20 months ago I started a journey that finished last Friday, a journey that changed my perspective on business and life. It was Monday, 7th of September 2015, when I walked inside a classroom, checking where I was supposed to be seating and introducing myself to my section colleagues. Back then I could not imagine how intense and transformative an experience this EMBA was going to be.
Now, 20 months later, I am a different person. During the masters degree I experienced some difficult times, specially since not everybody really understands what you are going through. At that time I was working at Accenture, where I had to travel to France and Germany to deliver solutions to multibillion revenue companies, and sometimes I had to spend hours preparing cases after long days at the client. At the same time, at Mandarina Games, my games company, we were developing and marketing a 2D skeletal animation plugin for the asset store, which peaked the interest of Unity3D. What I learned during the masters helped me to negotiate the deal successfully and to help my business partner get hired by the company, which had been his lifetime dream.
For anyone who may be thinking of undertaking the EMBA or MBA, I will give you three reasons why you should stop thinking about it and move to action:
– First, life is short. An MBA accelerates your learning curve, makes you aware that this is a game where we play to win, and that winning means a different thing to everyone, but the basics are to make people better off and they will compensate you in exchange. It gives you a solid grounding on all major management topics, so that you can have meaningful conversations with key decision makers and, in due time, to become one of them. It gives you the power to better you, your family and to change the world for good.
– Second, do it for the network. Go for a TOP10 university worldwide, or at least for the best in your country. At the time of taking the decision, IESE was ranked 1st for executive education worldwide. Check also for the values and focus of the program that you choose. At IESE we were taught on ethics, cross-cultural management and self-management, topics that are as important as hard ones like corporate finance or operations. Companies are made by people for people, and have to be sustainable in the long term.
– Last, but not least, get to meet extraordinary people, the ones from your section, a fantastic group of individuals who will share their experiences with you, 60 lifetimes of them, class after class, in and out of it, through 500 hours of class and 400 cases. I particularly enjoyed the approach of the EMBA, as first it fit us in teams of 8 people that remained intact during the whole program. Second, the EMBA being a part time program, it enabled us to test what we learnt and experience the growth first-hand in our daily jobs. And finally, because our professors not only were academic doctors, but also, at least most of them, where consultants or members in company boards where they gained the real life experiences they later taught us in class.
To end this post I would like to share with you what happend on the 31st of October 2015, just over a month after having started the program. That day I met my intelligent and passionate partner in life, and now also in business at Kudzu Partners, Natalia Bandach. I remember inviting her to the partners day at IESE on our second date, which I will never regret even though there were some awkward moments as there were some married couples with children and, as she likes to say when recalling the event, “I didn’t even know his surname!”. I would like to think that IESE even helped with that. And even though she is a masters from ESADE, you know the saying, no one is perfect.
I am very thankful for the chance I had of being part of the EMBA 2017 class and for what I learned during the last 20 months from my colleagues. Now it is time for us to go out into the world and have a positive impact.