IESE Tech Club: Our story in bits and bytes

“The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art.” – John Lasseter

Technology has been at the forefront of human evolution since times immemorial. The progress of the human race is widely tied to the innovation that we have gone through. In the 21st century, digitalization, digital transformation are some of the ever-increasing business strategies that we get to see being undertaken by organizations where analytics and data are the drivers for this field. A data-driven mindset is gradually becoming the most sort after skill in the world of corporates to bridge the gap between engineering and business. This year at IESE, I’ve been thrilled to contribute as a leader in our Tech Club to ensure our MBA students have the skills, experience and right knowledge they need to succeed in the Technology sector.

The Tech Club: Where business meets engineering

The IESE Tech Club is the second biggest club in the school in terms of subscribed members. Our collaborative and inquisitive student members have been the backbone for this growth. The Tech Club 20-21 has a lot of plans for the coming year, here are some activities that we have lined up:

  • Masterclasses: Students will be given the opportunity to learn and acquire various skills from Programming, Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence to Product Management. The masterclasses are either student-run or in partnership with various leading industry training firms
  • Tech Treks: One of the highlights are the treks where students have the opportunity to travel to various tech firms like Google, Uber, Facebook, etc located all around the EU and meet and learn about what happens in these disruptive companies.
  • Career Fairs: The bi-annual Career Forum organized by the IESE Career Development Center in collaboration with the student clubs help in showcasing IESE’s talents to a wide pool of companies, including some of the largest global technology firms.
  • Mentoring Program: This program matches first years with seniors, to help them to understand various topics regarding job functionalities, different types of tech companies, working in tech, the experience and much more.
  • Career Preparation: From CV review to mock interviews, one of our key objectives is to help our members reach their desired goal of transitioning into the tech sector.
  • Case competitions, tech conferences, and Global Leadership Talks: We believe that case competitions solving real-world problems gives students a sneak-peek into the challenges different tech companies are facing. The participation in tech conferences such as Web Summit helps our members to get exposed to innovative firms using the latest technologies form Blockchain to Advanced Artificial Intelligence to solve real-world issues. Finally, Global Leadership Talks give us insights into the leadership challenges that our esteemed speakers face while scaling up their firms and their personal learnings from their careers.

Visiting Google EU HQ in Dublin

My story with the Tech Club

Technology has always been my first love. An Electronics and Telecommunications Engineer by qualification and a data scientist by profession, I have always been fascinated by how technology can make the world a better place. I joined the Tech Club to share my experience, knowledge, and also learn and grow from my peers. The experience till now has been nothing short of being magical.

IESE is a school that fosters community-driven learning. Our extremely diverse student body ensures this happens all throughout our transformative journey. I remember vividly in my first year learning from one of my Brazilian classmates how feature-driven their banks are and how they are applying various cutting edge technology to help the unbanked. Another Chinese classmate showed us how WeChat has helped to disrupt mobile marketing channels in China.

In the first year, I was one of the organizing members of the Amsterdam trek where we visited companies like Uber, Adyen to name a few. The visits helped us better understand the fast-moving tech industry and become familiar with the common mantra of “Fail Fast”, “Be Agile”, “Innovate and Disrupt”. We also had Avi Meir, CEO of Travel Perk (one of the fastest-growing startups in EU and alumnus of IESE) sharing his experiences of leading such a firm and managing the expectations of many. In partnership with the IESE India Business Club, we had a webinar with the OYO leadership team to understand the various challenges, opportunities, and aspirations that they have.

Visiting Uber in London for the Tech Trek

Other events that enhanced my knowledge and skillsets were the Career Fairs, where I was able to interact directly with various tech companies like Rakuten, Amazon, Google, etc. as well as masterclasses that involved data science and its applications. I learnt how to develop a data-driven mindset and how machine learning and AI was being used to solve various real-world business cases. I also attended coding sessions on Python, SQL, and even participated in our IESE “Escape Confinement Hackathon” during our Covid lockdown that was organized in partnership with the Startup & Entrepreneurship Club.

With great power comes great responsibility

Reflecting on the vision of our Dean. Franz Heukamp, for IESE to become the “Stanford of Europe” or a brand associated with tech, business and entrepreneurship, IESE’s Tech Club will strive to reach even greater heights this year. With our current leadership team and our Board Members, we aspire to reach a point where our graduates become synonymous with leadership roles in global tech companies.

In closing, here is an Easter Egg for you: The Tech Club in partnership with the Fintech Club and the Consumer Goods Club will be organizing a joint conference in February. Stay tuned to learn more and hope to see you there!

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Agnirudra Sikdar View more

MBA student of Class '21 and currently co-president of the IESE Tech Club. Passionate about technology and trying to bridge human intelligence with Artificial intelligence with over 3.5 years of experience as a Data Scientist, building products and solutions that impact our lives. Almost a polyglot, lived in over 3 different countries prior to the MBA.

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