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One of my greatest strengths is my sense of curiosity, which has driven me in life to learn, explore and go outside my comfort zone. Professionally, it has enabled me at the companies I worked for to effect change, by helping me to see beyond how things work and ask how they can work even better. Personally, it appears in my passion for history and the hundreds of books and articles I’ve devoured. It even led me to live as a monk for 2 months, studying Kung Fu in the Shaolin Temple in China.

Another strength is my will to achieve anything I set my mind to. It helped me to overcome my ADHD by developing my own set of tools, rather than taking medicine. It was in my being the first soldier in my class authorized as submarine duty officer; and in campaigning and being elected every year of university to Student Union leadership.

One of my greatest weaknesses, which I am working today to strengthen, is my tendency to think that simply proposing a good idea will be enough to get everyone on board. Experience has taught me that I must invest energy in explaining to my peers and managers why my idea will be beneficial and how it will work.

Finally, there is my drive to improve the world around me. It can be seen in the volunteer program I initiated in 2009, which still exists today, with 30 volunteers annually helping dozens of children-at-risk from immigrant families. It’s in my weekly volunteering at an animal shelter. And it is was in my commitment as VP, Student Union, where I led changes that improved the learning experience of 25,000 students; fought for job security of our campus maintenance workers; and, as Board member, established the university’s first Benefits Club.

The vision of every organization is ultimately driven by the values of its leaders. Growing up in the Holy Land, the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, I am strongly connected to the ideal of posterity – of leaving the world better for future generations – an ideal I see expressed in IESE’s commitment to human dignity and ensuring universal prosperity.

These ideals guided me in my first management position as a naval technological intelligence researcher. Upon my promotion, I received a new assistant who was intelligent, but confided in me early on that he was disinterested in serving in our unit, and wanted to ask for a transfer.

I was discouraged by his lack of motivation, but sensing his potential, I looked for a way to unlock it.  An effective leader should inspire commitment, not expect it. I conversed with him about his preferences, and endeavored to assign him projects that challenged and interested him, especially those that utilized programming skills. I encouraged him to send me his deliverables for second review, so that he would feel confident to be creative and make mistakes. I also invited him to come to me for help acclimatizing to the Navy’s strict environment.

Demonstrating personal interest in his development had a significant impact on his morale and commitment. He told me how he found joy in our work, and even our unit commander commented on his transformation to an exemplary member of our department.

Effective leadership requires recognizing every team member’s dignity and value. Taking courses such as “Leadership” and participating in the “Global Leadership Series” would help me to strengthen my leadership competencies and my toolkit for inspiring team morale. The IESE MBA will help me develop the skills to lead from a place of dignity and best practices for achieving posterity.

I wish that IESE would ask me why am I so passionate about FinTech.

I became attracted to the world of financial technologies in 2008, in the days of the global financial crisis. I was a first-year student of mathematics, fascinated by the crisis’ quantitative aspects. I learned that the financial sector had used sophisticated tools without being able to measure the risk exposures derived from such activity, and that understanding how to use advanced models and technologies is critical to FinTech’s success.

While serving in the Navy for 5 years in technology-driven positions, I experienced how technology shapes the character of organizations and enterprises. I learned the impact that mathematical models can have on decision making processes, and how they can save manpower and money.

My dream is to work at the intersection of technology and finance to help the FinTech industry effectively approach and mitigate its risk management issues. As a former guardian of public security and trust with the Defense Forces, I am dedicated to making my country and the world a safe place, whether through the public or private arena. FinTech provides incomparable opportunities to fortify and protect businesses and economies across the globe.

I wish that the application had asked me where I learned the most important life lessons.

Everything I Needed to Know in Life, I Learned on a Submarine

  1. Expect hard work; consider recognition a bonus.
  2. Learn to stay calm under stressful conditions.
  3. Your superiors are human; don’t be afraid to disagree with them.
  4. Your subordinates are human; listen to them.
  5. Don’t be first to the dining table. But don’t be last.
  6. If your friend asks you to cover for him, cover for him. Don’t ask why and don’t expect an immediate return on the favor.
  7. It doesn’t matter where you are; even trapped in a sardine can, hundreds of meters below the water, if you are with those you love, you’re home.
  8. Stay positive even when plans change. It feels better and those around you will appreciate it.
  9. If you make yourself a cup of coffee, make two; you’ve got two hands.
  10. Leading by example is the strongest kind of leadership.
  11. When you’re new on board, be patient. Don’t be eager to shine before your time.
  12. Whatever you do, give it your best; shortcuts will only diminish you.

My short term goal after my MBA is to join a top tier consulting firm in Europe, such as McKinsey & Company or BCG. Having gained experience as a PwC consultant, working with hi-tech and bio-tech companies, I plan to specialize in managing consulting projects within the Ed-tech or digital health space.

