Malcolm Werchota

Malcolm Werchota, Austria
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021
LinkedIn

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

President, ESADE MBA Organization & Human Capital Club
-Building teams for success
-Harmonising Leadership Style
-Customer focused decision making
-Ambitious, Polite and Flexible
-Managerial competency
-Developing others
-Conflict Management
-Inspirational Leadership

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

To move to Barcelona for the ESASE MBA, with, or without the family – that is the question.

While applying for the ESADE university, I had not yet thought about the way forward with my family. We have a little family with two small children, Sophia and Camila, who both love Vienna. My little daughter Camila loves her Kindergarten situated next to the Danube. My other one, Sophia, is quite small, yet already connects with the children at the playground next to the flat. Both enjoy our afternoons spent cycling along the Danube, running around in the wine yards on the outskirts of Vienna and obviously their small Wiener Schnitzels.

Once I was accepted, it hit me. What should I do? Shall I move my entire family from Vienna to Barcelona? Shall we relocate all the furniture and belongings out of the flat, in which we just moved into one year ago? Shall we disroot the family from their known environment?

Pondering about this, I remembered the impact that my little family already has had on me. While both Camila and Sophia are only one and three, they have already, indeed, significantly transformed me.

Becoming a father has, indeed, significantly impacted me. It seems that as a father, one inherently develops skills and traits that make one a very different person. Raising a family with two toddlers has taught me to be more patient and understanding, yet also to be able to manage simultaneous challenges and crises more calmly. Life is now less about “me”, it’s about “we”. These traits have naturally flown into my professional setting, and my team has benefited from them. Lately, I have realized that I find it easier to comfort colleagues when they have difficulties.

Having two babies who cannot speak, one’s attention to non-verbal communication is also heightened. The awareness has also helped me identify signs of struggle and distress of a team member, which I was able to address in a private setting to help him with. Becoming a father has finally helped me become a better role model, not only for the sake of my children but also for my colleagues and the environment around me.

Thinking about the points mentioned above made me realize that I should take them with to Barcelona. Not only for them to enjoy a new culture, new type of food – especially seafood, which is not readily available in Austria – but also, generally, the fantastic cultural setting that Barcelona has to offer.

Looking back on the last three months, have proved us right. Our daughters are thrilled here. Camila started learning Catalan in her new Kindergarten. Sophia has found a few playgrounds within a few minutes’ walks from our new flat. And both are continuing to educate their Papa, by teaching him new values and skills – lately, negotiation techniques.😊

Viswanath Anand

Viswanath Anand, India
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021
LinkedIn

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

IDBI half marathon finish – Proud moment for me as I finished in spite of twisting my ankle in the 2nd kilometer. A lot of resilience and the fact that it was my maiden run with my father made me see this through till the end.

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

I spent most of my childhood in a foreign country, having moved to Abu Dhabi, UAE, when I was just 2 years old. Life there was blissful, and of course very comfortable. This was only possible because of the bold decision my parents took to leave the comfort of their motherland. Today, as I pen this down sitting in my ancestral village in Kerala, I realize how easy I have it, all thanks to my parents.

We would travel every year to India and would make it a point to visit this very ancestral village. To be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of this as a kid. Having spent so much time in a city full of skyscrapers and cutting edge technology, this was a sudden and almost boring change. My grandparents struggled to make the world a better and more importantly an easier place for my parents, and my parents have done the same for me.

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have been exposed to a wide array of diversity and culture, having traveled to 12 countries. While they were “vacations” as a kid, as I grew up, every visit was a learning curve, even if it was just a glimpse of what lies out there. Just over the past 7 years, since I have left home, I have lived in 3 different cities, each with a different allure and culture. I realized that with every passing year, I have become more adaptable and open to change. All of this has been possible only because of how I embraced change, and how I learnt how vital it is to stay grounded and true to my roots.

It is almost surreal that as I write this, I am going to embark on a similar journey around the same time my parents did when they took the decision to move to Abu Dhabi. Surreal or not, seeing the decisions my parents have taken have only emboldened me, preparing me to be more adaptable and helping me embrace change with open arms. As I prepare to begin this new, exciting journey with ESADE, I realize that you are only as strong as your roots.

