Archivo de la categoria ‘Experiences during the program’


One of the highlights of ESADE’s Executive MBA is the flexibility and ability to personalise your experience. Students can either spend the final phase of the programme focusing on elective subjects to take their career to the next stage, or opt to finish their studies with a touch of global exposure, taking part in a 3-month, full-time exchange programme at an international partner business school.

Student Didac Cristóbal is currently on a 3-month break from his job at Airbus in Hamburg, spending his final immersion trimester at the International University of Japan.

See for yourself what the experience is like through his vlog posts!  Discover the possibilities for yourself!

The Japanese Break - 01 Pilot

The Japanese Break - 02 Getting Installed

The Japanese Break - 03 The First Week

The Japanese Break - 04 Back to Tokyo


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“If you’re here now, imagine where you will be in 15 years.” This was how the Director of ESADE Executive Education welcomed new participants to the Executive MBA (EMBA) in his institutional welcome remarks. “The EMBA is a programme that will transform you and help you learn a lot. But my message is: enjoy it!” said Jordi Brunat . He added: “You are incredibly privileged, so make the most of this experience. Welcome to ESADE – your home.”

“Future”, “progress”, “change”, “challenge”… These were the words used by the new participants in the Barcelona-based weekly EMBA when asked by the programme director, Carlos Royo, what it meant to them to be starting along this new path. Indeed, the EMBA transforms people and opens up new horizons.

“You will change throughout your time at ESADE. The EMBA gives you a new perspective,” explained Alba Cura, a member of the 2018 EMBA graduating class, reminiscing on how she had embarked on this path just one year ago. “Starting now, you will have lots of professional opportunities,” commented Albert Canela, another member of the EMBA class of 2018 and a classmate of Cura’s. “You will enjoy yourselves greatly during this journey,” he added. “The EMBA will shake you up. It is such an impressive experience, and it is sure to unite you. Trust in your classmates. The support of the group is fundamental in this adventure,” declared Cura.

The EMBA is based on three pillars. The first is making decisions from a position of authenticity. “ESADE believes in collaboration as a means of creating great leaders,” explained Royo. The second pillar is internationalisation. During the programme, participants spend time in Europe, Asia and the Americas, getting to know the realities of these societies and becoming leaders with a global business vision. The third and final pillar is entrepreneurship. The EMBA will let you to take charge of your career and make the professional leap you’ve been dreaming of.

What about you? Do you have what it takes to be a changer?

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Pau Virgili demolishes some myths about the digital world

Who said that being active in social networks is the only option? Who said that only young professionals can manage social media accounts?

These are some of the issues dealt with in the ‘Customer Relationship Strategy in the Digital Age’ master class organised as part of the ESADE Continuity Programme on 25/26 September in Barcelona and Madrid, respectively. The masterclass focussed on the transformation of customer behaviour and how marketing should adapt and bypass online communication. It was led by Pau Virgili, an expert on new technologies, management, and marketing who has managed international companies and now works closely with the ESADE Marketing Management Department.

Pau Virgili showed his disagreement with four myths that accompany the technological revolution. To the surprise of many listeners, he questioned: firstly, the need to be in the digital environment; secondly, the belief that being surrounded by young people guarantees success; thirdly, the assertion that everything has changed; and fourthly, the assumption that the old rules no longer apply. By undermining these beliefs, Virgili made the audience pause and reflect (the main objective of this type of session and, in general, the ESADE methodology and philosophy). There is no change, or changers, without reflection, without demystifying, and without questioning whether the newly generalised paradigms are the only valid models.

Pau Virgili emphasised the leading role of the customer over the brand, and how consumption is becoming more rational, encouraged by the observations and criticisms of friends and family, and in which emotional values trump the brand’s own foundational values. Virgili considers that it is essential to study and understand the ‘customer journey’ that occurs both online and offline and whose broad effects permeate the entire organisation. To capture consumers, brands must relate directly and transparently with customers.

Pau Virgili, who was general manager of European marketing at Hewlett-Packard fast moving consumer goods and European marketing director for Plantronics, is an example of the quality of ESADE’s academic team. The contributions of this team and the numerous lecturers who participate in this type of unique session – full of practical cases and based on sharing knowledge while encouraging innovation and critical spirit – reflect the bases on which ESADE is built. An attentive master class audience eagerly followed the discussions in each session.

These master classes are part of the Open Day offered by the ESADE Executive MBA. These events are an ideal opportunity to learn about the university and its programmes before taking the leap and becoming an active agent for change trained at ESADE. Lecturers, alumni, and the programme director are available during Open Days to resolve any doubts and concerns before applying to ESADE. Open Days are also the first opportunity for many students to see how ESADE works, with the plurality of its lecturers and comprehensive innovation. Students can also see for themselves the quality of the academic contents, one of the aspects most valued by students and a subject of intense focus for the entire ESADE team.

