Reflections of an incoming student

When something is important enough, you do it even when the odds are not in your favor. Despite the fact that in the recent times, the environment has not been conducive to take life altering decisions, I decided to take the plunge to pursue and fulfill my goal of living the MBA dream. My decision of going back to school while grappling with a black swan event, was reinforced by a business school like IESE who puts students at foci. So far, the school has diligently relayed across important and updated information pertaining to the course in a timely manner, reassuring me of my decision! Here are some thoughts about my pre-MBA journey so far.

In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity

This modern warfare tactic quoted from Sun Tzu is very relevant in the current VUCA business world as we face unprecedented times. IESE exemplified agility by quickly adapting and transitioning to the virtual format – something that I was very wary of. The school made sure to cater to the rapidly changing landscape while fulfilling expectations of the students, delivering on every aspect of the application process, from the admission interviews to pre-MBA career guidance sessions. The MBA interview process was not only a smooth one as one would expect, but also the reassurance by the admissions directors as they answered my queries, was an enriching experience. If this experience was an example of what my MBA would look like, it instilled faith in me about my choice of the business school and thereby pushed me closer to my goal of pursuing my MBA from IESE.

For me, the essence of an MBA is to physically interact with the diverse set of people, learning from a myriad of experiences thereby broadening my perspective. The current situation would hinder these interactions. I was afraid that the virtual format would be an impediment to effective peer to peer learning and the knowledge sharing process. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was taken care of by the multitude of networking sessions proactively conducted by the incoming students for the class of 2022,  among other initiatives taken by the school. These networking sessions provided for an exchange of ideas between the incoming candidates, giving me an opportunity to know my future classmates in an informal setting and at an earlier stage than we typically would on campus. The virtual calls did not limit the networking process as it was easy and smooth to participate in the calls and this made it easier to build connections. Another fantastic initiative was to have each incoming candidate was assigned a mentor – a second year student at the school. This mentorship program facilitated the transition and onboarding process and helped the candidates to understand more about the school and the program.

On the career front, the leadership team of student clubs such as the Consulting Club, understood the concerns among the incoming students regarding the future placement scenario and addressed this issue by hosting informative Zoom sessions to make the candidates future ready to overcome any roadblocks. While doing so, they also assisted the students with any necessary preparation that would aid us in our job search. The Career Development Center, was forthcoming and arranged Q&A sessions for students these past months to understand various vital steps of the recruitment process – such as company and office selection among the various other arduous tasks. All these activities assisted in fostering camaraderie and were a milestone in the pre-MBA virtual experience journey.

After attending many events and having some in depth conversations, I am confident there has never been a better time than now to join IESE, a school that has produced impactful leaders over the years. Companies are changing, industries are changing, countries are changing. To be able to study amid all of these changes and come out the other side equipped to solve global problems is a life-altering experience, that will bestow upon me capabilities needed to be a global impactful leader resilient to setbacks. As I am about to officially embark upon my own MBA journey, I am hopeful of the transformational outcome of this decision. See you on the other side very soon! Cheers!



Rishi Bagadia
MBA Class of 2022


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Associate Director, Admissions (MBA '16)

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