The Leading Independent
Resource for Top-tier MBA
Home » Blog » Real Humans of MBA Students » Real Humans of the CEIBS MBA Class of 2023 » Page 3

Real Humans of the CEIBS MBA Class of 2023

Image for Real Humans of the CEIBS MBA Class of 2023

ceibs mba class of 2023Iñaki Berasategui Pasman, CEIBS MBA Class of 2023

Age: 32
Hometown: Buenos Aires, Argentina and Barcelona, Spain (moved to Spain when I was 12 years old)
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Universitat de Barcelona, BS Economics
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 7.5 years in healthcare (IQVIA), including 4 years in Barcelona, Spain, and 3+ years in Singapore

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
I always wanted to do an MBA so for me it was more a matter of when. My father was a business school teacher, so I grew up with post-grad education at home. In addition to this, I’ve seen and heard only positive things about MBAs in the US, Europe and Asia, from family, colleagues and friends.

After three years in Singapore and 7+ years of experience in sales roles in the healthcare industry, it was a good time to do it. COVID was also an accelerator and an opportunity to stop and think what I want to do in the coming years, and so I decided it was time for an MBA.

Why did you choose CEIBS? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I moved to Singapore in 2018, and after some years it was clear that I wanted to stay longer in Asia. An MBA is not only an academic experience, but also a perfect time to grow personally. Although Singapore offers great business schools, I realized I couldn’t make the most of that personal component if I were to stay. With that in mind, China was the only option in Asia that ticked all the boxes.

On top of that personal component, China is driving the world’s economy and its influence over other economies and regions will continue to grow. Being in China will allow me to get a better grasp of how people do business here and how China is doing business with others. CEIBS has a strong international presence and it is recognized as a top school, which will eventually help with connections and potential job opportunities in other regions.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
Many of us had to put in a lot of work to get here and secure a seat in the program and until the very last minute I wasn’t sure I could enter China – I’m one of the few international students that was out of China when accepted to the program.

I grew up between Argentina and Spain, two places where friendship and community are strongly embedded in people’s values. I also played team sports all my life, so I have strong values of community, friendship and teamwork. I always want to feel that these values are present and felt in any new place I join.

I will contribute to bringing the class together as the MBA will go by extremely fast and it is a perfect setting to build friendships for a lifetime. It’s often easy to forget what you have been through to achieve X objective or get to Y milestones and we tend to lose perspective when things around us are pressing. The MBA will be quite hectic, but I will do my best to make this experience as human as possible; in the end this is just another experience we will go through in life and it has to be enjoyable for all, while we put the effort to secure it takes us to new heights in our professional life.

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
I love planes, I love cars, I love motorbikes, I love boats. If it has an engine or it can go fast then I will like it, and if there’s a license I can get then I go for it. I did bungy in 2019 in New Zealand and spent time in a wind tunnel in Singapore as that was the closest I could get to skydiving. I was planning to go to Dubai to get an AFF skydivers license, but the travel restrictions made it impossible, so skydiving is still on my to-do list.

Post-MBA career interests:
Global events industry, technology and high-growth or emerging regions. At this point I’m quite open about my post-MBA journey, I will keep an open eye to opportunities.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
Reach out to student ambassadors and people who have completed the program. Read alumni stories. The CEIBS website is a great resource and LinkedIn will also come in handy if you want to speak to previous students, most alumni are happy to share about their experience (which in turn is a great sign of how good the program is if people are happy to speak and share about it).

–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Rely on friends’ and colleagues’ advice, particularly those who have business school experience and/or work in management positions, as they will have a good understanding of what you should highlight in your application.

Understand the core values of the school, and if you resonate with them make sure you make it clear in your application and in the interview.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
Prepare better for the GMAT, let the people who know the ins and outs of it to guide you. I didn’t have a clear plan and wasted valuable time and energy.

What is your initial impression of the CEIBS students/culture/community?
People are eager to start the program, to get involved in many activities, and to get together. Everyone is very helpful, and I can already feel that there is a strong sense of community.

What is one thing you have learned about CEIBS that has surprised you?
I had the chance to visit the campus for only a few days and I got out of my quarantine and was surprised with the size of the campus – it even has a football pitch!

I wasn’t aware that MBA students are only a small portion of the student body, as EMBA, GEMBA and other programs actually bring most of the students. This proves that CEIBS is not only a great starting point for people like us in the MBA, but also for more experienced professionals and corporations that come to CEIBS looking for executive training and education. 

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
I was in Singapore and did most of my preparation at home. In Singapore, it is easy to get distracted with other activities and trips in Southeast Asia, so if I can think of one positive thing the pandemic gave me it is the time to focus on the application.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Travel restrictions will probably stay in place for a while in most Asian countries and limit our chances to go out to reconnect with friends and family at home, especially during the Christmas season. Outside of this, nothing is really generating anxiety, but rather a nice feeling of excitement of what lies ahead. 

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
It is going to be a rollercoaster of opportunities in every sense and I’m hoping I will be smart enough to make the most of every opportunity and use the limited time wisely. I want to be back in class and learn from teachers and fellow students. I have very high expectations of every class and all the learnings and debates that will arise.

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.