One of my greatest strengths is my sense of curiosity, which has driven me in life to learn, explore and go outside my comfort zone. Professionally, it has enabled me at the companies I worked for to effect change, by helping me to see beyond how things work and ask how they can work even better. Personally, it appears in my passion for history and the hundreds of books and articles I’ve devoured. It even led me to live as a monk for 2 months, studying Kung Fu in the xxx.
Another strength is my will to achieve anything I set my mind to. It helped me to overcome my ADHD by developing my own set of tools, rather than taking medicine. It was in my being the first soldier in my class authorized as submarine duty officer, and in campaigning and being elected every year of university to Student Union leadership.
One of my greatest weaknesses, which I am working today to strengthen, is my tendency to think that simply proposing a good idea will be enough to get everyone on board. Experience has taught me that I must invest energy in explaining to my peers and managers why my idea will be beneficial and how it will work.
Finally, there is my drive to improve the world around me. It can be seen in the volunteer program I initiated in 2009, which still exists today, with 30 volunteers annually helping dozens of children at risk from immigrant families. It’s in my weekly volunteering at an animal shelter. And it is was in my commitment as VP, Student Union, that I led changes that improved the learning experience of 25,000 students; fought for the job security of our campus maintenance workers; and, as a Board member, established the university’s first Benefits Club.
The vision of every organization is ultimately driven by the values of its leaders. Growing up in the Holy Land, the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, I am strongly connected to the idea of posterity – of leaving the world better for future generations – an ideal I see expressed in IESE’s commitment to human dignity and ensuring universal prosperity.
These ideals guided me in my first management position as a naval technological intelligence researcher. Upon my promotion, I received a new assistant who was intelligent but confided in me early on that he was disinterested in serving in our unit, and wanted to ask for a transfer.
I was discouraged by his lack of motivation, but sensing his potential, I looked for a way to unlock it. An effective leader should inspire commitment, not expect it. I conversed with him about his preferences and endeavored to assign him projects that challenged and interested him, especially those that utilized programming skills. I encouraged him to send me his deliverables for the second review so that he would feel confident to be creative and make mistakes. I also invited him to come to me for help acclimatizing to the Navy’s strict environment.
Demonstrating personal interest in his development had a significant impact on his morale and commitment. He told me how he found joy in our work, and even our unit commander commented on his transformation to an exemplary member of our department.
Effective leadership requires recognizing every team member’s dignity and value. Taking courses such as “Leadership” and participating in the “Global Leadership Series” would help me to strengthen my leadership competencies and my toolkit for inspiring team morale. The IESE MBA will help me develop the skills to lead from a place of dignity and best practices for achieving posterity.
I wish that IESE would ask me why am I so passionate about FinTech.
I became attracted to the world of financial technologies in 2008, in the days of the global financial crisis. I was a first-year student of mathematics, fascinated by the crisis’ quantitative aspects. I learned that the financial sector had used sophisticated tools without being able to measure the risk exposures derived from such activity, and that understanding how to use advanced models and technologies is critical to FinTech’s success.
While serving in the Navy for 5 years in technology-driven positions, I experienced how technology shapes the character of organizations and enterprises. I learned the impact that mathematical models can have on decision-making processes, and how they can save manpower and money.
My dream is to work at the intersection of technology and finance to help the FinTech industry effectively approach and mitigate its risk management issues. As a former guardian of public security and trust with the Defense Forces, I am dedicated to making my country and the world a safe place, whether through the public or private arena. FinTech provides incomparable opportunities to fortify and protect businesses and economies across the globe.
My short-term goal after my MBA is to join a top-tier consulting firm in Europe, such as McKinsey & Company or BCG. Having gained experience as a PwC consultant, working with hi-tech and bio-tech companies, I plan to specialize in managing consulting projects within the Ed-tech or digital health space.
IESE’s use of the case-study method style of teaching will be great preparation for dealing with my client’s problems and will enable me to exploit the rich diversity of my classmates’ backgrounds. The Capstone (TFM) project, at the end of the first year, will be a great opportunity to practice real-world problem solving and present solutions to company executives. Classes such as ‘Mergers & Acquisitions,’ ‘Internet Enabling Strategies’ and ‘Managing Corporate Growth,’ which address core consulting topics, will broaden my business knowledge and hone skills essential for a consultant. I am also excited to join the Consulting club, where I can forge connections with fellow students who share my goals, as well as prepare for internship and job interviews.
IESE’s career services will also play a large role in helping me to land my ideal position, by organizing career forums, and treks to consulting firms, to meet with their recruiters.
In my mid-term goal as Engagement Manager, I will be leading consulting projects. My military experience as an officer, leading groups of people to accomplish missions, has provided a strong platform. To enhance my leadership skills, I intend to take courses at IESE, such as ‘Consulting Soft Skills: the Craft of Consulting Proposal Writing’ and ‘Creativity for Managers.’ These courses will allow me to put myself in the shoes of the decision-makers and learn from their experience.
As textile factories in India are designed for mass production, we faced immense challenges in meeting BISKIT’S small-scale production requirements. We eventually overcome the challenge by leveraging the spare capacity of a factory (current producer for Intidex) to produce our collection. To me, this difficulty in identifying a viable partner in a $150billion textile manufacturing industry is a problem, but a solvable one. I aim to create a shared economy platform that connects the small-scale production needs of independent designers worldwide with the excess capacity of Indian textile factories.
IESE’s curriculum and culture can help me realize this vision. The fashion/textile industry is complex and connecting potential “capacity providers” and “capacity seekers” will require an advanced level of problem-solving skills. The Strategic Management Fashion Industry elective can help me navigate this complicated industry while team-based Capstone projects can help me approach forthcoming challenges from different angles.
Building relationships with like-minded visionary peers through the Responsible Business Club and IFIC will motivate me to think with a purpose beyond profit. Participation in the DGDW Conference can give me access to a far-reaching network, possibly understanding how different countries are tackling similar issues. Additionally, a range of network access from sustainable business owners (Ramon Barbero, DGDW panelists) to revered industry leaders and alumni showcases an invaluable opportunity to conceptualize this idea under their mentorship.
Armed with newly formed industry acumen and business philosophy, I will have the ability to transform myself beyond just an entrepreneur and into a thought leader of the future, equipped with the skills to be successful and to make an IMPACT.
Having spent a successful career expanding Deloitte’s platform across various industries, including securing projects worth $10 million in 2016 alone, I always knew my future lay outside the world of audit. Therefore in 2017, in parallel to my work in Deloitte, I co-founded a unisex clothing label to capture the emerging gender-neutral apparel market. Scaling the business in the very first year, I secured partnerships with Berlin-based boutiques that now account for 80% of sales, which has energized my passion for entrepreneurship and retail.
My post-MBA goal is to gain retail industry exposure through a Business Development Manager position in an organization such as Inditex or H&M. Thereafter; I plan to return to my co-founders to expand its operations across Europe, to complement its existing operation in Germany and India.
To seamlessly actualize my goals, my discussion with Anina Tardif-Douglin (MBA ’19) assured me the exposure through the R&LG Club, Retail Treks (e.g. Milan and Barcelona Retail Safari), and the immersive Case Method curriculum would set the stage for a successful transition into this industry. Prof. José Nueno’s ‘Marketing’ class, a favorite amongst students, will be the perfect place to enhance my customer acquisition strategies – an invaluable asset for any new entrepreneur. Additionally, the option to utilize the Track-1 Summer Internship to create a European market expansion strategy will be essential to capitalize on the retail industry’s movement to gender-neutral clothing.
For me, IESE is an entrepreneurship-focused investment – Surrounded by like-minded peers at the Startup & Entrepreneur Club, networking during ‘Breakfast with Entrepreneur’, and mentorship opportunities under industry leaders like Carlos Costa (COO, MANGO) through ‘WeGrow’ will provide me with significant returns.
Finally, with Barcelona hosting the Retail & Brand Experience World Congress, its position as one of the centers of fashion and retail is invaluable in gaining real-time inspiration and industry knowledge. For the reasons stated above, IESE and its location in the progressive Catalan capital is the perfect platform to develop my skills and expand a sustainable gender-neutral vision, catapulting my entrepreneurial ambition.
I’ve been greatly inspired by the German basketball player Dirk Nowitzki, whose guiding values of discipline and teamwork have helped me define my leadership style.
Nowitzki began playing basketball at age 14 and only seven years later, he played his first NBA game. He described himself as a young and hungry player who intuitively did many things right though he lacked some necessary technique. His commitment to fill his gaps and his team-first mentality inspired me.
Nowitzki’s achievement and insights highlighted that one should never rely on one‘s strengths for success, but rigorously work on improving one’s weaknesses. His philosophy was pivotal in shaping my transformation as a high school football player. Like Nowitski, I worked diligently to improve weaknesses, including tactical positioning, and speed. My efforts paid off and I was selected captain of the Varsity team. I became top scorer in my league for three consecutive seasons and two-time athlete of the year. I led the varsity team to win the most prestigious high-school tournament.
Nowitski has also inspired me in my career. After becoming the NBA MVP, he had multiple opportunities to join higher profile teams and earn more lucrative endorsement contracts.
Instead, Nowitzki chose to stay with the Dallas Mavericks and voluntarily waived wages in excess of $50M to enable his team to lure and employ young talent. I was incredibly moved by the way he prioritized the team’s success over his own. He inspired me.
I will continue to work relentlessly on improving my weakness and advocating on behalf of employees to reflect Nowitski’s leadership through discipline, teamwork and altruism.
he person who shaped and inspired me the most is my first ever mentor at the company I worked for and now good friend, ____. Without him, I would not have been able to create the life and career I am in now.
I joined that company straight from university into a highly competitive entry-level position, as part of an assistant team to one of central board members. I was surrounded by high-performing and experienced team members, including ____. Our boss was known for being highly demanding and I felt the pressure from day one. I saw two peers leaving the job as they were struggling to cope with the expectations. I had a rising concern that I might be next, and I felt increasingly insecure and unconfident.
He became aware of my situation and extended his help. Before every meeting with our boss, he would simulate the agenda with me. He shared his knowledge and experience while I was growing into the role. He showed empathy to my situation while he did not have any professional or personal gain in mentoring me. Without his help I would not have made it through my first year, nor would I have had the courage to take the risk and apply for a relocation to China, which shaped me as a person more than anything else.
Experiencing life-altering empathy and mentoring gave me a lesson and guiding light for life. I subsequently supported a struggling team member who later on became the pillar of our board team and a talented female Chinese logistics operations clerk who now is an amazing warehouse performance analyst. Mentoring junior employees is not only a tribute to ____, but enables me to pay it forward, have a deep impact on people and makes me a better leader.
My career growth at the company I worked for allowed me to learn various disciplines and provided exposure to multiple cultures. As a young foreigner, without prior language or cultural experience, I literally jumped into the ‘deepest end of the pool’. Within days I went from drawing up strategy concepts in a cozy board office in Germany to a 40-degree non-airconditioned warehouse in the Chinese countryside. Gaining the trust and respect of the local Chinese team by being humble instead of directive, and working side by side with them on the warehouse floor was a truly life-changing experience.
Subsequently, leading the biggest strategy change in history for the company China allowed me to deliver a substantial impact on all company levels. I coped with company political and operational headwinds while learning to overcome self-doubts and persevere with my ideas even through dark moments of doubt.
Leading the transition from our traditional European E-Commerce activities, to a localized Chinese approach, allowed me to gain additional experience in China’s fast-growing E-commerce industry.
Therefore, I feel that while I only worked for one company, I have navigated my career to be as diverse and challenging as possible. I’m looking forward to sharing these experiences with my IESE peers and contributing to class discussions. Beyond the classroom, I can also contribute to the China Club, bringing in my European perspective of doing business in China.
Beyond my professional experience, giving back to people who are not as lucky as I was in my life has always been part of my life. I feel that the people-centric values of IESE Business School will enable me to impact and develop myself within the vastly diverse cohort. I look forward to doing so first as an MBA candidate, and then beyond, as a supportive, value-driven, and internationally minded alumnus.
How can you improve your IESE MBA Essays?
Aringo's experts can help you present yourself best