IESE’s use of the case-study method style of teaching will be a great preparation for dealing with my clients’ problems, and will enable me to exploit the rich diversity of my classmates’ backgrounds. The Capstone (TFM) project, at the end of the first year, will be a great opportunity to practice real-world problem solving and present solutions to company executives. Classes such as ‘Mergers & Acquisitions,’ ‘Internet Enabling Strategies’ and ‘Managing Corporate Growth,’ which address core consulting topics, will broaden my business knowledge and hone skills essential for a consultant. I am also excited to join the Consulting club, where I can forge connections with fellow students who share my goals, as well as prepare for internship and job interviews.

IESE’s career services will also play a large role in helping me to land my ideal position, by organizing career forums, and treks to consulting firms, to meet with their recruiters.

In my mid-term goal as Engagement Manager, I will be leading consulting projects. My military experience as an officer, leading groups of people to accomplish missions, has provided a strong platform. To enhance my leadership skills, I intend to take courses at IESE, such as ‘Consulting Soft Skills: the Craft of Consulting Proposal Writing’ and ‘Creativity for Managers.’ These courses will allow me to put myself in the shoes of the decision makers and learn from their experience.

To solve a problem, you need to know the problem.

As textile factories in India are designed for mass production, we faced immense challenges in meeting BISKIT’S small-scale production requirements. We eventually overcome the challenge by leveraging the spare capacity of a factory (current producer for Intidex) to produce our collection. To me, this difficulty in identifying a viable partner in a $150billion textile manufacturing industry is a problem, but a solvable one. I aim to create a shared-economy platform that connects the small-scale production needs of independent designers worldwide with the excess capacity of Indian textile factories.

IESE’s curriculum and culture can help me realize this vision. The fashion/textile industry is complex and connecting potential “capacity providers” and “capacity seekers” will require an advanced level of problem-solving skills. The Strategic Management Fashion Industry elective can help me navigate this complicated industry while team-based Capstone projects can help me approach forthcoming challenges from different angles.

Building relationships with like-minded visionary peers through the Responsible Business Club and IFIC will motivate me to think with a purpose beyond profit. Participation in the DGDW Conference can give me access to a far-reaching network, possibly understanding how different countries are tacking similar issues. Additionally, a range of network access from sustainable business owners (Ramon Barbero, DGDW panelist) to revered industry leaders and alumni showcases an invaluable opportunity to conceptualize this idea under their mentorship.

Armed with newly formed industry acumen and business philosophy, I will have the ability to transform myself beyond just an entrepreneur and into a thought leader of the future, equipped with the skills to be successful and to make an IMPACT.

Having spent a successful career expanding Deloitte’s platform across various industries, including securing projects worth $10 million in 2016 alone, I always knew my future lay outside the world of audit. Therefore in 2017, in parallel to my work in Deloitte, I co-founded a unisex clothing label to capture the emerging gender-neutral apparel market. Scaling the business in the very first year, I secured partnerships with Berlin based boutiques that now account for 80% of sales, which has energized my passion for entrepreneurship and retail.

My post-MBA goal is to gain retail industry exposure through a Business Development Manager position in organization such as Inditex or H&M. Thereafter; I plan to return to my co-founders to expand its operations across Europe, to complement its existing operation in Germany and India.

To seamlessly actualize my goals, my discussion with Anina Tardif-Douglin (MBA ’19) assured me the exposure through the R&LG Club, Retail Treks (e.g. Milan and Barcelona Retail Safari) and the immersive Case Method curriculum would set the stage for a successful transition into this industry. Prof. José Nueno’s ‘Marketing’ class, a favorite amongst students, will be the perfect place to enhance my customer acquisition strategies – an invaluable assent for any new entrepreneur. Additionally, the option to utilize the Track-1 Summer Internship to create Europe market expansion strategy will be essential to capitalize the retail industry’s movement to gender-neutral clothing.

For me, IESE is an entrepreneurship-focused investment – Surrounded by like-minded peers at the Startup & Entrepreneur Club, networking during ‘Breakfast with Entrepreneur’, and mentorship opportunities under industry leaders like Carlos Costa (COO, MANGO) through ‘WeGrow’ will provide me with significant returns.

Finally, with Barcelona hosting the Retail & Brand Experience World Congress, its position as one of the centers of fashion and retail is invaluable in gaining real-time inspiration and industry knowledge. For the reasons stated above, IESE and its location in the progressive Catalan capital is the perfect platform to develop my skills and expand sustainable gender-neutral vision, catapulting my entrepreneurial ambition.

IESE Business School

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