Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Yajie Luo, IESE Business School

Yajie Luo

IESE Business School at the University of Navarra

“I am a lifelong learner.”

Hometown: China, Guangdong Province, Guangzhou City

Fun Fact About Yourself:  I am a dog lover, and I brought my dog to Barcelona

Undergraduate School and Major: South China Normal University, Economics

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Alibaba, E-commerce Expert

What makes the case method so attractive as a means to learn and become a better manager? The cases we are studying are from the real business world, and they recalled my memory when I was facing similar dilemmas in my past working experiences as the major characters. And the class discussion gave me a lot of different perspectives of how to view the situations and how to better deal with them. That really helps me to grow and better prepare for my future development.

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 walkable city; you can get to everywhere within 30 minutes.

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 chose IESE because it is one of the only two business schools in the world with a super strong focus on the case method. Instead of lecturing, I knew for sure that I could learn more from discussing real world business cases that I have come across in my past and am supposed to face with in my future career journey.

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? The program is beyond my expectations. First, I am surprised by the dedication and professionalism of the professors. They are so passionate and inspiring, I learn from them not only systematic business knowledge, structured way of thinking, but also to love and excel what you are doing.

Advice for first years to thrive in the early months of the program? First, FOMO is normal and common Don’t be too stressed about it, you will be fine. Second, always remember what you really want, and prioritize your time. Third, we were in your shoes before, talk to us if you have any doubts. We are always there to help you.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at IESE? So far, I have enjoyed the ABP (Analysis of Business Problems) course the most. It trained us in the ability, provided us the tools, and prepared us with the mindset to analyze any business problems. It lays a good foundation for you to learn in other courses. I believe everyone in the business world should learn this course. And Professor Thomas is very inspiring, he always guides you to think deeper.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: When I was in Alibaba and responsible for the diaper self-run business, I managed to increase the new customer number (double digit higher industry level) while lowering the acquisition cost.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: The biggest accomplishment in the MBA is yet to come

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the IESE MBA program? First, start preparing NOW! Try to apply for the early rounds. Second, talk to the admission officers and alumni. Third, practice self-reflection and determine the things that are most important to you and what you really want, and who you truly want to be in the future.


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