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

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.

Ana Elena Perez

Ana Elena Perez, Venezuela
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021

Professional Roles, Achievements and Activities

Led an alcoholic beverage Consumer Tracking System (CTS) reengineering, adjusting it to market changes and attaining representativeness in every city.

Designed and executed beer company leader, Cervecería Polar’s, two main events of 2018, “Oktoberfest Polar” and “Polar Beer Garden”, with a joint venue of 8,000 people.

Developed an innovative experiential marketing event, introducing a new product of leading premium beer brand, Solera IPA; a beer festival in a town centre with a venue of 3,000 people.

Created an event segmentation model, used for conceptualising 400 events within brand strategy. Elaborated an econometric model for estimating the beer market, defining a quarterly operational volume plan.

Coordinated a consumer study for leading beer brand, Polar Pilsen, essential for conceptualising its 2018 campaign with the highest effective visibility over three years (increase of six percentage points).

Implemented a promotional programme for Modern Trade top clients, increasing market share by more than three percentage points.

What is invisible but essential about YOU?

While living in Venezuela most of my life, I have seen how a country can experience a decay in almost every economic aspect. This experience has led me to reflect about society and our role as businessmen. During the last 5 to 6 years, the crisis has intensified in an exponential way, where the most affected are those in the lower socio-economic levels of society. As a consequence, deteriorating the general level of education, and corrupting our principles and values as a society.

Empresas Polar, the company that I used to work for, is an example of an organization that is aware of its role in society, therefore it has made a great effort to inculcate coexistence rules among its employees. These principles and values have been so well implemented that their impact has transcended to the company’s stakeholders, its employee’s families, and even to the general market, becoming a reference in the industry. Experiencing this up close, and evidencing its impact on the whole industry, has led me to acknowledge my responsibility as a businesswoman in the cultural transformation of a society, thus in the generation of welfare.

Likewise, apart from the corporate world, I have been dedicating some of my spare time to achieving personal goals related to different kinds of sports, like mountaineering and hiking. Nevertheless, the most challenging activity I have experienced is skydiving, where you have to train your mind to assimilate that you will be jumping from a plane at 13,000 ft.

The greatest thing about skydiving is that it takes you out of your comfort zone every time you jump. Once you get used to that feeling, you are no longer resistant to it in other aspects of your life, reaching a point where you even start enjoying it. Furthermore, you have to have discipline, mainly during the initial learning process, but also prior to every jump, where you have to review the possible complications and how to solve them without hesitation.

Finally, in skydiving you have to develop forward planning and flexibility. Once you open the parachute, you have to spend every second planning the next steps for a proper landing, and to be able to recalculate your plan with every deviation of the relevant variables. All things considered, I think skydiving, apart from being fun, it also trains your mind and it can help you develop competences that are useful for every aspect of your life.

Eduardo Soibelmann Sztrajtman

Eduardo Soibelmann Sztrajtman, Brazil
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

Student Athlete with academic merit-based and athletic scholarship at Purdue University, former professional tennis player, travelled more than 65 countries, volunteered helping people with disabilities to find joy on playing sports and worked in the construction of hospitals, hotels and malls.

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

Sometimes people are labeled by their job, their university name or the field they choose to study. In my opinion, people are a lot more than where they work, where they study or what they decide to do professionally in their lives. My life has been very different from all my friends around me. As a teenager, I decided to start playing competitive tennis and begun travelling by myself around the world playing tennis. Travelling by myself at such young age in the junior and professional tennis circuit made me grow up as a human being. I had the opportunity to go to different countries, learn new languages, and meet people from different cultures. After my professional athletic life, I decided to go study engineering in another country as a student-athlete. At that point I left my country, my family and my friends to live with people from other countries in a place that had a hard winter season.

Coming from a country that has no snow, I found that some situations during winter can be hard, such as having to stay in the house for three days because snow covered the door from the outside. Leaving my own country and the culture that is usual to me is very important for my personal growth. Sometimes people are stuck with what they learned from their parents, friends and society around them and forget that there are billions of people on other parts of the world that live and think in a different way.

During all those years of playing tennis and studying at university, I decided that every year I will travel to different countries to see how is life in other parts of the world. All these travels and going abroad to live, made me a more patient and respectful person that can handle life and work situations better, respecting everyone’s culture and opinion. My life and the experiences I lived have shaped me into a better person and is something that might be invisible if people just consider where I come from, where I used to work or the field I decided to study in college.

Nikita Bazko

Nikita Bazko, United Kingdom
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

ESADE MBA Scholarship, Undergraduate International Exchange Ambassador and Peer Group Leader, Mentor to the current student at Newcastle University and the regional start-ups, Co-captain of a Tennis team in doubles matches in Newcastle and a runner-up in 2013 and 2018 End of Season Championships.

What is invisible but essential about YOU?

I am an ordinary young man from a small ordinary Eastern European country, albeit some say I am very persistent when it gets to personal and professional aims.☺

Joking aside, there are qualities that make me who I am that I am really proud of:

1. Believe in true friendship and always come to help a friend in need.

As the old saying goes, it is much harder to build a true relationship than to break one. I left my home country many years ago, but still keep close ties with some of my best friends from school, tennis club and the neighborhood. Our relationship extends beyond occasional catch-ups to business projects, vacation trips, professional exam preparation, etc.

2. Remember and be proud of my country, its history and culture.

I really like visiting Latvia; the country where I grew up, and that gave me good education, provided a broad choice of sports, recreation and cultural activities. Reading a book at the sandy shores by the Baltic sea, listening to local folk music or exploring nature and wild life, brings back old memories, relaxes my mind and body and helps analyse performance and set up personal and professional plans.