Arviendra Wijaya

Arviendra Wijaya , Indonesia
Full-Time MBA 2020
LinkedIn

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

Board Member:
VP of Media, Sports Business Club, ESADE MBA Co2020

Community Engagement:
– Tutor in Hong-Kong Coding Mum program, Indonesian Government’s coding school for Indonesian housewife and female migrant workers abroad
– Voluntered for Bank Mandiri´s CSR Program for repairing orphanages and worship places in Indonesia

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

Bangkok, Thailand 2013. I was visiting Wat Pho – a large complex of Buddhist temples. It was peak of the tourist season. The temperature was boiling and I was desperately in need of cold mineral water. Long story short, I randomly went into one of the shops, and suddenly an old man with a black hat, sitting at a large wooden table called me and asked whether I want to do a palm-reading for 600 Baht. I hesitated for a second, but, I nodded and then go for it (of course). Then he did a full circle of fortune-telling, from palm-reading, numerology to tarot cards.

First, he told about my past. And, all he said was true. It was truly frightening, how can he know few details of my past. And for the future part, he said that I was born in year of the Horse and based on my birth date, I have the Earth element. Combining these two factors with my numerology result, he told me that I would go to see many places around the world. Slightly confused, I told him “well Mister, thanks, but for me, it is something unimaginable, I’m only an ordinary worker, and I don’t think that I will have time to do that.” The old man only smiled and said, “you will Son, very soon.”

Five years later, I had forgotten about that meeting. I continued with my life in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. I have a love-hate relationship with this city. Jakarta is full of surprises. This city is the exact epitome of dreams and hope. On the other hand, Jakarta is not an easy city to love. The rhythm of the 8-5 grind, daily traffic, roads with holes in urban “kampungs,” the rampant presence of motor-based services, muddy laneways, and annual floods in the rainy season has became a part of my early adult life.

After years of work, at some point, I just felt that this routine has become heavy and difficult to handle. And then, my mind started to crave for a change. Perhaps, it´s time to do something new with my life. I was done. I was ready to move away and escape from that rhythm and routine for good. However, it was hard for me to even imagine that I would go somewhere else. But God works in mysterious ways. One day at work, suddenly an email popped out saying that I am eligible to take a scholarship from my company.

Among the different set of choices, I chose ESADE, and it was the right choice. Located in one of the most lovely and beautiful cities, ESADE is a melting pot of students from different parts of the world. I met friends from 51 different nationalities and also got the chance to see the world. And now, 6 years and 40 countries later, I am still amazed by that old man’s fortune-telling ability. My ESADE MBA journey clearly opened my eyes, refreshed my mind and gave me new set of knowledge. And now I am ready to face a new challenge.

Rara Ratri Ridzky

Rara Ratri Ridzky, Indonesia
Full-Time MBA Class of 2020
LinkedIn

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

Professional Career:
In my 7 years career as a banker, I was awarded as best employee in 2014 (my company has around 70 thousands employees at that time). I was also recognized as High Potential Employee for five consecutive years (2012 – 2017) and managed to reach middle-level management position faster than the average track. In 2018, I was awarded with a full scholarship from my company to take MBA Program at ESADE.

Other Achievements/Activities:
1. Represent Indonesia in Gastrofest and win as favorite food/team in 2018. At the event, I made Indonesia’s traditional food called “nasi kuning” or yellow rice.
2. In less than 15 months of my MBA, I already travelled to more than 25 countries and more than 30 cities. Yes! Travelling is one of my passions! My goal is to reach at least 40 countries before finishing my MBA (*fingercrossed*).

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

As a proud Indonesian, I am used to living in diversity. Indonesia has significant cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity. Here, we treat diversity as part of the nation’s ideology. We have mutual respect and tolerance for everyone. I see diversity as an opportunity to discover different perspectives, which can broaden my way of thinking and promote respect for others. I believe every person is unique and we are born into this world with each specific role and purpose. That’s why, in my short MBA time, I always try to do something simple but meaningful to bring happiness and create the best memories for my friends at ESADE, so that they will always remember me.

