Lauren Fink

Lauren Fink, USA
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021
LinkedIn

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

Webby Awards Activism Finalist for the design of MakeItOK.org, a website that seeks to combat mental illness stigma and build empathy by educating visitors about mental illnesses and encouraging open conversation. Said by the New York Times to be the “internet’s highest honor,” the international Webby Awards honor digital excellence. The Activism category recognizes exemplary websites that facilitate political change, social movement, human rights, public education and reform. (Webby Awards, New York City USA, 2017)

Winner of the Webby for Good Award for the design of the Make It OK website. Produced in partnership with WP Engine, this award honors Webby-finalist projects that are changing the world through real social change. (Webby Awards, New York City USA, 2017)

Winner of the Web Marketing Association’s “Best Small Business Social Media Campaign” for the impactful marketing campaign that differentiated The Shed Fitness Studio in a saturated market, drove a 38% increase in memberships and achieved a 284% return on investment. (Web Marketing Association, Minneapolis USA, 2016)

Winner of the Interactive Media Awards, Outstanding Achievement award for the design of the NWHealthy.org, a wellness website designed promote healthy living and increase preventive medical treatment. The Internet Advertising Awards recognize websites displaying exemplary design, content, functionality, usability and standards compliance. (Interactive Media Awards, Minneapolis USA, 2016)

Finalist in the National Student Advertising Competition for “The Other Hangover,” an anti-binge drinking campaign highlighting the social consequences of overconsumption. Upon placing at Nationals, our team was awarded a grant to implement the campaign. After the campaign proved to be successful in its first year, additional funding was awarded to expand the campaign to an additional 10 universities and high schools across North America. (Century Council, Minneapolis USA, 2016)

Three-time nominee of the Clear Night Luminary Award, a quarterly peer-nominated award program recognizing excellence in the categories of Business, Work, Culture and Community. (Minneapolis USA, 2018-2019)

Two-time nominee of the Preston Kelly annual Ruddy Award, a leadership-nominated award recognizing the employee whose irrepressible spirit inspires colleagues, elevates company culture and positively impacts client work. (Minneapolis USA, 2016-2017)

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

Growing up, my family had an unusual motto. “You’re not having fun until someone gets hurt,” my mother would always say. As my siblings and I built a two-story toboggan slide, perfected double backflips and rigged up ziplines in the tall pine trees, my parents were always there cheering us on. We were encouraged from a young age to take risks, make mistakes and fall down. And thus, we became really good at picking ourselves up, brushing the dirt out of our wounds and trying again.

As a result, I will always seek to expand the bounds of my capabilities, taking on new challenges with abundant curiosity and contagious tenacity. This drive has granted me the opportunity to work in a variety of roles, companies, and countries, expand my business acumen and social empathy, and solve unique challenges for clients across industries. I’ve had the pleasure of supporting incredible organizations in their efforts to bring resources to refugees around the world, combat mental illness stigma, inspire young women to think positively about their bodies, reduce binge drinking among young adults, provide affordable housing for those in need, and more.

I look forward to continuing to build a career centered around the betterment of society, believing every day is a chance to live the values of my family’s motto to its fullest—to boldly take on the toughest of challenges and persevere over the inevitable obstacles with tenacity and innovative thinking. I seek to encourage those around me to do the same. To see their strengths as their biggest assets and their weakness as their biggest opportunities. To dream bigger and reach higher. To have the confidence to tackle the most trying challenges facing business and society today. With each accomplishment, proving to the world and ourselves, that we can take on just about anything we set our minds to. And with each failure, learning we have the resilience and courage to dust ourselves off, iterate and try again.

Jorge Cardozo

Jorge Cardozo, Colombia
Full-Time MBA Class of 2020
LinkedIn

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

Graduated in Finance in Colombia.

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

Isn’t it interesting?… life? And the way it works? Let me tell you a story. Some of you might think or say it is a sad story. I don’t.

