Graduate Management Admission Test : Témoignages

Vous trouverez ci-dessous la liste des témoignages étudiant de l'école.

Be Open to Opportunities in Business School

Lorilea Zabadal

"It was very important to me to experience the way different cultures informed others’ working styles in order to become a better leader."

General information:

  • Name: Lorilea Zabadal
  • Home Country: United States of America
  • Current Job Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Job Function: Client Relations Team Leader
  • Industry of Work: Luxury Retail
  • Name of Company: Richemont
  • Hobbies: Vegetarian cooking, cross stitch, travel
  • Degrees:
    • Bachelor of Arts, Michigan State University, 2010
    • Master of Business Adminstration, Rotterdam School of Management, 2017

What did you do between undergrad and MBA?

I worked for 3 years as Director of Constituent Relations for a Michigan State Representative; then I managed 2 J. Crew stores for 2 years.

Why did you decide to pursue a Master/MBA degree? What was the “light bulb” moment you knew business school was in your future?

I felt I’d hit a wall career-wise.  As a store manager, you have a hand in all aspects of the business – it’s very entrepreneurial. I wanted to learn the theoretical material behind the practices in order to round out my business acumen. It was also very important to me to experience the way different cultures informed others’ working styles in order to become a better leader.

Please describe your current job and the skills you need.

  • I manage a multi-cultural team of 10 Ambassadors who directly address the needs of the clients of 8 brands within the Richemont group. Additionally, I serve as liaison to the brands, and manage ongoing projects for these brands and the group as a whole within the CRM team.
  • Cultural understanding is very important in this role because we offer services in 6 different lanaguages, all over Europe, and often handle requests from Asia and the Middle East as well.
  • Strong leadership is also very important as I need to flex to the needs of each of my team members, who come from many different backgrounds.
  • Project and stakeholder management are essential as well. I have several projects running consecutively and need to effectively manage my time, as well as prioritize actions. I also need to ensure that all stakeholders are kept in-the-loop and up-to-date on the status of ongoing projects.

What did you learn or gain from business school that has allowed you to get where you are today (skills, internships, network, etc.)?

Every term during the MBA we were randomly assigned to groups of 5-6, which offered the opportunity to adapt to different learning and working styles. This really helps me in managing my current team and being flexible with their needs.

What was your inspiration for pursuing your current job/career—why did you get into this particular line of work?

It was always my intention to stay in retail. Coming from a specialty retailer that places high value on a superior customer experience, as well as quality of their products, I knew a fast fashion retailer would not be a fit for me. So, I decided to pursue a career in the luxury industry.

Your greatest takeaway from business school?

My biggest takeaway from b-school was to be open to opportunity. After all, I probably wouldn’t have even  pursued an MBA had I not left my comfort zone! Having spent the whole program being open to new things, I have learned a lot about myself and what I want for my future. It’s been a completely invaluable experience. 

Is the job/industry how you expected it to be? If not, what’s the biggest difference?

For the most part, yes, the luxury industry is what I expected. It’s extremely competitive for job seekers, but at least for my company, there is an emphasis on development and retention.

If applicable, what concerns did you have about going to business school and how did you overcome them?

One of my main concerns was that I’d be out of the workforce for an extended period of time. This is one of the reasons RSM was perfect for me – it’s a one-year program. I also completed a business cognate in undergrad, so I was concerned the classroom experience might be too similar if I went to an American school. Again, this made RSM perfect – I had the opportunity to learn with classmates from 35 other countries will being immersed in a culture that was not my own.

Did you take the GMAT® exam and if yes, when do you think is the best time to take the exam (e.g. during the Bachelor or after practical experience etc.)

Yes; I took the GMAT during my application period. I think the best time would likely be closer to your Bachelors unless you continue to use the skills the GMAT is based on on a daily basis. For example, I never had to use much math so I needed to brush up on that before the exam.

Things you wish you had known when first starting to think about business school and a career in business.

I wish I’d known that the MBA is not an automatic ticket to success – you won’t be welcomed with open arms just because you have MBA after your name. Of course, I expected to work for my career opportunities, but I’d managed my own expectations a bit.