I have two biggest passions in life: cooking and traveling. I am a big believer in “food bring you happiness”. Therefore, when I have free time, I like to cook Indonesian food and invite my friends to come and eat together at my house. I use this opportunity not only to introduce the richness of Indonesia’s culture and food but also to be able to listen to their stories from all over the world so that I can learn their culture and their perspective. It also gave me the opportunity to meet, interact and cook with friends from other sections and get to know them beyond academic activities. From this small activity, I can really feel the beauty of diversity at ESADE.

I also like to travel in my free time. I like to explore new places, meet new people, and taste new foods. Travelling makes me realize that the world is so big and reminds me that there are lots of things to learn and experience, therefore we must keep challenging ourselves to move from our comfort zone. I like to share my travel journey with my friends through my social media, not to brag about myself but to share with them the experience. After travel, I also like to share the story with my friends, give them suggestions and motivation to explore more.

Maybe these two things that I do in my MBA are not something special and impactful. But I hope that these simple things, although maybe invisible for some people, can bring in essentially meaningful flavors and colors to the lives of my friends around me. And eventually, these activities will create memories that will enable my friends to always remember me as a nice friend from Indonesia who always shares happiness through food and travel.

Megumi Takemoto

Megumi Takemoto, Japan
Full-Time MBA 2020
LinkedIn

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

Finalist in ESADE and elBullifoundation Creativity for Business Innovation Case Competition
Founded a startup and participated in ESADE Accelerator Program as one of the selected teams/ideas

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

Just after I graduated from Tokyo University in Japan, I started traveling around the world by motorcycle by myself for three years. It was my second time going abroad after a graduation trip to Turkey months before. I went around Australia first, then flew back to Japan once, and started again from Los Angeles, United States, went down to Central, South America then went to Europe and West Africa through the Sahara Desert.

Not exactly ‘around the world’ as I had originally planned. Nonetheless, it was an eye-opening experience to see things and to talk to people that I would not have known, otherwise. Every day, I encountered new things and met people who helped me broaden my horizons. However, this journey brought one of the life-changing challenges I have ever faced.

One day, as I drove up to the famous Ruta 40 in Patagonia, Southern Argentina, I fell from motorcycle and almost broke my right knee. It was my first time to see how fat in my body looks like that scared me a lot. To make things worse, I was literally in the middle of nowhere. The closest village with 40 people was around 100km away. Luckily, the motorcycle was not damaged. I managed to get to the village, and a nurse put stitches on the wound.

At that time, it took me five minutes just to walk one meter. I had no choice but to leave the motorcycle there and to go to Buenos Aires, in order to go to the proper hospital and to recover in a safe environment. There was no public transportation available at the village, so I waited and asked a tour bus coming through once a week to take me to the bigger town, then spent three days transferring bus lines to get to Buenos Aires. Fortunately, I had known a hostel owned by a Japanese there.

After all of these, it took me half a year to start traveling again. Besides my knee injury, I had almost everything stolen in a hostel in Mexico, I was stricken with malaria while going down through the Sahara Desert, and I had many other minor troubles.

What I learned from these experiences is that the hardest moments would always make me feel that it is almost impossible to face or go through them. Surviving these incidents made me realize that going through a very tough challenge is not the end of the world. These almost impossible to handle challenges will always be a part of the process of creating something new – a new product, a new journey and a better version of myself. Eventually, everything is going to be okay. All I need is patience and a strong will to go on. Also, there will always be that someone who could help me, if needed. Now, I am a single parent with two children, quit a decent job, doing the MBA, and going to start my company. I may need to overcome many challenges that are waiting for me, but I believe I can do it, and I can make my dreams real.

