Why IESE? Interview with Natasha Dara, Admitted Student

IESE: Congrats on your acceptance to IESE. Where are you from? What’s your profile?

Natasha: Thank you – I am very excited to start in a few short months.

Even after moving about 25 times (and having to answer that question many times more), I’m still not sure how to answer! I was born in the UK to Indian parents, and after a few moves in England, we moved some more around the US. I spent most of my later school years in Houston and then earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Accounting at the University of Texas at Austin before moving back to the UK to work for the International Accounting Standards Board in London.

I: Why did you choose IESE? Could you highlight some of the things that brought you to our MBA?

N: I am very excited about many aspects of IESE’s MBA program. One of the main reasons is the use of the case-based method, which I think is such a practical way not just to learn the material, but also to learn how to apply the knowledge of that material to realistic situations. I was also drawn to the potential to earn a bilingual degree in two of the world’s most widely spoken languages, the small class size and the caliber of my classmates, which I was able to observe firsthand at the Assessment Day. Not to mention the opportunity to explore a new city, which, as you may have surmised, I love to do.

I: Some MBAs prefer to stay in the same industry, while others prefer to head into a new field. What’s your post-MBA plan?

N: I plan to change paths – though I have enjoyed my time at the IASB and learned so much, I would like to explore another side of business. I am interested in consulting and the strategy/planning involved in business, specifically, in the music industry.

I: Have you ever been to Barcelona? What’s your opinion of the city?

N: Prior to the Assessment Day, I had been to Barcelona once with a friend. I loved the juxtaposition of the old cobblestone and historical look of parts of the city with the vibrant liveliness of other parts like the markets along Les Rambles. The two went so well together and proved that there would be lots to explore past the few days we were visiting for. Plaça de Catalunya and Barceloneta were of course beautiful favorites, as was Parc Güell, though, now that I’ve seen the IESE terrace, I know there’s some competition for the best view of Barcelona. I also loved practicing my Spanish while visiting, but now that I’m going to be living in Barcelona, next up are lessons in Catalan.

I: What do you believe are the advantages of attending a 19-month program like IESE compared to others?

N: Although early in my MBA research I had thought I wanted to do a 1-year program so that I could finish more quickly, learning more about IESE made me realize that the extra bit of time would only add value. I am excited to have the opportunities to study abroad, or go on shorter trips to visit companies in a given industry or work with local merchants on a project. The 19-month program also allows me to get involved with school activities and have the opportunity to transition from newbie to expert to teacher as a new class comes in. I am excited to gain wisdom from my seniors and close the loop by giving it back to the next class. The 19-month program allows me to truly be a part of the IESE cycle and maximize my involvement to both my benefit and the school’s.

I: If someone asked you for admissions tips, what would your advice be?

N: I would recommend starting early. Just reading through the application to fill in your basic information and to get the essay questions stuck in your head helps you to think subconsciously about how to answer them. I would also recommend gaining as much information about your schools as possible. IESE makes this easy by providing ample opportunities to get in touch with Admissions officers and alumni so you can ask any questions you have. Attending the Assessment Day was a great decision and more than worth it. The day is planned very well and it gave me the opportunity to see the campus, experience what daily life might be like by working in a group with other potential students on a case, and basically just imagine myself here. Yes, of course the application process can be stressful, but doing your homework (as always) goes a long way, so start your studying even before you’re into the program and it will pay off!

Albert Romans View more

Marketing Manager at the IESE MBA. Life is a gift: explore, dream, discover.

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