In August this year, IESE MBA Admissions hosted an open dialogue in Manila, with the theme “Career Choices Women Make”. The objective was to share experiences and learnings, and provide guidance to aspiring women professionals in their career progression. Starting the session with a great vibe, we welcomed over twenty female professionals from various industries to join us that evening. We were also thrilled to have with us a diverse panel of three successful female business leaders:
• Avic Caparas: Associate Professor at University of Asia & the Pacific, School of Management
• Maricris Crisostomo: with over 30 years in the corporate sector and have worked in companies such as Intel, IBM, NutriAsia and Advantek
• Aimee Flordeliza: IESE MBA 2012, Vice President for EARGHO Realty, co-founder of Conduction Plate Manila and Franchise World Link Philippines
The event was led and moderated by Karen Crisostomo, MBA Class of 2017 and currently part of the IESE MBA Admissions team based in Barcelona. During the session, our panelists shared their personal journeys, challenges and decisions that they have faced in their career. Key themes that were discussed revolved around finding meaning in work, managing differences and expectations, making tough decisions, balancing one’s career with family and other commitments and thoughts on furthering studies amongst many others.
The discussion became more interactive and light-hearted when panelists referred back to their younger days in the workforce. When asked what advice they would give to individuals in their twenties whom are at the beginning stages of their careers, each gave heartfelt pointers based on their own encounters.
“Learn to prioritize and strike a balance between work and life. There has always been a saying that goes “play hard and work smart”. Being focused at work is great but overworking is different. Don’t forget to time for yourself and live your life.” – Avic
“Learn to cope with stress and pressure. Consider doing activities that will enable you to stay positive and healthy, be it through sports, food, religious belief and/or travel. For example, praying helps to keep herself calm and grounded.” – Maricris
“Explore the unknowns and be open to opportunities. Having graduated from IESE MBA Class of 2012, I was surrounded by peers from various nationalities with rich culture. Similarly, this applies to working in international firms and it is always important to have an open mind and learn from others. If you have the chance, explore out of your home country and challenge your comfort zone.” – Aimee
We also discussed how pursuing a MBA can open up new opportunities for career development and add value to one’s personal growth. At the networking session that followed, IESE alumni shared more about student life, academic curriculum and methodology, as well as post-career opportunities at IESE with the participants.
The feedback from participants was very positive. One said, “The majority-women-environment created a really giving atmosphere open to discussion” while another participant added, “I’ve been to other events, that felt more uptight This event was both very professional and welcoming. This speaks a lot about IESE as a school.”
We would like to thank our panelists and guests for contributing to an insightful and wonderful evening.
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