Shehryar Azhar

Shehryar Azhar, Canada & UAE
Full-Time MBA Class of 2020
LinkedIn

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

1. VP of ESADE Finance Club
2. Turned around my family business (management consulting) post financial crisis
3. Oversaw the development and implementation of new strategies and internal structures for my family business
4. Managed and executed several trade transactions as a Corporate Banker

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

I consider myself to be a Global Citizen, as I have Indian and Pakistani roots, have lived most of my life in the Middle East, and am a Canadian citizen. I have lived in two of the most culturally diverse cities in the world: Dubai and Toronto. As a result, I am fortunate to have interacted, befriended, and leaned from people of various backgrounds over the years. Being in Barcelona for my MBA has been able to further enrich my experience with people from around the world. During the MBA I have also lived in Bangalore (India) and Berlin (Germany) for my internships.

Academically speaking, I am a Professional CMA (Certified Management Accountant), have a Masters degree in Islamic Banking and Insurance and am currently pursuing a Full-Time MBA at Esade Business School in Barcelona. I completed my undergrad degree at Western University, studying Management & Organizational Studies, in 2008.

I have spent most of my career as an Entrepreneur and in Financial Services. What I am most proud of is when I joined my family business in 2010 and oversaw the turnaround of the business which had been adversely affected by the Global Financial Crisis. Following that I was involved in Financial Services for a period of six years, namely in Risk Management, Corporate Banking and Private Banking. I have also operated as an independent (part-time) consultant for various small to medium sized firms as a business adviser / consultant.

I am a proud husband and father of two daughters. My second daughter, in fact, was born in Barcelona during my MBA, which was quite a unique experience. Finally, I am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with a form of stage-1 cancer in 2015, however I had a great set of doctors and strong support from my family that helped me get through the ordeal. Today, I can say that I am 100% healthy and living a happy, healthy, fulfilling life.

Carla Almaguer

Carla Almaguer, Mexico
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

I would say that obtaining the results that I did on my first job after getting my bachelor degree is one of my proudest achievements. When I graduated from college, I started working in a manufacturing company in Mexico and my first job was as a production supervisor. Since the first day, I was in charge of 40 women at the production plant, but had no prior supervisor experience. It was not easy to obtain the trust of all of these women, since I had to ask them for higher productivity and results when most of them were twice my age, worked many hours at repetitive operations, and had children and necessities that would sometimes interfere with their work.

Given these factors, the first three months of working with them was very tough. It was very difficult to gain their respect, as well as good performance. As the production attainment and order fulfillment started to decrease, I started getting pressure from management to improve my results.

Finally, by connecting with the operators on a personal level, I proved to them my interest in their daily and personal situation and obtained their trust. For the ones that were still having a low performance on purpose, I learned that I needed to be firmer, though this was personally difficult for me. I learned the importance of being empathetic and modest, that I can overcome big challenges by trying different alternatives without giving up, and being patient, especially when stepping out of my comfort zone.

What is invisible but essential about YOU?

What is invisible but essential about me is my commitment and resolve to grow up to follow my father´s footsteps. Since I was very young, I have always looked up to my father and saw how hard he worked for his family and for his company. Thanks to him and to his success in directing operations, I lived the transition of moving to a first world country, and travelling to many other countries after having lived that experience. He is my role model given how passionate he is about his work, how he became a trustworthy HR director, and worked hard to achieve the best outcome for the company and its employees.

Given this positive influence from him, I started recreating his steps and growing in a similar direction. I got a scholarship for a good high school and for a degree at the same university where he studied. And eventually, I initiated my career as an engineer. I can say today that I am proud of the achievements that I have achieved so far in my career while pursuing positive and sustainable results for the companies that I have worked for, such as Daimler and Schneider Electric. The MBA at ESADE is an important step for me now, as I desire to keep growing and learning, and hopefully, to, one day, be as successful and honorable as I consider my father to be.

Luis Alberto Davila Barberena

Luis Alberto Davila Barberena, Mexico
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021
LinkedIn

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities 

I was the class treasurer for two years that allowed me to help gather funds needed to build the state of renewable energy symposium at my university. I am proud of having studied my degree, which has allowed me to create valuable impact to all the organizations that I worked with.