Where do you see your career taking you 10 years from now?

Recently, I learned the CEO of one of the brands within Richemont is 38 – 10 years older than me. So, this is my new goal!

Business School Gives You the Ingredients for Success

Riccardo Ocleppo

"Being in a competitive, but very professional environment can help you achieve higher results in the long run."

General information:

  • Name: Riccardo Ocleppo
  • Home Country: Italy
  • Current Job Location: Torino, Italy
  • Job Function: CEO, Founder
  • Industry of Work: IT - Social Education Community Website
  • Name of Company: Docsity.com
  • Degrees:
    • BSc in Electronics Engineering from Politecnico di Torino in 2008
    • MSc from Alta Scuola Politecnica (ASP) in 2008
    • Master in Management from London Business School in 2010
    • Value Creation for Owners and Directors Programme from INSEAD in 2016

What did you do between undergrad (e.g. Bachelor) and Master/MBA?

Between the MSc at Politecnico di Torino and the MSc at London Business School I worked for 1 year for a well-known Italian ERP software manufacturer. I was in charge of the development of a software to be sold to Italian business consultants.

Why did you decide to pursue a Master/MBA degree? What was the “light bulb” moment you knew business school was in your future?

I pursued the MSc at LBS because I wanted to complete my academic background with managerial/economics studies. I come from an entrepreneurial family and I felt that to become an entrepreneur myself I needed more managerial skills. When I entered LBS I was already working on what is now my full-time occupation (Docsity.com, see below) even though I had no idea whether it was going to be a hobby or a real job. Though, in my unconscious, I still felt I needed a certain preparation to face future challenges of my career.

Please describe your current job and the skills you need.

When I was at Business School I launched Docsity.com an online community that empowers educators to share their knowledge and help students to succeed in their studies. Today, Docsity is one of the biggest student communities worldwide, with 2,700,000 registered users (growing at an incredible rate) and several millions of study content shared in 8 languages.

What did you learn or gain from business school that has allowed you to get where you are today (skills, internships, network, etc.)?

LBS helped me develop a wider strategic perspective and a clearer understanding of the dynamics of marketing and accounting. Insead, on the other hand, made me even more conscious about how to grow businesses in this globalized world. In the end, though, it is just by doing things (and by making mistakes) that you really learn how to do business. Business Schools give you the ingredients to be successful, but not the recipe!

What was your inspiration for pursuing your current job/career—why did you get into this particular line of work?

I guess being an entrepreneur has always been my dream: I come from an entrepreneurial family and my parents have always been very supportive. I love being totally responsible for the results I get and not depending on others. Being an entrepreneur allows you to do what you like and be highly involved and motivated. This is why I created my own business rather than working for others!

Your greatest takeaway from business school?

The main benefit is getting an international perspective of the business world. And being in a competitive, but very professional, environment can help you achieve higher results in the long run. A higher salary is also a good thing … :)

Describe any internships or other professional experiences you had while in business school and what you learned.

While in London I participated in many events related to my favorite theme: entrepreneurship. The vibrant London community is a big added value in this sense. With LBS we also visited a variety of companies of the London ecosystem.

Did you take the GMAT® exam and if yes, when do you think is the best time to take the exam?

I took it after the MSc at Politecnico di Torino, when I realized I wanted to apply to LBS. I think the best time to take the GMAT is when you have a bit of work experience, but not too far away from when you ended your previous studies.

Things you wish you had known when first starting to think about business school and a career in business.

People are the single most valuable thing, both in School and in business. Take time to set good and productive friendships/business relationships as they can turn out to be your greatest asset throughout your career path!

From Soccer Player to Business Development Manager

Adolfo Fernandez

"Continuous learning is indispensable to grow as a professional."