Learn more here about the next EMBA informative sessions. We look forward to seeing you there.

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The Boston e-lab experience

What an experience it was to go to the Boston e-lab programme this summer! There are countless takeaways (too long a list to include here!) that will serve me well in the years to come, both personally and professionally. From this long list, at a personal level, I take with me the strong connection and the lessons learned from my classmates – an amazing group of people from various Executive MBA cohorts across ESADE.

We experienced situations both in and outside class that made us become a real team, and which I’m sure will lead to collaborations in the future. Of course, we now know how to close deals over lobster dinners with bibs and all! If that isn’t a bonding experience, I don’t know what is! At a professional level, the best way for me to encapsulate the experience is to say that it was eye-opening and mind-boggling at the same time. I felt challenged just about every day to do something new; I also felt a sense of urgency to make a difference.

Sometimes we think within the constraints of what we know, but why not “think big”? The possibilities around innovation, technology and robotics were simply amazing, as we learned at MIT, at Harvard and at the various e-labs we visited throughout the week. Even when an idea seems crazy or unreachable or simply “out there”, if you believe in it, if you feel passionate about it, try it! Leaving with this feeling that “I can do it, too” was worth the money. We saw teams and people working on projects that I would have never imagined, and yet there they are, building businesses and getting funding for them.

Unlikely partners like musicians and engineers working together to come up with solutions to simple and complex problems – why not?! “Thinking outside the box” can be a cliché, but we saw that the most creative ideas came precisely from those who push the status quo. Of course, we needed to bring it down to the practical level: ESADE gave us a good run-down on how to pitch ideas to venture capitalists (our final assignment!), how to manoeuvre the Boston ecosystem (which is the same as that of Silicon Valley) and how to think about teams and working spaces differently. Lastly, I felt proud to see fellow ESADE alumni and fellow Europeans bringing their ideas to life in the Boston ecosystem.

Thank you, ESADE! I had a blast and I can definitely recommend the Boston e-lab. Anyone interested in entrepreneurship or life-changing technology should sign up for this experience.

Post written by Aurora Martínez Ramos

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The EMBA premieres on Facebook Live

The EMBA team has added a new communications channel. On 19 July we premiered on Facebook Live with a video featuring Judith Puigbó, associate director of admissions for the Executive MBA. She was accompanied by two participants from the current EMBA monthly format, Naïma Maëlle Zodros and Alexey Kultyshkin.

The video included a relaxed discussion on personal experiences and various aspects of the EMBA. Naïma, from the biotech industry, decided on the EMBA because she wanted a 360º vision of business; while Alexey wanted to complement his previous education with a more comprehensive programme.







Both positively value the diversity of EMBA participants – something that enables mutual enrichment and productive teamwork. Alexey, who had not previously considered being an entrepreneur, felt that starting a business was now an option after his experience at ESADE.

Questions discussed during the interview include the various methodologies used in the programme, its international weeks, time management, and student business plan ideas (one of the most important sections of the EMBA in which participants choose whether to develop their own entrepreneurial idea, or develop a project within the company where they work – called intrapreneurship).

The care and follow-up provided by the ESADE team is another factor that participants value. ESADE enables participants to visit the school, attend classes, and talk with alumni to acquire more information and viewpoints before making a final decision.

During the video, there was also an opportunity to talk about the best personal moments experienced during the EMBA. At the end of the discussion, viewers could participate and ask questions live or later at:

The video already has more than 2000 viewings and can be seen here. It is the first of a series that will be made periodically to bring live EMBA news, experiences, opinions, and advice from participants. See you next time!

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The challenge of investing in India

“On our EMBA study tour, we visited the Indian school of business. I must say that I was very pleased with the quality of the classes. They were all tailored to give us a general view of India’s current situation regarding foreign investment. After four days of intensive learning, I found myself wondering if I would I invest and how I should do it?

India is a pool of untapped opportunities, however doing business in India is not easy. When selling to the emerging middle class, prices should be affordable – hence low – while still managing high margins. It makes it tough to obtain an acceptable return on investment. I found interesting how the teacher mentioned that for a product to succeed in the Indian market it would have to succeed first at the bottom of the pyramid. Then it should be adapted to higher segments therefore making innovation a key reason for success in India.”


Read Naïma M. Zodros’ (EMBA ‘16) whole experience in this article

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When organisational change requires a cultural change

Naïma M. Zodros and her classmates in ESADE’s Executive MBA just returned from an international week in Brazil, one of three trips abroad that will take place during the monthly programme format.

Zodros described a highly practical experience in Brazil, where the EMBA participants discovered the peculiarities of the country’s economy. She noted that multinational companies like Wal-Mart and Lenovo – wrongly assuming that the strategies they used in their home countries would also work in Brazil – have failed in their attempts to enter this new market.

