The Class of 2017 began its MBA journey a couple of months ago, so now seems like a good time to look back on how this transformational experience is impacting our lives and our perspective of the future.
I came to IESE for the first time in March 2015 for my assessment day. I already knew then that I wanted to study an MBA to broaden my scope. As a software engineer, I had worked on a lot of technical projects but had limited contact to business. My previous experiences in start-ups exposed me to their amazingly motivational atmosphere, driven by their energy and innovation. I knew that I wanted to play a part in this type of environment, because here innovation can contribute to a better world on a daily basis.
Since then, a lot has happened in my life. Not only did I get accepted into IESE’s MBA, I also received another piece of life-changing news: my first child would be born in December! Soon after we arrived in Barcelona for my MBA, my wife and I began our discovery of the Spanish healthcare system and our search for the best maternity hospital. Expecting a child is a transformational experience. It’s the moment when you realize that you are really going to become a pivotal reference in someone else’s life.
I have an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to get my hands dirty and form part of the game changers of tomorrow
During these months of intense coursework, I’ve been exposed to the fundamentals that first-year MBA students must learn: analysis of business problems, financial accounting, marketing, decision analysis and leadership. I’ve also gained a better grasp of the role that MBAs play in society: analyzing situations and making the best decisions based on tangible and intangible criteria. This is key in any challenging situation, and I’m looking forward to applying my learnings in my future professional and personal life.
In addition to its intensive academic demands, the MBA experience is about meeting peers and discovering a group of talented and interesting people. These inspirational interactions form part of my quest toward my future career goals. Indeed, hearing my peers’ culturally influenced viewpoints and learning from their experiences has enabled me to expand my understanding of different industries and career paths. I knew very little about many of these industries.
According to the yearly statistics published by most business schools, the majority of recent MBA graduates opt for careers in finance and consulting. Like my peers, I also considered these areas to make sure I didn’t discard them as career options based on wrong assumptions. But I have an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to get my hands dirty and form part of the game changers of tomorrow.
When I think about what I want to do in the future, I look back on these last months and try to build my decision tree in terms of career options. Like most students, I have short-term and long-term plans, as well as a Plan A, B, and C. I still need some time to make my final decision about my short-term plans. What “short term” means for me is: what kind of internship should I apply for next summer? What steps will bring me closer to my ideal long-term goal?
I can also tell you about some of my long-term goals. I believe that today’s world is in the midst of the biggest transition in the history of humanity. Over the last 50+ years, society has discovered Moore’s law and the infinite/exponential growth of everything (science, technology, birthrate, GDP, …). In 2008, the world’s most important crisis hit us and a huge part of the economy collapsed within a couple of hours. My belief is that the crisis was the first sign of something more significant: a big warning about the way the society is evolving. We cannot continue to consume as if growth will continue in the same way as before. Important indicators show that the oil-peak might have already passed! But oil isn’t the only resource that we need to survive: what about the other raw materials that we use on a daily basis (in batteries, in computers, in houses…)? What about bio-diversity (fish in the oceans, insects in the earth…)? What about soil quality? What about water quality?
The world won’t change if we don’t start from the bottom up. The time has come for us to become the leaders of change toward a better world
Humanity needs to change dramatically in order to survive. The questions cited earlier are very important ones that I care about deeply. I realize more than ever that we cannot wait for our governments to take ownership of them. The world won’t change if we don’t start from the bottom up. The time has come for us to become the leaders of change toward a better world.
With these considerations in mind, I’m particularly concerned about these critical issues of our future, especially since I’m expecting my first child and want to give him a world where he will enjoy a happy and healthy life. The tools that we develop during our MBA program must be leveraged to tackle the biggest challenges of today. I know that I’m a mere student, a small part of a world of more than 7 billion people. Nevertheless, if I can make a difference, it will address the problems that we face in terms of the limits of growth!
Some great companies already understand that change isn’t only driven by NGOs and philanthropy. Take Uber, AirBnb, TakeEatEasy, and all those companies that are leveraging the internet and new technologies to save resources and bring people together. I believe that many other opportunities exist out there, and that the MBA is a good time to explore and discover.
I want to contribute toward this major shift in society. If you share my point of view—and even if you don’t —I would love to exchange ideas with you. And if you represent a company that already works to address these challenges and needs a motivated MBA intern during the summer 2016, please don’t hesitate to contact me!