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Real Humans of MBA Students: Esade MBA Class of 2024

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esade mba class of 2024Alexandra Solderer, Esade MBA Class of 2024

Age: 32
Hometown: Munich, Germany
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Bachelor in Sociology at Otto-Friedrich University Bamberg and Master in Media and Communication Management Macromedia University of Applied Sciences – Munich
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 6 years, project manager at an Asset Management Company.

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
The decision to attend business school for a full-time MBA was driven by my desire to change and enhance my career opportunities. From a career in the asset management industry I want to explore new industries such as Tech or Social Impact, ideally a combination of both. To support this an MBA is a great start, to build out my leadership skills, to broaden my knowledge and to build a great network. 

Why did you choose ESADE? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
ESADE really stuck out for several reasons. First of all, it is really focused on Social Impact, which is an area that I am very interested in. The ESADE credo “Do good – do better” greatly resonated with me. Also, ESADE is really emphasizing diversity, not only with its highly international student body, but initiatives like the LGBTQ+ & Allies Club or the Blacks in Business & Allies Club are examples of how ESADE is actively removing barriers in business and in the business school. ESADE is also renowned for empowering women in business, as it is committed to building a business world where no areas are off-limits and gender equality is the norm.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2024?
I have been working in strategic roles in the past 6 years pre-MBA. I would like to bring both operational experience and a strategic perspective to questions such as how to foster diversity in the industry, how big tech can have a positive impact on the world, and how we can build organizations that drive ecological and social change to the positive. 

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I really love dogs but I never owned one, as it never really worked out in terms of time and work. Now, once I have graduated and my new workplace allows it, I would love to adopt a dog, potentially even adopt one from Barcelona and take him home with me. 

Post-MBA career interests:
Social Impact and Tech, and being part and an active driver of positive change in the world. In general, I am also open to and curious about other areas of interest which I might find out during my MBA journey.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Not only spending a lot of time with GMAT prep, but also really reflecting on what you want to achieve with the MBA and which university makes sense for your personal and professional development. This will also really help with writing the essays for the applications and will help you to paint a much more coherent picture for interviews.  

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
Initially I didn’t fully grasp the process enough and was nervous about my GMAT, the application, and the interviews. Looking back, I should have just enjoyed the exciting time and not stress out too much, as things will turn out positively if you’re a match with the university culture.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
Nothing in particular, looking back I think that all the steps I took were necessary (even if it didn’t always feel like that during the prep.)

What is your initial impression of the ESADE students/culture/community?
The student body is extremely diverse in terms of educational and professional backgrounds, nationalities etc. and everyone is so eager to learn from each other and grow personally and professionally. 

What is one thing you have learned about ESADE that has surprised you?
So far I haven’t been surprised by much here at ESADE, as the university and admission make sure to provide you with contacts to current students and admissions team members, which are extremely helpful and supportive. I feel that I had a good understanding of what to expect upon arrival and thus far I haven’t been surprised by too much. 

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Handling the three S: Sleeping, Socializing, Studying. There are so many activities, events and opportunities that it is difficult to decide in which to participate.  

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Getting to know this highly diverse group of people from all over the world, and learning about their approaches to the MBA, their career and more general to life. I already had so many great conversations and got refreshing new insights and perspectives. 

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
Actually, it affected my GMAT preparation so far as there were no competing social activities at the same time, so I could easily focus on studying. 

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.