General information:

  • Name: Adolfo Fernandez
  • Home Country: Spain
  • Current Job Location: Dublin, Ireland
  • Job Function: Business Development Manager Spain & Portugal
  • Industry of Work: Internet
  • Name of Company: Google
  • Hobbies: Fitness, travel and blogging
  • Degrees:
    • Master in International Management from IE Business School in 2015
    • BBA Administration and Business Management from University of Santiago de Compostela in 2013

What did you do between undergrad (e.g. Bachelor) and Master/MBA?

I worked as a CMO for Cilenis Language Technology, a startup specialized in Natural Language Processing, which was awarded with an Honorable Mention in the Building Global Innovators 2013 organized by MIT. After my experience in the startup ecosystem I moved to the UK to join Xerox Corporation. I worked as a Business Development Consultant leading an international cross-functional team specialized in geolocation marketing solutions.

Why did you decide to pursue a Master/MBA degree? What was the “light bulb” moment you knew business school was in your future?

To pursue a Master was something already on my career roadmap when I finished my bachelor degree. My idea was to have some professional experience before taking an advanced degree in order to apply practical concepts during the program and make the most of my time at business school. It was very clear that the master would provide me with a holistic vision of global business and a much sharper skill set.

Please describe your current job and the skills you need.

Currently I work as Business Development Manager at Google where I am responsible for establishing new partnerships with high-potential brands in Spain and Portugal. My job is to help companies grow their business by achieving their marketing, sales and international expansion goals through the latest online advertising solutions in the industry. In my opinion there are three main skills you need to succeed in such a fast-paced industry as Internet: analytical and critical skills, communication and leadership.

What did you learn or gain from business school that has allowed you to get where you are today?

For me there are two milestones in my life that have completely influenced where I am today: high-performance sports, playing soccer at professional level for years, and my experience during my Master degree at IE Business School. The Business School allows you to acquire hard competences such as analytical skills or negotiation that are essential to working in demanding and competitive environments. But, it also helps you gain soft skills (leadership, communication, public speaking, execution) that are, from my point of view, skills that give you an edge and enrich your profile.

What was your inspiration for pursuing your current job/career—why did you get into this particular line of work?

My job is at the intersection of my two biggest passions: people and technology. During my bachelor I started to shape my professional career towards the marketing and technology industries. After working in both sectors in +3 countries, different company sizes and roles I considered that Google and, in particular my position, were an excellent opportunity to continue my career after the master. Google is at the forefront of innovation worldwide and gives you the chance to make an impact on society through technology.

Your greatest takeaway from business school?

For me the greatest takeaways from business school are the professional network that I started to build worldwide and above all, the values IE instilled in me: diversity, social innovation, entrepreneurship and humanities. Values that are completely aligned with Google and other companies with a similar profile.

Is the job/industry how you expected it to be? If not, what’s the biggest difference?

If I would have been asked this question during my bachelor degree my answer would have been a resounding ‘yes’. However, I should say that business school provides you with a quite accurate picture of how the real business world looks. The strong relationships between business schools and the industry play a key role on this. Also having professors from the business world and running simulations based on real cases help students reduce the uncertainty and move up faster in their jobs after the master.

Did you take the GMAT® exam and if yes, when do you think is the best time to take the exam?

Yes, I honestly think that in order to make the most out of it , the best time to take the GMAT is after having some practical experience.

Things you wish you had known when first starting to think about business school and a career in business?

I would not highlight anything in concrete. However, what I would say is that continuous learning is indispensable to grow as a professional. After +3 years experience I will consider whether to take other advanced programs in the medium term, either an Executive MBA that contributes to polish my practical experience and recycle my know-how or other specific degrees on certain areas of development.

Where do you see your career taking you 10 years from now?

It is complicated to see where your career is going to take you in 10 years in such a fast and changing landscape. However, I have always been a person who believes that people should have a goal to pursue. Therefore I have drawn a first sketch of where I would like my career go to. In 10 years from now, I picture myself leading an innovative and global organization in a multicultural and diverse location. Also, due to my passion for teaching, communication and public speaking I have already started to do other activities in parallel to my core role such as delivering keynotes in major industry events, teaching in European universities and business schools and sharing my professional experiences through blogging. This is something I would like to boost as my career keeps moving forward.

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