2023 MBA To Watch: David Boix Nebot, IESE Business School

David Boix Nebot

IESE Business School

“Aerospace engineer by degree, scuba diving instructor by nature looking to develop aviation in Latin America.”

Hometown: Barcelona, Spain

Fun fact about yourself: Although I was born and raised in Barcelona (Spain), I never worked in Spain and came back for my MBA after having spent 7 years working in France, Germany and Italy.

Undergraduate School and Degree: BSc. in Aerospace Engineering (UPC-BarcelonaTech), MSc. in Aerospace Engineering (ISAE-Supaero), LLB. in Spanish Law (UOC)

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? I was working as Expansion Manager for Italy in a European start-up named Glovo. Previously, I worked for 5 years in Airbus in France and Germany in the aviation business.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2022? Bain & Company (Mexico)

Where will you be working after graduation? I will go back to Mexico in Bain & Company

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

IESE Trust Scholarship

Mentor at IESE Consulting Club

Exchange Program at MIT Sloan and Harvard Business School

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? IESE offers a wide range of opportunities to contribute. Indeed, one of the school values is “spirit of service”. In my case, I had the opportunity to give back to the school and IESE’s community by mentoring several students in the consulting club and helping them navigate the recruiting process and case interviews. This allowed for an increase in the number of consulting offers given to IESE MBA students to a record number last year (around 2.5x times as many compared to previous years).

On the academic side, I am very grateful to have been selected to participate in the exchange program at MIT-Sloan and Harvard Business School. This allowed me to represent my school abroad, enrich my network internationally and discover other business schools (it was like 3 MBAs in one!).

On a more personal aspect, having grown up here in Barcelona, I had the opportunity during these two years to show the beauty of Barcelona and the country to my fellow classmates. For instance, I organized several scuba diving trips to discover the best underwater spots around the coast of Barcelona.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? As a triple jumper (company, country and function), it wasn’t obvious to pivot into a new professional path, especially wanting to still “keep an eye” on the aviation business. The diversity at IESE allowed me to develop close relationships with several students from Latin American countries. These contacts made me discover this fast-growing region with dozens of opportunities to make a long-lasting impact. This is why I decided to focus my next step on consulting in Latin America, ideally working with clients from the aviation and the aerospace sector. After going through the recruitment process and with the help of the MBA, I was able to secure several good offers from top consulting firms and successfully did the “triple jump” change.

Why did you choose this business school? In my case, there were three reasons which made me choose IESE Business School over other business schools. First, I wanted to have a two-year program to have enough time to build my personal and professional network, as well as have a longer and more intense academic experience. Second, I was looking for diversity in the class (such as nationalities) as I truly believe it amplifies your both your MBA academic and personal learning experience. IESE, having 85% international students and students representing 50+ nationalities, was the ideal choice in that respect.

Finally, I wanted to find a school with a strong purpose besides business and profits. Learning how to successfully manage a business is important. However, doing business should be in parallel with creating a positive and long-lasting impact in society. IESE’s values and the MBA program curriculum has a strong focus on ethical business and these topics are discussed very often in class. This represented for me an important decision point for choosing IESE.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? IESE has excellent faculty and it is difficult to choose only one professor. In my case, there were two professors who I would like to mention. The first one is Miguel Anton, who teaches “Capital Markets” during the first year. He completely masters the class dynamics and is able to keep the section fully engaged over the entire lesson. He is an excellent communicator and is able to teach finance topics to 1st-year students coming from non-financial backgrounds in an easy and enjoyable way.

