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Real Humans of MBA Students: Esade MBA Class of 2024

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esade mba class of 2024Kristina Ibea Alcantara, Esade MBA Class of 2024

Age: 28
Hometown: Cavite, Philippines
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Ateneo de Manila University, AB Interdisciplinary Studies (Management and Communications)
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 3 years in Food Industry, 2 years in Gaming & Esports Industry

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
When I first entered the gaming and esports industry, I often found myself lost in how I could grow the organization more in terms of sales and marketing. The esports industry in the Philippines, after all, only started two decades ago, so there were only a few resources available for neophytes like me.  I used Google and YouTube to search for materials and similar concepts in other countries that I could propose to the stakeholders. After repeatedly doing this throughout my stay in this industry, I realized that I could develop better ideas, perspectives, and problem-solving methods if I supplemented my work experience with a master’s education. At this point in my life, I felt like I have that insatiable hunger and endless energy to move into a new country, meet and collaborate with new people, and learn more about more business and management.

Why did you choose ESADE? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
I chose to do my MBA in ESADE not only because of its prestigious program but also because of the student clubs it has that are dedicated to sports and business. The school’s mission of bringing change and impact to the world is also something I believe in. The diverse student body and network of alumni the school has across many industries in many countries will also be able to help me reach my goals. Not to mention, the school’s location in Barcelona makes it my top choice because some of my favorite sports organizations in the world are located here, alongside many gaming and esports startups.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2024?
Coming from the gaming and esports industry, I want to share to my cohort my insights and experiences about these fast-growing industries.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
I am an active member of a Toastmasters club in my city. I was also a Public Relations officer in our club before I joined the MBA program.

Post-MBA career interests:
I want to go back to doing a Marketing role in either the Gaming industry or the FMCG industry here in Europe.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
1-on-1 with my Admissions Officer, Mary. I really enjoyed talking to her about my career, my plans, about ESADE, and Barcelona. I learned a lot from her about the program, the culture, and the school. 

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
Apply in the earlier intakes so I have more time to prepare for my move here in Barcelona.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
Taking the GMAT. Having a support system helped me get through it.

What is your initial impression of the ESADE students/culture/community?
Everyone is so warm, welcoming, and helpful. Academics is balanced by extra-curricular activities backed by the school. The students are very diverse as they come from different countries and different backgrounds.

What is one thing you have learned about ESADE that has surprised you?
That ESADE is part of the Jesuit network like my university in my undergraduate studies. The school’s values are rooted in Ignatian values.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Being able to juggle the essential 3S – sleeping, studying, and socializing well.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Meeting and getting to know my cohorts who will be with me in this tough yet fun journey.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how? 
It has delayed my application as I had to be quarantined a couple of times and it has ruined my preparation plans in taking the GMAT.

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.