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

There always comes a time when every action we take dictates our future momentum. In this moment of my life, all I am looking for is to be able to connect with as many people as possible and reboot my individual persona. We spend many years working and getting stressed-out on things that keep us busy but make us lose sight of our long-term goals, objectives and most importantly, the meaning of our existence. It is important to take a break from everyday life to have the golden opportunity to catch-up with ourselves and reinvent our essence.

As a Mexican coming to an international city, where every conceivable idea will be shared, is just as important as taking an MBA. This is why Barcelona is one of the best options to take a break from life and become a cosmopolitan student who does not only learn from books, but also from the wisdom, stories and imagination of others.

Barcelona offers a breeding ground for creativity that is unparalleled in any other parts of the world. Its air filled with imagination-driven innovation is the invisible but essential component that enables us to grow as distinct individuals. The cultural diversity is the hidden hand that keeps Barcelona colorfully active and constantly in motion. As a city of 2 million residents and over 20 million tourists and students, it provides a breathing space and brewing ground for doing everything nice and having a new start.

Indeed, Barcelona is a place where hyperactive people will only be limited by their imagination. This Catalonian capital is full of life that offers great food, vibrant ambiance, spaces for walk and venues for all kinds of sports activities. Although I decided to live in the center of Barcelona, my commute to ESADE is easy and allows me to get my much needed morning energy.

As part of the ESADE community, I will cherish this golden opportunity to push and grow my individual persona. I know that coming to ESADE was the best decision I have ever made. Meeting, collaborating and building relationships with the broad selection of individuals is the true representation of the spirit of an ESADEAN. The people of ESADE are continuously looking to improve their own personas with the hopes of uplifting others and everything around them. To me this is aligned with the values that I look for in individuals who will go out to make an impact.

I am looking forward to surf this life changing-experience that will help me make good future decisions and propel me to my desired direction in life. I have come to Barcelona to be student, but by the time I come out of my degree, I will be an ESADEAN. The personal growth and community that I will personally build will definitely outclass any experience I had in my life. I am grateful that I took this opportunity to meet Barcelona, ESADE and my future self.

Aman Kedia

Aman Kedia, India
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

Bachelor in Business Administration – Financial Management Associate Chartered Accountant – Indian Institute of Chartered Accountants

Started E-Commerce division of business to independently formulate company launch strategy for online marketplace and generated $100k sales revenue in first 12 months.
Led a team of more than 30, promoted equal opportunity for all by training and employing down syndrome effected people at work.
Developed a product portfolio of 70+ unique SKUs, developed branding and advertising strategy to achieve 20% QoQ growth over a year.
Co-ordinated with >100 international developers to test cross-blockchain software.

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

Having been diagnosed with vertigo in early childhood, I had to overcome many challenges and avoid activities which were normal for others. Having to stop activities midway due to sudden sensation of dizziness and loss of balance, I could never take part in any adventurous activities and gradually developed a fear of heights. Even after being cured of vertigo, I never had the courage to do anything that involved extreme heights or speed.

However, in early 2017, I came across a technology cum digital currency – Bitcoin on the internet that changed me as a person. Fascinated by its concept, I bought a small quantity of Bitcoin. Being risk averse, it was a huge plunge for me to put my money on something so volatile and open source. With the meteoric rise and fall in the cryptocurrency valuation, my investments in Bitcoin have battered me for the better part of 2018. The investments might change and re-change my portfolio, but it left an indelible mark on my mind. It made me let go of my comfort zone. It wasn’t so much about winning big or losing small, as much as a change in my mindset which made me more acceptable to new age techniques, ideas and experiences. I realized that as long as we don’t break the status quo, we cant really disrupt the platform. For all the cliches, I got the courage to break myself from the self-imposed constraints. It also gave me the courage to land up in Costa Brava and sky dive from a height of 13000 ft.

That moment for me was a life-changer and also my sweet taste of success. All along success for me was about creating a big company, making it big in life, attaining a certain position, but these two moments also brought about a change in those definitions. I still want to earn a lot, ring the opening bell of my stock at NIFTY, but success now is also something more personal. It is about a continuous growth-personal, emotional, physical and financial. It is about living our life in an evolutionary sense and not as a reactionary process.