The MBA World Summit brings together the most inspiring MBA students from around the world to exchange ideas, network and share best practices. Joanna Merker, Class of 2018 talks about her experience at this year's event.
In early March, IESE students and alumni participated in the 2017 edition of the MBA World Summit in Berlin. Each year, only 100 new MBAs globally are granted access to this leadership community. These candidates are carefully selected out of 3000 applicants from more than 140+ schools. Class of 2017’s Laura Cushing, José Moreno, Gregory Elias and Class of 2018’s Jean Paul Destarac and myself were the five current students fortunate enough to have made it through the tough selection process. This year we are proud to say that IESE represented the largest number of total Summit participants. The program consisted of student-held workshops, corporate and social expeditions as well as a big idea lounge for entrepreneurs to pitch their businesses.
A new network
Networking is one of the key elements in the MBA experience, and the ability to connect, discuss and learn from each other is also inherent during the days spent at the Summit.
For Laura, this was the second time she was attending the MBA World Summit. She explained why she was back, “The Summit Laboratory Sessions and networking events fostered critical thinking and exposed me to so many enthusiastic leaders sharing their passions. The Summit was an empowering and unforgettable experience that cultivated creativity and will form truly global friendships.”
During a whole day, the participants were shaping the agenda by contributing to Summit Laboratory Sessions, and inviting session participants to dialogue and discussion. Jean Paul was heading one of these sessions, with his thoughts on Servant Leadership. Other ideas shared and discussed were on topics such as networking, storytelling, entrepreneurship, inequality and multinational identity.
“I attended a workshop at Roland Berger when we had time to go to various company visits. They divided us into groups and we had to design a digital health solution that would impact a specific shareholder in the value chain. The makeup of the team made for deep and useful dialogue. Even though at IESE we are exposed to a global context, an American who chooses to study in Spain is different from one who stays in the States. Similarly an Indian who studied in India is different from one who stays in India; an Australian who chooses to study in Spain is different from one who chooses to study in Australia. These deep cultural insights, combined with strong academic backgrounds made for innovative solutions. Contrary to the many case competitions where we meet other MBA students, at the summit we weren’t competing against each other but working together”, says Jean Paul.A road to entrepreneurship
For both Gregory and José, the focus on entrepreneurship during the Summit’s final day, has had an important impact on their entrepreneurial spirit. For José, the MBA World Summit has even contributed to shaping his career path post MBA: “Since last year, the MBA World Summit has been the reason for some of the latest career decisions I have made such as pursuing entrepreneurship after the MBA. I have been inspired by the high-calibre, diverse attendees who are making a difference in countries and industries all over the world. In my case, my current endeavours were the results of reflection on my experience at the summits.”
For me personally this has been a great start to an impressive international network. My goal for the MBA World Summit was to connect with inspiring leaders, find inspiration, discuss new ideas and synergetic collaboration opportunities. I am looking forward to many more Summits in years to come, full of discussions to participate in, passionate people to meet and friendships to build!