, mentally and physically, to enable continuous growth and resilience.”

Hometown: McCrory, Arkansas

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have lived in four different countries in the last 8 years and worked with 24 different global militaries.

Undergraduate School and Major: United States Military Academy at West Point; International and Comparative Legal Studies

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: U.S. Army; Headquarters Battery Commander

What makes the case method so attractive as a means to learn and become a better manager? The case method is a fantastic and fun method that enables you to learn more thoroughly from your peers and their experiences. This methodology gives you the unique opportunity to learn through open discussion of your own perspectives and experiences with those of your classmates related to specific business problems.

What has been your favorite part of Barcelona so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA? Barcelona is a very welcoming city with a lively and open atmosphere. The entrepreneurial air of the city and multicultural experience combine with the positive energy and good climate of the city to create an amazing experience.

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? The most important factor in my decision to attend IESE was its team learning structure. As an athlete and ex-military member I strongly value being on a good team and know the positive outcomes of good teams. This structure allows students to learn and grow with each other because you’re constantly pushing each other and develop into a family-like group.

The IESE MBA is known for heavy reading and rigorous academics. Has the program lived up to its reputation? What advice would you give to first-years to help them thrive in the early months of the program? Yes, definitely. The program has been very rigorous in both the academic and career areas. From day one, every student is challenged to prepare 2-3 cases while also preparing or conducting interviews for internships. For incoming students or first-years, the best advice I can give is to arrive with an open mind and willingness to work hard from day one. Prepare yourself by reviewing subjects that you believe will be challenging for you on sites like Coursera or LinkedIn Learning and familiarize or refresh your knowledge of the basics.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at IESE? The Business Ethics and Leadership courses have been very enjoyable for me. As future managers and leaders within organizations, these topics pose the greatest risk for us and require us to understand these complex soft skill problems. Discussing the cases in these classes allows you to learn from and discuss difficult situations with classmates who have a wide range of cultural and professional experiences.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My greatest accomplishment thus far has been the successful establishment and growth of a multinational military training partnership between the US and UK, US and Polish militaries. Establishing formal partnerships between specific units in different militaries can be difficult. However, I was able to achieve my organization’s goals and create a foundational agreement for our specific units to conduct regular training and airborne operations annually. This strengthened my specific unit’s position by creating a partnership that would gain strength over time and improved the strategic position of US military forces in Europe.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: In my four months at IESE so far, I feel my biggest accomplishment has been the establishment of a network filled with highly accomplished, intelligent, and ambitious students and professors who enjoy helping others grow, learn, and succeed.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the IESE MBA program? The best advice I can give, other than to study hard for the GMAT, is to take the time to reach out to current students and alumni from your sector or with similar professional experience. The students and alumni offer a wealth of knowledge and insight into the program and can help with advice or the review of your essays or CV. Equally recommended is to contact the professional clubs associated with your sector of experience. These two things were the most helpful for me during my process. Alumni and the Veterans Business Club played a pivotal role in my decision to attend IESE and were extremely helpful throughout my application process.


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