IESE Alumni Footprint Series, An Interview with Candice Yi-Hsin Wu (Taiwan)

Name: Candice Yi-Hsin Wu

Year of Graduation: 2022

Nationality: Taiwan

Post-MBA Country of Residence: United Kingdom

Post-MBA Employer: Amazon

Can you please tell us a bit about yourself? What inspired you to pursue an MBA and why did you choose IESE?

My pre-MBA background was heavily impacted by my family. Three kids out of three started our professional careers as engineers and my father is an HR director in a local industrial area. After working for several years, I started to realize that sometimes whether a project should launch or not was not necessarily based on technology feasibility,  but an overall consideration of operations, market outlook, supplier availability, etc. At that point, I felt that if I wanted to pursue a higher position as a female manager, I needed to switch to a business role so that I can better understand different business units and get closer to the core of the decision-making process.

My eyes are basically on European business schools as my partner has decided to do his Master degree in the UK. As a female engineer trying to make a job transition to the new geography, I needed a program where enough students come from an engineering background, where diversity and inclusion are valued, and where the academic standard is assured. That was the time when IESE got on my radar. IESE has around one-third of the student pool with a technical background, with students from 55+ nationalities, and highly values teaching quality. Even though I received admissions from other prestigious MBA programs, given all the advantages IESE has, I chose IESE in the end. And even now looking back, it was a brilliant decision during the pandemic since IESE was the only business school insisting on 100% in-person classes in 2020/21!

What activities were you involved in at school and how did they help you in your job search? How did the Career Development Center support you?

I joined all the clubs that interested me, including Consulting, Tech, Women in Business, and Healthcare clubs. Professional clubs have many career resources such as interview booklets and company details that helped me a lot during my job hunting. Apart from that, CDC played a key role as I continuously booked 1:1 consultation time to check if my job-hunting strategy needed to be polished or not.

What are some of your favorite memories from IESE?  

Being immersed in different cultures is one of the amazing aspects about IESE. This is a great memory from a Brazilian Carnival-themed Bar of the Week event!

It’s so difficult to answer this question as I believe my most valuable memories from IESE are never a single moment, but the whole life-transforming process! I still remember all the desperate and dark times in my first year – feeling like I have not contributed to my team and class, feeling my English skills are not strong enough, depressed after so many company rejections, feeling I’m not social enough, the list can be endless. Yet every time when I stretched my limits to try new things, I was able to learn something even if it’s small.

In the second year when I started my full-time job search, I was more secure and comfortable in terms of mindset. I formed a small group with a few friends who have gone through similar situations, consulting prep, and MBA program interviews. We established a fast feedback loop, did mock interviews, gave constructive feedback, encouraged each other, share thoughts about the job opening and how should we position ourselves. This is crucial because oftentimes when you get into the final interviews but are not able to progress after that, you would really wonder why? Peer reviews from an objective standpoint can effectively point out all the blind spots you might have, providing an immediate opportunity for self-retrospection, and therefore allowing you to grow and transform. Finally, when one of us landed a job, the group is truly happy for him/her. This strong bonding was the thing that supported me through the toughest period and one of the critical moments that I would never forget in my IESE life. We had fun travelling together too, as you can see from the picture taken in front of the famous Duomo in Milan! 

That is really special indeed! Any advice for prospective applicants?

DO dare to dream big yet DON’T be self-limited! Initially, I thought as a Taiwanese without any international experience, it would be very difficult for me to land a strategic job in London. However, I made it! I like this quote from a guest speaker at IESE, who is a partner of a private equity firm EQT Partners:

Don’t ever give up! Giving up is never an option in life. And I believe you can achieve your dreams if you dare to aim high, seek resources, and take action!

Congratulations Candice on your graduation, and wish you an exciting journey ahead as you make your mark in the world!

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Camille Chow View more

Associate Director, Admissions (MBA '16)

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