At IESE, we take pride in our alumni creating positive impact in their organizations and in their communities. We are grateful for their generosity and social commitment to the school especially during these challenging times. In particular, alumni membership and annual giving has played an important role in funding various initiatives especially supporting many talented people to join IESE’s community. In this series, we will be introducing you to some of our IESE scholars. In this post, we feature the recipient of an MBA scholarship sponsored by the IESE MBA Class of 2019 – Hasani Brooks, MBA Class of 2022. Fun fact: Hasani is the first IESE MBA from Barbados!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from and what are your career aspirations?
Some of my earliest memories involve me helping others and from very young this is when I felt most fulfilled. This led me to develop the conviction that to be of service to others is my life’s purpose. I was born and raised in Barbados in a relatively close-knit family and growing up I wanted to be a neurosurgeon; I suppose that my young self thought that being a surgeon was the best way to live out this purpose. But after completing an internship at the only public hospital in Barbados in my final year of secondary school, I quickly realised that a career in medicine was not for me. I knew I really enjoyed maths and had excelled in it, so I decided to use that love for and natural affinity to numbers to guide my path which is how I landed in the finance services realm and never looked back (maybe except that one time, when I toyed with the idea of becoming a professional singer!). Don’t worry, I still explore my love for music by annoyingly serenading my flatmates, performing at the occasional open mic night, but mostly by singing at the weddings of my closest friends from university. I’ve had the honor of singing at two weddings so far, one in Vancouver and the other in Monaco!
At present, my long-term goal is to build a social enterprise centred around microfinance and microinsurance, that focuses on economic development through greater financial inclusion and providing access to quality and reliable healthcare services for marginalised people. These are two major issues in the Caribbean, which is ultimately where I hope to make the biggest impact. In the interim, I want to gain as much knowledge and experience from the MBA program and following that, embark on a career in consulting.
What made you choose IESE for your MBA?
I started to seriously consider an MBA in 2018 after visiting a friend in the USA who at the time had just started their own MBA journey at one of the best business schools in the world, and had the opportunity to sit in one of the classes. However, I knew that I wanted to study in Europe as I had completed my undergraduate studies in London and wanted to use the MBA as an opportunity to hopefully relocate from Barbados to London. When I started my research into MBA programmes in Europe, IESE ticked all the boxes for me which led me to submit my CV for feedback in November 2018 and well, you know the rest!
IESE’s mission played a significant role in my decision-making process when I was applying, particularly the emphasis on spirit of service. This mission resonated with me because it aligned with my values. Further, all of my research indicated that IESE would provide unparalleled academic experiences and networking opportunities that would position me well for future success. Given IESE’s ranking, relationships with top global employers and overall focus on excellence, I knew that receiving an MBA education from IESE would significantly increase the likelihood of me achieving my goals. Additionally, IESE’s use of the case study method as part of the comprehensive MBA curriculum, the option to study for 15 or 19 months, exposure to various diverse perspectives from the 60+ nationalities represented in the program and the ability to learn Spanish were other factors that also came into play when I was selecting a business school to attend.
How has the scholarship made a difference to you? What do you hope to achieve through your MBA?
The scholarship made it possible for me to enroll in the MBA program and embark on this transformative journey. I am confident that my IESE education and experiences will propel me to unimaginable heights and will equip me with the tools needed to succeed in every facet of my life.
With the opportunities that will be afforded to me, I will endeavour to contribute to development and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives every step of the way. I believe that this is important to develop a more resilient, engaged and empowered society.
I also especially want to bring perspectives of LGBTQ+ people, people of color and people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds to decision-making tables, with the aim of removing barriers to entry and advancement so that we can take up greater space and have more seats at the proverbial table. Because frankly, the world needs diverse perspectives in leadership positions to make better, more informed decisions.
These initiatives are of great importance because they have the ability to generate tremendous social rewards to the benefit of many. This is the mark I want to make.
It is definitely an exceptional year to be starting your MBA! How has the first few months of your MBA experience been so far?
This experience has exceeded my expectations, especially when taking the effect of COVID-19 into account. Because of the protocols implemented to keep us all safe and healthy, I admittedly have not been able to meet all of my classmates in the class of 2022 nor have I been able to enjoy all activities that IESE would typically facilitate. However, so far, I can truly say that I have interacted with and learnt from not only some of the best and brightest minds in the world but also incredibly interesting people with very diverse experiences. It’s been a great few months and I eagerly look forward to what lies ahead.
Any special highlights to share? What are you excited about for the rest of your first year?
Being able to complete the first term fully on campus was definitely memorable given everything happening globally. Though it may sound minor, getting the chance to learn from my classmates every day in person, and not solely virtually, has been a truly amazing experience.
In the coming months I’m looking forward to more of the same and getting to know even more of my classmates, hopefully with COVID-19 no longer being a threat! I’m also especially keen on exploring more of Spain and Europe with others.
How has studying at IESE impacted you so far?
Though it is still relatively early in the program, I can honestly say that this has caused me to become more open-minded and to adopt a more structured approach to the way that I think (largely thanks to ABP – Analysis of Business Problems, Decision Analysis and Marketing Management!). These changes, added to a shift in my overall perspective to place higher value on resilience and agility – two attributes that I believe that IESE has embodied quite well throughout the pandemic, will serve me well throughout life.
How do you feel you and other fellow IESE scholars can help to promote IESE’s mission?
Be intentional in your pursuit of excellence. Do not squander the opportunities that IESE will open to you, but instead make the absolute most of each one and as you ascend, be sure to chart a path for others to proudly follow. This includes proactively engaging with the wider IESE community and your own networks to help brilliant and deserving professionals have the chance to benefit from the transformative IESE experience.
Finally, what message would you like to share with the IESE alumni community in general?
“To whom much is given, much will be required”.
I want to implore the IESE alumni community to use your successes, time, knowledge, wisdom, experiences, talents and skills, to improve the lives of others, especially by actively networking with current students and participating in annual fundraising initiatives. Also, truly promote diversity, equity and inclusion in perpetuating IESE’s mission at every chance, and in doing so seek to foster a deep sense of belonging so that as more people are included, they are also empowered in their positions, whatever they may be.
Thank you Hasani, and we wish you all the best in your IESE MBA journey!
To find out more about our Annual Fund and the IESE Scholarship program, you can go to https://giving.iese.edu/annualfund
For more information about IESE Alumni Association and its activities, please go to https://alumni.iese.edu/en/home
Pursue your dream MBA! Take these next steps today: