Name: Rohan Kumar Ghosh
Pre-MBA: HSBC Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Hong Kong
Post-MBA: Maersk Management Consulting (MMC), Denmark.
When I made the decision to pack my bags amidst a raging pandemic, leaving behind Hong Kong to embark on a new chapter in Barcelona, reservations filled my mind. The idea of departing from a comfortable lifestyle and diving back into academia seemed daunting. However, looking back now I can proudly proclaim that IESE has granted me the most remarkable 19 months of my life. And what made it even more extraordinary was the fact that this transformative journey unfolded in Barcelona—an exquisite city adorned with breath-taking architecture, a vibrant culture, an unmatched energy, and home to the world’s greatest football club.
Reflections often prove challenging, particularly when the experience has been so profoundly transformative.
IESE has propelled me forward in my career, facilitating a “triple jump” as I transitioned industries, functions, and geographical locations post-MBA. Yet, on a personal level, it has empowered me to take nothing short of a monumental LEAP, in both my work and personal endeavours.
I break down my LEAP as follows:
Learning never stops at IESE, both professional and personal.
The academic rigor at IESE leaves no room for complacency. From analysing three cases a day to engaging in thought-provoking discussions with peers, and witnessing professors propose diverse and probable solutions, the learning experience is unparalleled. The distinctive IESE case methodology stands out, complemented by simulations, workshops, team assignments, presentations, and case competitions—each presenting an opportunity to apply our knowledge and seek valuable feedback.
The journey of learning about oneself commences even before applying to an MBA program. Clarifying the reasons behind pursuing an MBA and aligning it with long-term aspirations is crucial. IESE magnifies this process, allowing us to delve deeper into our strengths and weaknesses, refine new skills, and shed unproductive traits. Personally, it has enabled me to overcome FOMO and become more adept at time management.
Embracing cultures and communities lies at the heart of IESE.
The “Spirit of Service” permeates throughout, fostering an environment where help is always at hand and everyone is approachable, even alumni. Moreover, IESE represents a microcosm of the world, with individuals from diverse nationalities, backgrounds, and unique experiences sharing their journeys. For instance, my MBA team (Barcelona-3) comprised nine extraordinary individuals representing eight different nationalities. IESE guides aspiring global leaders in understanding the intricacies of culture and embracing them from the outset. Social events such as Multi-Culti, Asado day and the various other gatherings organized by the regional clubs underscore the stellar diversity one experiences here.
Adhering or Adapting is essential.
The Career Development Center (CDC) at IESE serves as the foundation for your career exploration. In the first few weeks of your MBA journey, CDC assists you in charting your path by helping you identify your North Star (if you haven’t already), documenting your goals, and periodically revisiting and tracking your progress. I vividly recall a point during my job search when I felt lost, and the CDC’s one-on-one sessions provided me with invaluable guidance. IESE also emphasized the importance of having a backup plan to address uncertainties. During times when things didn’t go as expected, the CDC readily aided me to pivot and find a new course of action.
Whether it’s adhering to proven strategies or adapting to uncertainties, the seamless experience with the CDC often reinforces the belief in “trust the process,” a famous mantra here at IESE.
This phase of exploration is further supported by the professional clubs at IESE, which organize workshops, industry treks, and provide resources and essential contacts. Personally, the Consulting Club played a pivotal role in helping me understand the interview process, providing guidance on cracking cases, and developing compelling stories for fit interviews. I am immensely thankful to the supportive cohort at IESE, who generously devoted their time to helping me practice cases and offering valuable inputs for improvement. Additionally, there are abundant opportunities to contribute within these clubs and actively participate in their functioning. Organizing the Barcelona Fintech trek in my first year stands out as a memorable experience.
Profound connections and networks are built for a lifetime.
Throughout my MBA journey, I had the privilege of cultivating deep connections and expanding my professional network. My MBA team served as both my strongest offence and defence, supporting me whenever I needed assistance. Engaging with classmates from diverse backgrounds around the world, I discovered the immense value of collaboration and shared experiences. Every networking call, coffee chat, guest speakers on campus or a game of cricket at Spring Games presented an opportunity to exchange ideas with like-minded individuals. This experience completely transformed my perspective on networking, making me more confident in reaching out via cold emails on LinkedIn to connect with others and seek their guidance. Now, I worry significantly less before initiating those connections, knowing the potential for fruitful interactions and knowledge exchange.
Overall, an MBA experience at IESE can be summarized in two words: prioritization and commitment. The positive aspect is that you develop mastery in both areas. I am grateful to the faculty, staff, MBA office, and my peers for their assistance in transforming me into a better individual compared to when I first arrived.
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