The second one is Edi Soler, who teaches “Analysis of Business Problems” (named “ABP”). ABP is a mandatory 1st-year course which teaches students how to approach different kinds of unstructured business problems (which is the day-to-day job of a manager). He taught us a way of thinking and a way to approach problems and decisions that was later on very helpful in my professional career.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? The most important events/traditions at IESE leverage on the vast diversity of students. My favorite one is called “Multi-Culti”, which happens during a Saturday in February in a large open-air architectural museum in Barcelona called “Poble Español”. During all the afternoon and night, each country (or group of countries) has a stand where they do cultural activities related to the country (from Chinese calligraphy to Spanish Flamenco music), including also regional food and drinks. It is a large event where most 1st- and 2nd-year MBA students join (usually with other friends/partners) and a fantastic opportunity to discover other cultures while having fun with your MBA classmates.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? There is such a large number of activities in the MBA that it is difficult to partake in many without missing some. Like several other MBA students, I did develop some kind of FOMO (fear of missing out). With dozens of events going in parallel, I felt sometimes overwhelmed and stressed, wanting to take part in all of them. Looking at it now with perspective, I would have been less worried about missing out on some activities. Instead of trying to participate in all of them, focus on some specific activities or clubs.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Back in 2020, there seemed to be a myth that IESE focused its post-MBA career opportunities in Spain/Latam, as the school is located in Spain. Although it is true that IESE has very strong links with Spain and Latam, IESE has a strong international presence, with a campus in Munich, Sao Paulo and New York and focal points-of-contact in Asia. When I arrived to IESE and talked with our Career Development Center (CDC), I discovered a far larger range of job and career opportunities across the entire world. Nowadays, I have colleagues starting to work in the Middle-East, Northern Europe and Asia, among other locations.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? I am a bit biased with this question as I was born and raised in Barcelona. Although Barcelona is known for its soccer team and Messi, it is a vibrant city which offers the possibility to go either to the sea/beaches or to the mountains within a 90 minute car ride. It also combines a vibrant architecture with a strong cultural heritage and offers tons of activities to do, ranging from electronic music festivals to opera or contemporary art museums. Finally, it is worth mentioning that the food is extremely good. An important thing to highlight is that, as an MBA student at IESE, you would be staying in Barcelona for several months, which would allow you to discover in-depth the city outside its main tourist sites.

What surprised you the most about business school? The academic intensity during the first year is pretty high. The program is designed to be very demanding (3 cases a day plus technical notes), at least during the first year. Combining that with the structured recruitment processes that happen during the first term (for consulting and banking), it results in a high intensity first-term. Coming from an aerospace engineering background, I thought that academically speaking the intensity would be lower but the reality turned to be very demanding.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? In my case I applied to IESE throughout the deferred admissions program which is called “Young Talent Path” in 2017 (it is very similar to the 2+2 program at HBS). I knew I wanted to pursue an MBA at some point during my professional career, but I wanted first to gain some professional experience. Applying to this program, 3-4 years before starting the MBA, gives you the possibility to secure in advance admission to the IESE MBA as well as a scholarship. Also, it gives you the opportunity to participate in IESE Community activities such as attending some lectures or going into the yearly Global Alumni Reunion. All these activities help you better get to know the school and the program.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? One of the classmates that I admire most is my colleague Hahn Chang, a true Minnesotan. Hahn was also a member of my core team and we spent many hours together, not only discussing cases but also travelling and even scuba diving. He is not only one of the smartest people I have ever known, but he is also someone that really cares about others. What I most appreciate from him is his internal purpose to contribute to the society, this is why he decided to work in politics and later on in healthcare in the US COVID vaccination program.

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

First, would like to build a healthy professional career and have the opportunity to grow a family. Consulting tends to be a very demanding job, so I think it is important to manage the workload in a sustainable way while delivering value to the company and its clients.

Second, I would like to continue working in Latin America, a region that offers a wide range of opportunities for business development and to make a lasting impact in Mexico. Ideally, I would like to focus my consulting projects on aviation as this sector acts as an engine for the local developing economies and also presents opportunities for decarbonization.

What made David such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“I got to know David last year as he took the MBA course on managerial accounting I teach at IESE Business School. David was one of the top students in that class. During the course, he showed proficiency in quantitative techniques as well as a good understanding of the business situations we analyzed in class. He was active in the discussions and provided a number of insights that greatly enriched the conversation. I will finish by adding that David is not only a hard-working and talented young man with a great leadership potential, but also a person you can trust.”

Gaizka Ormazabal
Professor of Accounting and Control
Grupo Santander Chair of Financial Institutions and Corporate Governance

“I had the opportunity to meet and interact with David when he was my student in the first-year core course “Global Economics”. In this course we explore the foundations of economics and its application in understanding the economic landscape of different regions and countries across the world.

David was one of the most engaged students in my class. From the very beginning, he actively participated in all case discussions covering complex topics like Argentinian inflation, Hong Kong exchange rate policy or the advent of the euro in Europe. His performance over the course, assignments, and exams was exceptionally solid, resulting in the highest mark in my course. In particular, his comments were smart and positively challenging, introducing fresh points of view that greatly enriched the class discussion and contributed to the learnings of all his classmates.”

Eduard Talamàs
Assistant Professor of Economics


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