3. Respect and learn from my parents and older people. I enjoy helping parents and grandparents with various jobs in the garden or around the house. I feel good solving technical problems related to computers or other devices. I also enjoy taking part in family holidays. These trips bring us closer and leave a lot of warm memories.

I learn a lot from parents. My Grandfather, among the other family members, remains instrumental in my development. He became a friend to me early on in life and taught me basics of swimming, painting, driving a car and other activities.

He had an exciting and very challenging career, managing large pools of people across 3 continents. Hence even now as an ESADE MBA, I could rely on him for advice on my career and personal life and be sure to obtain a top class viewpoint.

These three values that one can probably not see from the outset, bring a sense of fulfillment to me, since my efforts and knowledge are used in a good way to benefit my continued personal development and support the people around me.

Lauren Holmes

Lauren Holmes, United Kingdom
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

I have recently taken on a new academic role, having been awarded the Collaborative Spirit Ambassador Scholarship for ESADE’s MBA Class of 2021. I am excited to share my enthusiasm and ideas with the batch!

One thing that I am really proud of is completing my teacher training. The demand on teachers in the UK continues to increase, and my training year was certainly a challenge; I learnt a lot about communication, resilience, and personal well-being.

What do I like to do in my spare time? In my undergraduate degree, I became involved in two dance associations (samba and reggaeton) which brought so much joy to my life, and were a wonderful distraction from my studies! I then went on to become a Zumba instructor, which was a core part of my life in London for the past 2 and a half years. 

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

My invisible but essential fact is that I come from a teaching background. At first, for me, applying to the MBA seemed almost impossible and slightly ridiculous. I studied Spanish and Geography at undergraduate level, then qualified as a secondary school teacher in the UK, and ended up working as a Programme Manager at a small education charity in London. However, the more I spoke to people, and the further I pushed with my application to ESADE, I quickly realised that we would be a good match.

Not only would I receive support and advice from the faculty and my fellow students, but I also have a lot to offer! I am an extremely enthusiastic person, with plenty of experience in teaching, and also in presenting in front of groups of people. I am really excited to be able to share this with my incoming class and anyone else that I may come across during my MBA! Whilst my background may be lacking in business-knowledge or accounting skills, I have developed strong empathy skills and a deep understanding of working with different sorts of people. I love the diversity of the ESADE student community, and have been blown away by my first 2 weeks in Barcelona.

My other invisible but essential fact is that I speak Spanish. I have no Spanish heritage, but I took a real shine to the language at school, and pursued it through university and into the classroom as a teacher. I am looking forward to combining my language skills with my ESADE experience in Barcelona and making the most of my time here. I hope to continue the development of my Spanish skills so that I can have the option to work in Spanish-speaking environments after my MBA.

The energy of ESADE, whilst not invisible, cannot be truly understood until you arrive in Barcelona. From my application process, I already knew that the people I would meet would be enthusiastic, supportive, and interesting. However, since arriving in Barcelona to begin my ESADE journey, I have been completely overwhelmed by the welcome that I have received. The MBA class of 2021 had a welcome dinner in mid-August, for all of those who were already in the city. I stopped myself a few times throughout the meal to take in the atmosphere; a room full of people from all over the world, a range of professional and personal backgrounds, and none of whom knew each other! It was vibrant and exciting, and it felt very special.

I hope that my invisible but essential skills will match well with the fantastic community created by ESADE. I am sure this is the beginning of a fascinating and fulfilling adventure!

Sohyun Eom

Sohyun Eom, South Korea
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

As the only female leader and vocalist of my university band, I led its members who had varying personalities and values. This experience has enabled me to thrive as a brand manager in a food and beverage company composed of over 90% male employees, achieving outstanding performance levels based on not only my major knowledge in food and nutrition but also consensus gathering skills, judgment, and accountability. I hope to lead a new paradigm in the personalized food industry by developing myself into an ambitious and capable future leader at ESADE.

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

One day when I was 8 years old and had yet to have capable hands – I recall that was when I started cooking. I saw how making others happy when cooking food and meals pleased my mother, and it stimulated my interest. As I majored in nutritional science in college, the element of responsibility was added to my simple passion for cooking up food. The saying “You are what you eat”, which I learned during one of my lectures made me realize that it was important not only to enjoy making and eating food, but also to have a corresponding earnest attitude to studying its value.

In Korea and Japan, I have for the past 7 years strived to contribute to the development and evolvement of Korean food based on such passion and sense of responsibility. I have been involved in expanding the market to preventive medicine through such products as ion drinks that prevent the approach of cold viruses and nutrition bars that even diabetics can eat, and to improving health awareness of customers by providing detailed health, fitness, and nutrition information in addition to simply publicizing the product. I have also engaged in social responsibility activities in environmental protection and other areas by collaborative promotions with the public service sector. I like to think that these have been my first steps toward conveying to customers not just the what but the why, and that I played a small part in helping to upgrade the domestic food and beverage market by emphasizing brand quality and customizing products to suit consumer needs.

I would ultimately like everyone to lead happy and healthy lives. I have set this long-term personalized key point as my grand goal to achieve. I intend to work toward it through comprehensive analysis of individual physical constitution and living environment and application of differentiated technologies. Toward this end, I hope to work closely with government, social services, and various industrial sectors including IT.

ESADE will be an optimal partner in this journey. I hope to acquire leadership skills and generate various ideas to lead personalized healthcare, which is still in its infancy. In the innovative environment of ESADE within the world-leading city of digital technology and entrepreneurship that is Barcelona, I would be able to share my experiences and ideas with classmates of diverse background from countries worldwide, building a network which will be critical for my continued growth.