When I was 9, I was raped. Yes, I was raped. It was a Saturday morning. My mom had taken me to my acting classes as she used to do every week. The teacher had asked us to bring some books to get ideas to put on a play. I knocked the door and a girl opened it. “There is no class today”- she said. As soon as I turned to look for my mom, I noticed that she was leaving. I run but the bag was too heavy, so I dropped it. I couldn’t reach her. When I came back for my bag, it was gone. There were three people at the other side of the street and one guy in the same side I was. I asked the three people if they knew anything about my bag, but no one answered. When I asked the guy he replied “Are you Jorge? I know who took your bag”. After that, the guy took me far and then… well you already know what happened.

Whenever I go back to that moment, I can only see blurred memories… blood, a lot of trees… fear. I was confused. Then the fear became sadness, and after the sadness came the rage. I was furious… to life, but most importantly to God. I couldn’t keep a question out of my head. How could this even happen to a nine-year old boy? How is this even fair? Then at some point I couldn’t recognise myself in all this rage. But eventually everything just changed.

It took me a while to understand, but I found happiness again. I decided to go out and read about religions to try to understand the reason behind it. In this search I found Buddhism. This for me was one of the most revealing truths in life. I felt connected. I felt understood. Did you even know that pain is one of the main promises of Buddhism? I told you it was not a sad story.

In that moment I decided to start a spiritual path in which I firmly believe that the most important thing in life that really matters is to be kind, to be good, but most importantly to forgive and let the anger go.

Today, I am telling you this story because I don’t feel ashamed anymore. It was an accident. Today, I feel I have the strength enough to tell this and let other people know that they are not alone, either, if they are men or women. Do not let these things change who you are. Take the time to feel, to heal and to come back stronger than ever. Do not let yourself feel hate for someone. It is not worth it.

Guil Ezovi

Guil Ezovi, Israel
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021
LinkedIn

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

Class representative (2012), dean’s list (2012), worked for University’s visitors center to showcase Technion’s connection to Israel to worldwide delegations, volunteering at a Jewish summer camp in the US to represent Israel on behalf of the Jewish Agency.

What is invisible but essential about YOU?

Ever since I was young, science and healthcare have been present in my life. I was intrigued by science, and its ability to create value. My passion for science began with the first Lego set I received from my parents. At elementary school, I participated in extra-enrichment courses. During these courses, I developed my thinking and broadened my knowledge. As a result of my success in these courses, I became a teen counselor for them, helping others enjoy the beautiful world of science.

Nevertheless, at some point I felt that science as a hobby was not enough. I wanted to do something meaningful with it, but still did not know what specifically that was. In a strange way, my father was the one who influenced my decision to join the world of health care. My father was injured during his military service in the 1970’s and suffered from PTSD. Unfortunately, he also suffered from an occupational accident during his work in the Petrochemical industry. Since then, the healthcare system, medical equipment, drugs, and doctors have been a routine part of our life. I used to accompany him to his medical exams, prepare his inhalation machine when he could not breathe properly, and verify that his drugs were not expired. Over time, I realized the necessity of good medical care, available equipment and drugs, and the dependence patients have on these assets. Perhaps unknowingly, this incident and its effects played an important role in what led me to pursue a career in the medical device industry.

My decision to study at the Technion, specifically quality engineering, was related to the fact that I want to help better the world. I arranged to do this by helping businesses to plan, measure, and improve their products. During my studies, I realized that my interests correlate to the field of medical devices. This industry contains many start-ups and businesses that rely on quality engineers. Post-graduation, I entered the field and realized the magnitude of the healthcare industry, and its impact on billions of people. At first, I worked for a drug-delivery company that manufactured infusion pumps. I understood that this product could help millions get treatment for their illness once available at low cost. At the recent company I work for, BrainsGate, I acquired knowledge about the medical device start-up industry, its challenges, and its advantages. BrainsGate is developing an implantable device to treat stroke patients. I feel proud and excited to be part of an initiative that enhances stroke patients’ quality of living. By being part of this initiative, I feel that I am helping and contributing to society, specifically to people who are not receiving the standard of care that they should be for their conditions.