When implementing business systems and procedures in another country, you must also make a cultural change. This is something of a revolution, in which, according to Zodros, women executives can play a leading role due to their management style. Thanks to – or because of – their efforts to reach heights until recently reserved exclusively for men, women have developed a unique entrepreneurial spirit. Zodros trusts that this sort of female leadership will inspire other women to pursue their goals and seize new opportunities in order to achieve their aims in any area.

Naïma M. Zodros (EMBA ‘16) shares her experience in this article

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Strategy: differentiation, optimisation or both?

Which of these strategies leads to success? Although there is no easy answer to this question, based on the content and considerations explored in the subject General Management (EMBA, ESADE Madrid), I will defend my own view: differentiation, hands down.

This is not to detract from optimisation or operational efficiency. Simply put, optimisation is not a strategy, but a basic pillar for a company to be able to compete.

Except for those companies that have no competitors (few and far between), any company seeking to be competitive must cultivate a philosophy of optimisation and operational efficiency in each and every one of its processes if it wants to succeed. Otherwise, the market itself will expel it. This leads to a new hypothesis: if a company manages to optimise better than any of its competitors, could it base its strategy on that?

No way, because it is only a matter of time until it would be plagiarised. This is the polar opposite of companies that reach a maximum level of optimisation through technological differentiation.

Those companies achieve their differentiated position based on their technology, which allows them to differentiate themselves specifically in terms of costs.

This final consideration shows that all strategies should be based on differentiation and making the maximum effort to create barriers to defend that differentiation over time, regardless of the type of differentiation chosen.

Post by José Luis García Laguna - Executive MBA 2017


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#beachanger: How the EMBA Transforms You Professionally and Personally

A turning point. A challenge. Leaving your comfort zone. A push towards a dream. Trust. Passion. Finding your place.

What do these concepts – which attract us as much as they scare some of us – have in common? Change. They all arise from a change, a decision, a transformative act that opens up paths that you had never before imagined. New experiences that, once you’ve had them, you are very grateful for.

And you know what? These are the responses that our EMBA students gave when we asked them what ESADE’s Executive MBA meant to them. These are the opinions of our changers. But now it’s time for others to form part of this transformation, which begins in one person and expands throughout the community.

Watch the EMBA’s testimonial video (in Spanish) here

What is #beachanger?

Our changers talk about drivers of change, personal development, catalysts, and how the EMBA has given them the personal and educational tools they needed to cope with changes in their careers that many of them had dreamed of but didn’t know how to bring to life. The professionals who take the EMBA acquire a renewed sense of security and confidence as a result of gaining new knowledge and sharing business ideas and experiences with their peers and professors.

For these professionals, the EMBA is a holistic change that affects them and their companies. And the companies, in turn, value and cultivate the participants’ new capabilities. That’s how you create a cycle of positive feedback and growth that benefits both parties.

Many people simply see change, but not our EMBA students. They want to be change. And they are. They are changers who, from day one, want to be involved in transformations that they believe in and are passionate about.

And slowly but surely, that passion makes them feel more and more unstoppable. A passion that many of them say is the most effective and accurate way to find one’s way in business and in life.

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Learning across borders: an enrichment inside and outside the classroom

Elective Exchange Program SDA Bocconi, September 2016

Opportunities are everywhere; you just have to grab them. One of the great possibilities the EMBA at ESADE offers is to participate in a study abroad program in other renowned business schools around the world. From multiple courses  and schools one can select the elective which suits best its time and study plan and once accepted the adventure can begin.

I was lucky to be one of five ESADE students selected for SDA Bocconi electives in September 2016 for the course “Corporate Entrepreneurship”. The participants in this seminar came from all over the world: Besides Global and Executive MBA students from SDA Bocconi, people came from UCLA (USA), Mumbai (India), Recanti (Tel Aviv), ESADE (Barcelona) and a few executives were send directly from their companies. Italians, Israelis, Spanish, Germans, Belgians, Luxemburgish, Indians and a Danish professor created a enormous diversity of experiences, nationalities, professions, industries and cultural backgrounds, enriching any group work or class discussion.

During two and a half days we were able to really evolve into the subject, to approach the topic corporate entrepreneurship from different perspectives, learned theoretical models, benchmarks from innovation leaders and understand through case studies different ways of practical applications. The fact that we had people in the class who were entrepreneurs, working in start ups, incubators or leading innovation centres in their companies fused the discussions with actual issues, successes and failures.

Doing all this in a new learning environment with new study colleagues created an exciting experience that I can just recommend anyone who is given the possibility. Electives abroad are not only connecting the best business schools in the world but creating a sense of community by bringing international students closer together, enhancing cultural understanding and creating global networks that might evolve in new partner- and friendships. Isn’t that what an MBA student should aim for?

Written by Linda Ferstl, EMBA MOD15 student.


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