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Real Humans of the IESE MBA Class of 2023

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iese mba class deniseDenise Stoudermire, IESE MBA Class of 2023

Age: 27
Hometown: Bellevue, Nebraska USA
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Howard University, Bachelors in Business Administration with concentration in Computer Information Systems
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 5 years in healthcare technology

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
I chose to attend business school because it was time for a quick level up in my life. I felt like if I were to have continued on my path, progression would have been slow trying to climb up the management ladder step by step. Now was the right time for a big change because I was working for my family business and we are in the stages of selling the company.

Why did you choose IESE? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I chose IESE because I wanted to study abroad with peers that had diverse mindsets plus IESE was ranked high and could give me the cultural aspect as well. Living in Barcelona, a place where no one has told me negative things about, seemed like a good idea to integrate easily. Lastly, the curriculum was appealing as well with the case study method and a Spanish language class included as well.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
My most valuable contribution is my diverse mindset. Being able to see things from different perspectives has helped me in class as well as in person.

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
I started my own lifestyle blog/vlog this past year documenting studying abroad as well as my fitness journey (became an avid indoor cycler).

Post-MBA career interests:
Investment Banking – Mergers & Acquisitions

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
– What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Apply in an early round

– What is one thing you would change or do differently?
Apply for more scholarships

– What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
The GMAT…I made sure to take practice tests in full and go over my missed questions / find similar questions so that way I felt more comfortable

What is your initial impression of the IESE students/culture/community?
My initial impression is that this is a very diverse but intelligent cohort of students. Everywhere I go, I’m learning new facts from people and about the world.

What is one thing you have learned about IESE that has surprised you?
The campus is absolutely beautiful. I guess I saw pictures before I got here but in person it doesn’t even compare.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?I took my GMAT online because of COVID-19 but other than that, it didn’t affect my personal application.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
I’m most anxious about securing an internship in the field/location that I want.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Meeting all of the new people not only in my class but in Europe and from around the world.

Posted in: Real Humans of MBA Class of 2023, Real Humans of MBA Students

Schools: IESE

About the Author


Lauren Wakal

Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.

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