Eventually, all these steps assisted me in crafting my future dreams. I aspire to fulfill them by learning about the healthcare and entrepreneurial worlds at ESADE, and thereby become an ethical leader. I believe that in face of the global challenges ahead of humankind, ethics is one of the main pillars when working in healthcare, where each decision could have the possibility to affect millions of people worldwide.

Kristina Rachkova

Kristina Rachkova, Russia
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021
LinkedIn

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

Participated in an international project of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) concerning PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls)

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

After I graduated from the university I was very excited about my adult life, independence and my career path. I strongly believed that I do not need an extra education for a successful career. I had been working for approximate five years and a half. At the beginning it was not easy at all because I did not know where to start my career. Within that period of time I participated in an international project of the UNIDO regarding PCBs; nevertheless, I finally had set the goal to become successful in a chosen field and opted for the tax authority to achieve that goal. Three and a half years passed very quickly in an exciting atmosphere of daily communication with a large number of people, regular meetings, investigations and reports. Finally I achieved the goal set in the beginning and reached the position of Deputy Head of the control and analytical department with actual discharge of duties of the head of the department. I realised that I got enough knowledge and experience in this field and I needed to move forward. That was the point when I made a further decision to continue to develop myself, get more knowledge, and even acquire experience in some new areas. I thus pursued and got a degree in accounting; but that was still not enough. I got a feeling that I want something different and not only within my country. That is precisely how I arrived to the conclusion that I wanted to further my studies through a MBA program. This would undoubtedly be a great opportunity for a really fascinating change in my life.

My aspiration now is to gain more knowledge and experience in ESADE within a multicultural setting with people from diverse backgrounds. ESADE will provide me with this opportunity to meet, dialogue and understand people from other places and hopefully establish a good network of acquaintances worldwide.

Maximilian Mayr

Maximilian Mayr, Germany
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021
LinkedIn

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

Besides surviving the GMAT I am extremely happy about my former decision to start an integrated study program in which I earned my Bachelor degree. During my undergraduate degree I developed from an undetermined person who spent too much time trying to fulfill social conventions into a self-paced, diligent person who is eager to work with people from diverse cultures.

The integrated-degree program provided me not only with the possibility to build a basic academic business knowledge, but also gave me valuable insights of what working in an intercultural environment feels like. After graduating I decided to join the sales team at POLI-TAPE because I was convinced that the manifold challenges in an international environment will most likely satisfy my beliefs of how I want to work.

One year after working as a Junior Sales Manager, I attained the fundamental knowledge necessary to begin external work activities. Promptly I overtook the responsibilities for all Spanish-speaking countries and so decided to learn Spanish. Besides my already demanding 50 hours job I took part in an evening Spanish course three times a week.

What helped me most to endure this challenging period is my high-level discipline paired with the gratification I experienced while having conversations with Spanish people at work or on vacation. A year later I was excited to see how clients started to perceive me in a different way. They appreciated my efforts. Hence it was much easier to build a personal relationship with my customers, especially because some of them are not business fluent in English.

In fact, most of our clients appreciate a contact person who is able to build a trustworthy relationship on an interpersonal level and not solely discusses business topics. The close relationships I have grown with my customers strengthened my social abilities in an intercultural environment. I learned that social skills are at least equally important compared to negotiation skills or product knowledge.

Another important aspect I grasped during my professional career is how important it is to have a strong group leader. Reading the book Start with Why by Simon Sinek, shaped my perception of Leadership. Leaders do not necessarily require exceptional business knowledge. Contemporary leaders understand how to inspire people and how to deploy them into positions that best suit their abilities.

My first personal experiences as a leader began, when our Sales Director hired a new employee and commissioned me to integrate him into our team. I tried to convey my personal mindset of how to approach customers by sharing my knowledge obtained during the time as project manager for claim management. The topic provides valuable information about the interaction with customers on negatively associated topics. Sharing my personal experiences and building up a personal relationship substantially influenced the development of our new employee. He is now an essential part of our sales team and recently started to conduct his first business trips independently.

