Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Inês Filipa Rodrigues Fonseca Monteiro, Esade Business School

Inês Filipa Rodrigues Fonseca Monteiro

Esade Business School

“Curious by nature, restless by heart. The intersection of business and societal impact moves me.”

Hometown: Amora, Portugal

Fun Fact About Yourself: At my University, I was part of a musical group composed of more than sixty girls where I played an instrument called “Cavaquinho” (like ukulele) for almost 6 years. During my time within the musical group, I was elected to lead it and was also part of the musical committee where together with 2 friends, composed 3 songs that the group still plays today.

Undergraduate School and Major: Master in Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Lisbon

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Global internship in Innovation and Sustainability at Roche Global Headquarters, Basel.

What has been your favorite part of Barcelona so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA? Whether it be the vibrant streets, music that fills every corner, delicious tapas, incredible weather, and people from all over the world, Barcelona has a heartbeat that makes the city unforgettable. Barcelona has the perfect balance between work, culture, and fun which turns it into the perfect landscape for a very intense and remarkable MBA experience. This city has given me some of my core life memories.

Aside from your classmates and location, what has been your favorite part of Esade Business School’s MBA programming and why has it been so valuable to you? Esade has an integrated approach, and many classes are somehow connected. This allows us to gain a deeper understanding of how various aspects of business relate to each other. A very practical and valuable exercise was the “Business Simulation”, where we had to connect all our learnings from financial accounting, finances, marketing, sustainability, strategy, and leadership to turnaround a fictional company. It was tough, complex, and challenging, but it highlighted why having a macro understanding of various business subjects is crucial.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Esade? I was elected by my classmates to be the VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the MBA Student Association. By far, that has been the role I have enjoyed the most. I am able to enhance the learning experience of my MBA colleagues by ensuring everyone student feels seen, heard, stereotypes are broken, and empathetic leadership is promoted. I also have the opportunity to assist in shaping DEI positioning within the Business School, particularly in the MBA program, which has been an incredible honor and responsibility.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: NGOs in Portugal typically react to immediate needs, but I have always tried to take a more proactive approach, understanding the ecosystem and our positioning so we could grow in a sustainable way through balancing impact and economic stability. During my time working at one NGO, we conducted a deep analysis, both internally and externally, which led to our team making strategic decisions that had an immense impact on the organization’s growth. We were able to double the size of our team, establish a dedicated marketing department, and adopt a more targeted approach to engage our partners, clients, and beneficiaries. As a result, our revenue increased, and we were able to scale our impact.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: During my MBA, I have prioritized having exposure to diverse ways of thinking, personalities, and cultures. Currently, I am doing an internship at Roche headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, collaborating with people from all over the world. Later this year, I will be heading to Bengaluru, India for a two-month internship at Infosys, where I’ll experience a completely different culture. In addition to international internships, next year I will complete my exchange program in São Paulo, Brazil, a country where I always wanted to have an immersive experience. Pursuing an “All around the world MBA ” has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone to grow and develop professionally and personally.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? My best memory was from this past Christmas. Esade has a remarkably diverse cohort and some of my closest friends are from South America. Knowing that many of these friends did not have their families present and could not go home, I invited seven of them to spend Christmas Eve and the MBA break at my house, alongside my own family. We had the most international Christmas ever, with songs from Peru, Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina being played at the dinner table. It was emotional and unforgettable not only for us as friends but also for my family. To this day, they still talk nostalgically about that amazing moment. My friends who have become family to me, are the source of my happiest memories from the MBA.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Esade MBA program? Be unapologetically yourself. Do not try to fit into a box. At Esade, your professional abilities are valued, but equally important are your personal values. Show how this experience can leverage your career ambitions but also how you can add value to your colleagues and to the school. Esade emphasizes collaboration and teamwork—a spirit of connecting with one another and pushing ourselves as well as our peers to continually improve and grow together.


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