Magnus Botnedal

Magnus Botnedal
Full-Time MBA Class of 2024


Professional Roles and Achievements

– Recipient of the Esade MBA Student Fund: Diversity Award
– Korean Government Scholarship Program grantee (3-year full-ride scholarship)


-MBA Batch of 2024

-Yonsei University, Master of Arts in Global Economy and Strategy 2017

-BI Norwegian Business School, Bachelor’s Degree in Finance 2012

What is invisible but essential about YOU? or ESADE? or Barcelona?

To answer this question, I would like to start with my early childhood growing up in Norway. 

I grew up with my mother and her female partner in a suburban area in Oslo. This was in the early ’90s and growing up with “two mothers” was quite unusual, I would even say radical. As an adult, I look back on my upbringing and feel a strong sense of privilege having been raised by two strong women. 

I also travelled a lot as a young child. I visited China, Fiji and Australia twice before I was 12 years old and somehow, we never ended up staying in the tourist areas. My mother was always keen on showing me what she thought was the local way of life. So, in Fiji, we visited a local village and met the village chief, and in Beijing, we would get lost in the side streets and visit local artists whom we communicated with using a simple dictionary and hand signals. 

My untraditional upbringing and early childhood travels have made me very open and curious about new cultures. I, therefore, decided to take a leap of faith and move to Harbin in Northern China to study Mandarin once I finished my undergraduate studies in Finance.

I remember Harbin as a melting pot of different cultures. In my language school, half of the class came from Russia and the other half were Korean. I remember being so amazed by Korean mannerisms and especially the tradition of bowing to people older than yourself. It was also my first time interacting with Russians. I remember my Russian classmates as friendly and fun to hang out with. The school also had plenty of exchange students from Africa and I developed close friendships with people from Benin and Zambia. 

Fast forward ten years and I am currently living in Barcelona pursuing an MBA. If you see me in the hallways, you will probably never be able to detect from my appearance any of the diversity I carry with me from my lived experiences. I think this goes for a lot of the people we meet in life. It’s generally quite hard to tell what kind of invisible diversity people carry with them. I, therefore, believe that the best approach is to meet people with genuine openness and curiosity. Be kind to the people around you and dare to include new people in your circles of friends, regardless of where they come from or what they have done in life. 

Best of luck to all of you on your MBA and future endeavours in life!

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