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

Following conversations with Alumni I realized that ESADE selects its students in a remarkable thoughtful manner. All persons I spoke with are extremely open-minded, helpful, positive-thinking individuals with a strong dedication to their jobs. Hence, I look forward to sharing my personal experiences in the different clubs provided by ESADE.

When I was a child my father worked as a salesman for Siemens. He is a passionate technician with an apprenticeship in electrical engineering. Because of my father I developed a similar enthusiasm for technical applications in my early years. Today I consider myself an early adopter of new technologies, which makes me a perfect fit for the Tech & Media club. For example three years ago I started to invest time and money in cryptocurrencies based on the blockchain technology, I read several books about artificial intelligence (e.g. Life 3.0 by Max Tegmark) and took part in the private study course Hands on Industry 4.0 offered by the online learning management system mooc.house.

Consequently I realized why innovation is important. Creating new values is crucial to positively shape the world of tomorrow. In the context of working as a salesman I recognized the crucial role the sales department has in channeling information to the R&D department. Today it is extremely important to stay close to the market, to value the information provided by customers and thereby maintain a successful business model. On the one hand becoming part of the Design & Innovation club will give me decisive insights about future business concepts, on the other hand I will provide valuable information for fellow students by sharing my personal knowledge about technology-driven start-ups.

Another noteworthy character trait is my passion for music, in particular electronic music. I am self-taught, having learned how to compose electronic music at the age of 15. Soon after, I started to DJ to be able to spread my own work through distinctive channels. After collecting my first club experiences I played on popular festivals such as the NATURE ONE. Retrospectively I would say that this chapter was one of the most enriching experiences in my life, not only because I have made meaningful friendships with various people coming from all over the world but also because I found a way to satisfy my obsession for personal fulfillment.

Nowadays I believe that starting a business of my own will most likely give me a feeling of long-lasting personal fulfillment. Genuinely thinking about starting a company I am most excited about joining the Entrepreneurship club to exchange innovative concepts with like-minded students. Looking at startups founded by ESADE alumni such as Fever, Verse or Paack shows me that ESADE provides an ideal habitat for highly ambitious people who want to harness their entrepreneurial spirit in order to extend their business acumen.

Mudit Airan

Mudit Airan, India
Full-Time MBA Class of 2020
LinkedIn

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

Board Member:
– VP of Strategic Initiatives, Design and Innovation Club, ESADE MBA Co2020 – Planned and organised the annual study trek to Stockholm and visited over 10 companies

– Voice of Youth (young leadership team at Infosys): One of the 7, selected amongst 5000 applicants, to represent the youth in the Operation council of Infosys.

Community engagement:
– Volunteered at Akanksha, an NGO for underprivileged kids in India, helped kids from in the age group of 6 to 12 learn basic English and Mathematics.

What is invisible but essential about YOU?

Once upon a time, I weighed 100 kgs!

Every single day when I came back from classes, I felt like not going back ever. It was always a rough day. I had a tough time dealing with my classmates, teachers, friends and sometimes even relatives. Lots of love and lack of motivation didn’t help the cause either. I just plodded along eating everything in sight.

My relationship with the weighing scale hasn’t been great since the childhood days. I was an overweight, reticent boy who would cower behind my mother when in public settings. I weighed the highest and was ridiculed for most part of my childhood. As I grew up, I was more aware but did little to change it. Reality slapped me on my face that night when the weighing scale pointed to over 100 kgs. At the ripe age of 19, I never really felt that shameful ever before. Tears rolled softly down my face almost throughout the night. I decided that this needs to change. I dragged myself out of bed the next morning for a run. Followed a strict diet and regime with a single aim of losing weight. I had no number in mind but kept pushing myself to achieve more. Fast forward to 6 months later, I was heartily playing soccer with my friends and had lost a good 24 kgs in the interim.

