Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Nabil Rajafellah, Esade Business School

Nabil Rajafellah

Esade Business School

“Moroccan and Italian: raised in two contrasting worlds, and first in my family to enroll in a University.”

Hometown: Mantua (Italy) and Casablanca (Morocco).

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was honored to be invited to deliver a lecture at the University of Bari on Enhancing Finance Operations through Technology.

Undergraduate School and Major:

Undergraduate: Parma University, Economics and Management

Postgraduate: Parma University, Finance and Risk Management

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Boston Consulting Group (BCG) – Summer Consultant

What has been your favorite part of Barcelona so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA? I can summarize Barcelona in 3 different aspects: landscape, architecture, and its people. The combination of sea and mountains in one place provides a perfect place to do any type of activity that you could imagine – from hiking, mountain biking to beach volley to paddle boarding and, of course, football. The architecture is stunning. Each street has a unique and colorful design and silhouette; as you walk through different “barrios” you will see that no two streets are alike. And lastly, Barcelona has a great mix of people: it’s a huge melting pot of internationals and locals, which allows you to constantly be around new faces and cultures. You can be walking down the street and hear five languages happening all at once! Not to mention, all the international food that comes with it.

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? My favorite part of the curriculum was the case discussion methodology. Each professor has an extensive library of case studies that students need to review before each class and they encourage you to participate via cold calling.

It was extremely valuable because each case discussion forces you to develop critical thinking where you envision yourself as one of the protagonists of the cases, either by being leaders of organizations or governments. This emphasizes experiential learning while also understanding different world viewpoints working side by side with your classmates. In no other environment can you get such a wide breadth of opinions and knowledge. For me, all of this has strengthened my problem-solving skills and better prepared me for managerial positions.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Esade? The course I liked the most was Leading Change by Professor Luis Vives. His course was extremely practical as we did a real-time simulation to turn around a “failing” company. It was insightful; using expert contributions, entrepreneurship methods, and hearing success stories inspires you for the task ahead.

My favorite activity we did together as an MBA cohort was our Esade Section Olympics. We were divided into 3 different sections during the year, so towards the end, your section becomes almost like your MBA family. We created several sports challenges between all three to see which section would come out on top. So it was a fun way to end the year and bring some “friendly competition” into the mix one last time after all the studies were said-and-done.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I believe the best things I’ll accomplish are still ahead, especially with the Esade MBA that will unlock many new career paths where I can provide value in solving unique challenges.

To date, my biggest accomplishment has been being promoted with distinction at EY Business Consulting after 2 years. At the time, my EY team collaborated closely with a leading European account where we worked with teams based in several countries, composed of individuals of diverse nationalities and backgrounds to which posed substantial challenges due to cultural and operational differences. To overcome these obstacles, I took the ownership and organized one-to-one meetings. In the process, I gained valuable insights into the client’s unique needs and perspectives, facilitating group meetings to promote effective communication, and enabling the team to deliver the final deliverables. As a result, I was appointed as a permanent consultant for the client, who then offered me a position on their team.  It’s incredibly rewarding as a consultant to know that the clients take notice of you and appreciate your hard work.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: My biggest accomplishment so far was being offered 2 internship positions at BCG and Amazon back-to-back. Not only that, I also supported and tutored several of my classmates with case interview preparation, which was a demanding time commitment considering the heavy workload at Esade. I’m proud to say that one of them got an internship offer at his dream company.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? The best moment of my MBA was the HEC MBAT. It was honestly the best event in the MBA, in my opinion. It was an extensive sports competition amongst all relevant European business schools; it included football, basketball, swimming, CrossFit, board games and video games, dance competitions, live-band competition – and the list goes on! Every day for three days, there were games happening and you were competing against other top MBA schools which brought out the best sportsmanship, school spirit, and hype amongst your teammates and classmates who you may normally not have interacted with during the school year. It really brought us all closer together in such a short time. To wrap things up, HEC hosted an extravagant gala in one of the most beautiful locations in downtown Paris. In short, for 3 days you felt like a professional athlete.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Esade MBA program? First, time management is essential to completing the application. From the GMAT to essays to interviews. Start as early as possible to prepare, it’s a marathon, not a sprint! Second, network with Esade alumni; you will be surprised at how much insight you’ll gain about Esade and the program, which will boost your chances of getting admitted.


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