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ReachIvy Exclusive: Top College Series – An Interview with IESE Business School

Posted on Oct 03, 2018

Name: Prateek Choudhary
Designation: Senior Product Manager, Amazon UK
School Name: IESE Business School, Barcelona- Graduated in 2015

Please provide a short description of yourself. What you do, your special interests and life goals. We may use this information to add as a byline to the article or post.

I’m a PADI certified diver and avid traveler. My life goals are: Although I am still discovering my true passion, in the meantime, I want to start my own business and learn how to ride a horse.

Questions:

a. Can you please give us a short description of your career?
After my undergraduate, I worked in the investment banking industry in New York for three years and then in financial consulting for one and a half years in Mumbai. Post-MBA, I joined Amazon as Senior Product Manager in Munich, later moving to the London office.

b. Why did I choose IESE?
After exploring and visiting multiple campuses in the US, Europe and India, it quickly became clear to me that IESE was the best fit for me. I was looking for a school with true diversity as I wanted to pursue an international career and develop stronger cross-cultural skills. I know the term ‘diversity’ is thrown around a lot, but IESE is truly diverse with less than 20% of students from Spain and no other nationality represented by more than 15% of the class. I found in the majority of US schools, 70% of the class was from the US and of the rest have usually completed their undergraduate there, of have been working there.

I felt IESE opened the job market gates to almost anywhere in the world – all European countries – Germany, UK, Switzerland, France to name a few (in fact, I started my post MBA career in Munich), to the US, Singapore and Australia.

Finally, if I could get one of the best business education programs in probably the best city in the world – Barcelona, IESE was a no-brainer for me. I wanted to make sure my MBA was world class, impactful and enjoyable. 

c. What was the biggest take away I took from my MBA experience at IESE?
For me the biggest take away from IESE was the learning “Never limit yourself”. I think the combination of curriculum (case-studies) and the rich and successful experiences of your peers prepare you to take on any challenge. For example, when I was exploring business schools, there was much talked about rule about how candidates should focus on changing only two of three career aspects – industry, function and location. I moved from financial industry as a consultant in Mumbai to the retail/tech industry as a product manager in Munich, thus changing all three. And by no means, was I an exception to this “rule”

My second key take away is my connections with so many people around the world. The friendships that you develop over two years at IESE becomes indispensable part of your life that serves you both personally and professionally. Our entire class is still on group WhatsApp chat helping each other out!

d. How IESE MBA impacted my career?
I entered IESE with a slight inclination towards joining tech industry as my post-MBA career choice but I was open to exploring other career options. Whilst at IESE, I explored and interviewed with consulting firms and tech firms, with finally accepting an offer from a leading tech company. IESE essentially fast-tracked my career & helped me develop the general management toolkit which has enabled me be successful in my chosen career path.

e. Any advice for those applying to IESE?
I think it’s incredibly important to determine whether IESE is the right fit for you. Talk to current students, alumni (both in your current industry and potential future industry), school representatives to gather as much information as you can. Determine whether a 2-year or a 1-year is more attractive to you. I was sure I wanted a 2-year program so I had time to explore career opportunities, do a summer internship & develop meaningful relationships with my classmates. Finally, if you’re really passionate about IESE, let it reflect in your essays and application. Don’t be shy to sell yourself and show your passion!

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