Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Carolina Pascotto, IESE Business School

Carolina Pascotto

IESE Business School at the University of Navarra

“Product Marketer with a passion for tech and social/environmental impact.”

Hometown: São Paulo, São Paulo (Brazil)

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have performed Flamenco for the current King of Spain.

Undergraduate School and Major: Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Universidade de São Paulo (USP).

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Product Marketing Manager at Nubank.

What makes the case method so attractive as a means to learn and become a better manager? The case method enables two unique learning experiences: team discussions and the analysis of real-life business problems. At IESE, we prepare the cases for each class with a study group. These discussions are a great way to learn from different perspectives and cultures, and it also forces you to learn how to lead within a group of talented young professionals. The fact we get to discuss real problems that other managers faced is another advantage of the case methos, as it makes the learning both more interesting and more tangible. At the same time, the case method teaches us how to look at a business problem from various disciplines and angles, and gives us a framework to be able to solve them in a structured matter.

What has been your favorite part of Barcelona so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA? Being in a place where I’d feel comfortable and truly enjoy myself was one of the criteria I used for choosing my MBA program. And Barcelona really checked all the boxes. Barcelona is a vibrant and welcoming city, and the weather is fantastic (particularly for a Latin American such as myself); Barcelona’s strategic location within Europe not only offers a fantastic lifestyle but also positions us at the heart of a burgeoning entrepreneurial and tech hub. This unique combination enhances the overall MBA experience, providing exposure to dynamic opportunities and networks.

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 fact that IESE is a two-year MBA program was of the utmost importance to me. I wanted an immersive experience both academically and personally, and dedicating more time for it seemed fundamental. For example, in a two-year program, I’ll be able to enhance the skills developed during the program and get in touch with a new industry during the summer internship.

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? IESE challenges its students when it comes to its rigorous academic curriculum. It does require a lot of preparation before class, but this also enables huge growth in a short period of time. It can become overwhelming at times combining that with internship prep, clubs and networking events. To guarantee a healthy balance, especially for the first few months of the program, I would advise first-year students to rely on their team members and have good personal organization to prioritize the amazing learning opportunities IESE can offer.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at IESE? I have been actively participating in the Responsible Business and PEVC Clubs, while also becoming a First Year Director at both the Startup & Entrepreneurship and Impact Fund Clubs. These are the clubs that are most aligned with my career goals, and they have already helped me groom my networking and other specific skills I was looking to develop. It’s been a great opportunity to a start positioning myself in the areas I want to pursue from the get-go.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As a Field Marketing Specialist at Red Bull, one exciting responsibility I had was leading a group of eight interns.

It was my first experience managing people, leaving me very insecure. I faced logistical challenges because my team was scattered throughout multiple cities. Additionally, my boss was in another location so my own onboarding process was limited: my peers had benefited from weeks of on-site training with a manager.

My strategy as a new leader was to invest the time to get to know each member of my team, enabling me to build relationships of trust and understand their strengths and weaknesses. I also used my business sales know-how to leverage their work. By the end of the year, we delivered solid results for the company.

From all this amazing experience, the achievement of which I am most proud was securing a promotion for four of my top interns. It was extra special because Red Bull does not have a pipeline for interns after graduation, so I had to invest a lot of effort in showing management why those talented professionals deserved the opportunity.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: I’m proud of my determination and resilience to build my professional footprint in a completely new and niche industry: impact investing. This “non-traditional” path that I want to pursue is precisely why I joined IESE, a school whose commitment to humanitarian values and ESG principles provided the perfect foundation for my pursuit of impact investing.

The school’s support and my personal efforts align seamlessly, creating a symbiotic relationship that has helped propel me forward in my unconventional career path. The school has supported me in finding opportunities, but I also worked hard to build my own network, putting myself out of my comfort zone. I attended many industry events, reached out to professionals in the area and participated in relevant workshops that helped me solidify my knowledge. This journey not only strengthened my professional network but has also enhanced my ability to navigate unfamiliar terrains, communicate effectively, and adapt to dynamic industry landscapes.

While I recognize there is still much to achieve, I am confident that the foundation I’ve laid and the continuous support from IESE will propel me closer to my goals in impact investing. I’m excited about the journey ahead.

What has been your best memory as an MBA so far? There have been so many memorable moments – from the life-changing experience of moving to another continent, being challenged by the rigorous academic curriculum of IESE, to meeting people from all over the world. But if I had to choose one, I would say the most remarkable moment was attending a panel discussion at IESE on Impact Investing for Africa, which involved names from the industry. I want to become an impact entrepreneur in the future, tackling society’s and the environment’s most pressing issues through business. It was both refreshing and insightful to hear how different players in the impact investing industry (VCs, big funds and incubators) see the opportunities (and challenges) of leveraging business as a force of good.


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