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Real Humans of the IESE MBA Class of 2024

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Lea Jung, IESE MBA Class of 2024

Age: 23
Hometown: Berlin, Germany
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Bachelor in Science of Business Management at ESCP (London, Madrid, Berlin)
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): I spent three years consulting healthcare and energy companies, as well as NGOs on their growth strategies, first with Accenture and then the Boston Consulting Group

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now? 
I went into consulting at the age of 19. Working in this environment has allowed me to learn and grow an incredible amount, but I noticed that I was lacking time to think about the focus I want to set in both my future career and personal life. My goal is to expand my horizon and find my purpose by spending two years with experienced and open-minded fellow students and advancing my knowledge and leadership skills.

Why did you choose IESE? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
 For my MBA, the most prominent decision factors were academics and location. IESE is well-known as a school with high academic standards. As I am investing a lot of time and money into the program, it was important for me to also receive a high-quality education. On the other hand, I wanted to spend the two years in a location that would allow me to continue building my European network and to have a great lifestyle. There truly is no better city than Barcelona for that.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2024?
A mix of young energy and very curious character has built my passion to interact and connect with people from diverse backgrounds. Coming into the MBA with strong cultural awareness and experience will not only help myself, but will also allow me to bring different people together and help resolve conflicts that could arise within the classroom.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that didn’t get included on your application:
Once, I got stuck with my sister in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a shark double my size after losing our scuba diving group. Luckily, the shark was more curious than hungry, and it left us alone after circling us for 10 dreadful minutes.

Post-MBA career interests:
My interest and passion lie in the sustainability and healthcare industry. At BCG, I have been able to combine these two topics and advise a diverse set of clients on their growth strategies, ESG transformations and M&A projects. Upon my return post-MBA, I will apply my knowledge and skills developed throughout the program to resume supporting clients in their efforts. Further, I want to follow my entrepreneurial interest by continuing to advise start-ups in their strategies. 

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
–What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Speaking with current students and alumni was the absolute most valuable thing I did during my application process. Not only do you get to understand the cultural fit and academic dynamic, but you will also receive valuable tips for your application and the start of the MBA.

–What is one thing you would change or do differently?
I’d definitely try to start earlier with my GMAT preparation. I didn’t expect for it to be as much work as it was and spent two months trying to juggle my intense work schedule with GMAT prep on the weekends. If I had taken some time off in the summer and then practiced on weekends for a few months, I would have been less stressed and more confident.

–What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
During my application, I was afraid of “putting all my eggs in one basket” and decided to apply to five different programs, even though I already knew that my first choice was IESE. If I had trusted in my abilities from the beginning on, I could’ve reduced the number of applications and had more focus on the applications that actually mattered to me. With time efficiency and great mentors, I was able to complete all the applications, but the process was more stressful than if I had applied to fewer schools.

What is your initial impression of the IESE students/culture/community?
The diversity and openness of students in an IESE classroom are unparalleled. I had quite an international upbringing, but have never sat in a room with so many different ethnicities, work backgrounds and opinions. Already now, I can honestly say that every single student I have interacted with has inspired me in some way.

What is one thing you have learned about IESE that has surprised you?
The amount I learned during my first course sessions at IESE has really surprised me. The sessions are very interactive and case-heavy and the professors provide the right balance of knowledge and practical skills in preparation for real-life situations in future leadership positions.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
The program is very dynamic and balancing an intense academic schedule, extracurricular activities, health and a social life will be challenging for sure.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
There are over 400 students in the program and I am really excited to get to know every single one in the program, especially because everyone is so diverse and has so much experience.

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.