Real Humans of IESE’s MBA Class of 2021
Christian Bopp, IESE MBA Class of 2021
Hometown: Stuttgart, Germany
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Corporate State University Baden-Wuerttemberg
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 5 years at Magna (automotive); last 2 years as financial analyst
Why business school? Why now?
I want to change from being a specialist in finance to being a generalist. As I want to change job and industry, I think an MBA is the best choice for my goal. I enjoyed my time as a financial analyst at Magna, but as I knew I wanted to change it was better to do it now than in a couple of years. I am also currently working on my own start-up. IESE offers great facilities for entrepreneurs and I think they can help me with pushing the start-up further.
Why IESE? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
IESE cares less about the numbers and more about the people. To be honest, while applying, IESE was not the number one on my list. I cared a lot about the rankings so the US schools I applied to were on top. But after having my interviews and visiting the different business schools this completely changed.
IESE has a different way of interviewing as well as a different way of teaching. I felt so much more welcome at this school and my future colleagues were so much interesting. So even though I got accepted at some of the top schools in the US I gladly accepted IESE’s offer.
Plus: It’s Barcelona… No more words needed 😉.
What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2021?
During my time at Magna I already went through different departments in the business environment. I learned what different departments consider while making decisions. So every time I will tackle a case, I will consider all the views of the different shareholders.
Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
My mum is a hairdresser so in my childhood I had every haircut you could imagine, from mullet, over pompadour, to hair tribal – I had them all.
Post-MBA career interests?
Entrepreneurship, Product/Strategy in Tech, Consulting.
Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Visit all the schools you want to apply to and talk to as many students as possible. Only on campus you get the real feeling for the school, the students, and the community.
–One thing you would change or do differently?
Apply to fewer schools but spend more time on each single application.
–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
GMAT! Is there a single person in the world that likes to study for this thing? What helped me? Coffee – a lot!
What is your initial impression of IESE’s students/culture/community?
IESE is awesome. So far I haven’t met a single student I don’t like. All of them – the past, the current, and the future students are very welcoming. I already met students from over 50 different nationalities. This is something you will only get at IESE.
One thing you have learned about IESE that has surprised you?
They know how to throw parties. Before coming here, I thought that it would be very strict all the time but the parties from the university have been muy loco!
Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
FOMO – Fear of missing out. There are so many activities and clubs on campus that it’s impossible to participate in all of them. Hopefully we all make the right decisions on where to direct our focus.
Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Organizing the Entrepreneurship Trek to Berlin. It’s a 3-day trip in which we will visit many different companies that have touch points with entrepreneurs. It will be a great experience and help to improve the network of the participating students in the start-up community.