Rocking the MBA – The story of Simplicity

None of the members of IESE MBA 2022 band “Simplicity” had expected that by the end of their MBA, they would be playing on stage for dozens of their MBA colleagues and friends. Here, they reflect on their experience creating a community of shared interests while pursuing their MBA studies.

An Eclectic Bunch

The first time most of us met was at the start of our second year. Giancarlo organised a meetup by the turtle pond and as we introduced ourselves, it became quickly apparent how diverse the assembled group was in terms of musical backgrounds and tastes. Some with formal training and others self-taught casual hobbyists. Some into pop and others into heavier rock numbers. We were however united with a common purpose, to first and foremost enjoy playing together.

Simplicity are, from left to right: Yi Ju Chen (piano), Patricia Royo (vocals), Hasani Brooks (vocals), Lucas Lyra (bass, guitar, vocals, drums), Linda Savinova (vocals), Abdel Rahman Hamed (bass, guitar), Giancarlo Young (drums), Santiago Gazzo (guitar)

Steady Beginnings

We agreed on a system to decide songs to practice and met up almost weekly at a studio in the city where we rented very affordable rooms with a full range of equipment. We liked how we were sounding and made an open invite to fellow students and partners who would like to sing or play in the group. Thanks to Instagram and the like, word got around and to our pleasant surprise, many people were asking when they could see us live. Being business minded folks, we thought about branding and the name we chose, Simplicity, should be familiar to IESE students exploring the job market (For non-IESE students reading this post, Symplicity is also the name of the CDC job search platform!).

The first show was a cozy acoustic set in front of a small living room audience on a chilly November night. This milestone got us thinking seriously about a bigger event, a full-on electric concert performed at a proper music venue.

The Big Event

Achieving what we had in mind took a fair bit of planning and work behind the scenes: securing the venue, marketing, communications, artistic direction and…practice, lots of practice!

Like a typical project, things did not always go to plan. The timeline had to be adjusted a couple of times and there was a bit of trial and error. One of the biggest challenges was ensuring the appropriate time was dedicated by all of us. We were all balancing some combination of career development work, academics, and social/family activities which made it difficult to consistently set time aside to practice and meet up.

In the end, we were able to lock in April 1st as our concert date, selling out a 70 person venue. We played a diverse setlist including well known alternative, rock, blues, and Brazilian pop songs.

Most of us had never played before an audience of that size. It was amazing to see them having a good time and enthusiastically dancing and singing along. What was even better was having our classmates see us and relate to us in a different light.

We will not be forgetting that night any time soon. It was truly electrifying.

As of writing this post, we have just graduated, and also played at our final class event the day after the ceremony.

We have been very happy to discover that at IESE, you can find a wide range of communities with different skills and interests, and with enough organization, energy, and commitment, great things can happen.

Reflections

1. Some of the most fun we have ever had

Our weekly sessions got us practising more than we ever had in a long time and it was great to have a way to engage our creative sides on a regular basis, especially during the MBA. Moreover, putting that out in front of an audience is a real thrill – our MBA community was very receptive to live music. It was a really unique source of joy we got to experience.

2. Dedication and commitment are necessary

Concerts can be a lot of work. We had to practice and rehearse as a group and this meant setting aside time from busy schedules. This took a certain level of dedication and commitment (with healthy flexibility) from everyone involved.

3. Enjoyment is a must

We started with the goal of enjoying ourselves and whenever we felt any lacking in this area, we examined why and adjusted as necessary. Looking back, this mentality ensured we followed through with the project to the end.

Written by Yi Ju Chen, Patricia Royo, Hasani Brooks, Lucas Lyra, Linda Savinova, Abdel Rahman Hamed, Giancarlo Young, Santiago Gazzo, MBA Class of 2022

Congratulations to all the members of Symplicity and IESE MBA Class of 2022 on their graduation, we hope that Symplicity can continue to perform at future alumni events!

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Camille Chow View more

Associate Director, Admissions (MBA '16)
https://www.linkedin.com/in/camille-chow/

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