The journey changed my outlook to life. It was a magical evening of pure nostalgia. I realized that nothing is impossible. My personality has changed drastically ever since – I am more outspoken. I am conscious about my eating habits and energetic in general. Taking it forward, I want to be a source of inspiration for those around me, in my country and across the globe. I want individuals to be the best version of themselves, to never say ‘no’, to never give ‘up’ and help them shape a better future.

Jenny Peng

Jenny Peng, China & Canada
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021
LinkedIn

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

During undergrad in UBC – International entrance scholarship

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

Malcolm Forbes had once stated, “Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.” As a child who moved around a lot growing up, and coming from a collective culture of China, I was very insecure about being different. I was left out and bullied entering my 4th primary school, after coming back to China from Cambodia, known as the “Cambodian” girl. I recall shortening my stay in Cambodia in my stories in order to seem less different. As a result, I was conflicted between wanting to be like everyone and the person who I truly was, and had a hard time connecting with people.

Moving to India had helped me to see differences in a positive light. Even though I still felt foreign, I realized that most people were genuinely curious about our difference, and their goal was not to judge but to understand. During my 5 years growing up in India, I had made myself home, and found my group of friends who accepted me as the unique person I was. Because of my experience of being different, I had gotten out of my way to help and listen to others who seem less comfortable in an environment that’s unfamiliar for them.

After high school, I started my life anew in Canada. I was then exposed to so much diversity in one sitting and was mind-blown at how much uniqueness was celebrated. As I listened and asked more, I realized that every person has his/her unique story to tell, but I could only learn that by being patient and receptive while avoiding quick judgment. I was lucky that I got to work in product education localization during my tenure at lululemon, where we were only able to succeed by learning how different culture process and digest information. In the creative world, more opinion and debates will help with generating new ideas. While my role, as a facilitator that improves the creative process, helped me build the skill to listen to all that are involved in the work and create solutions that best meets everyone’s needs.

Many had told me that I had a hard decision to make to move so far away for my MBA, but seeing more of the world had always been a priority to me and moving to Spain has been amazing. The amount of diversity in the city and within ESADE is inspiring. I had the chance to connect with people coming from different professional and cultural background and learn from their experience. Best of all, because of the high mobility within EU, the city is receptive to new culture and different perspective, regardless if they are the same to their own or not. I am very excited to work with the extremely diverse student body here in ESADE and look forward to find out what we can achieve together.

Sarah Schilling

Sarah Schilling, Germany
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021
LinkedIn

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

Course Representative and member of the Student Council during my undergrad degree, developed a new scholarship “From Students for Students”. Won a full scholarship for my undergrad studies and the Forté scholarship for the MBA at ESADE.

What is invisible but essential about YOU?

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”

This quote of Michael Jordan represents one of the core values of ESADE and a very important one for me: team spirit. Compared to other Business Schools that I had looked at in the process of deciding where to start an MBA, ESADE embodies an outstanding team spirit. Classes are not just formed, they are united in a way that establishes lasting bonds and an incredible, supportive network among all Alumni.

The reason why this is so important is obvious: people are stronger together and superior results can be achieved if you have a diverse team bringing in multiple perspectives and opinions. I was lucky to benefit from a strong team various times, especially in sports. To give some examples: a strong team spirit made us win the German championships, succeed in international competitions and even made us part of the Olympic selection in 2012.

Hence, I have focused on forming a strong team spirit in my environment as the basis for success. For instance, as a Team Leader for Business Development in the field of import and export I made it my mission to improve my colleague’s motivation and thus our work success by bringing the people in my department closer together and finding common grounds. Therefore, I founded a Team Spirit Committee which organized frequent afterwork events, team building events and offered basic Presentation Skills and Microsoft Office training sessions. Within the first months, one could already see great improvements in motivation and mutual understanding: people offering helping hands, organizing birthday gifts and joking together. The communication became more open and after half a year, we started to see improvements in sales and efficiency. By the time I departed for my MBA two years later, our department had truly earned the term “team”.

Outside of work, I promoted teamwork as the team captain of a second league sports team, as a student tutor and as a speaker of my course during my undergrad studies for three years. I look forward to continuing this path at ESADE with all my energy and heart.