Most MBA students have the same goal, a career change. The same applies to me. Last year, before coming to IE Business School, I got in contact with alumni from different intakes in order to understand what it is that makes the IMBA different and their recommendations on how to get the most out of the experience. They gave me the following relevant information to consider:
• Try not to make big changes at once. More specifically, if you are already planning on changing country and industry, at least focus on the area where you have a background. The sooner you decide on the area and industry you are interested the better, and you can begin to focus and plan the actions that will permit you to achieve your goal.
– Note: if you don’t know what your goal is, what IE calls a “soul-searcher”, remember that there is nothing wrong with that. You are going to network with a large, diverse group of people from different nationalities and background who will support you and share their experiences to help you make the right choice. Also, remember that nothing last forever and you can adapt and change your goals with hard work.
This is how I began to focus in the Consumer Goods Industry. Whilst, I do not have experience working at a FMCG company, I do have experience working with companies in the sector. But what is my motivation for FMCG? Firstly, the industry is dynamic and diverse. Secondly, innovation is a consistent process due to the need to come up with new ideas to meet and create demand focused on consumer satisfaction. Therefore, the FMCG industry changes fast and is constantly evolving with a strong focus on customer loyalty.
Now, with a goal in mind, I began to focus on the actions I needed to undertake. Firstly, I needed a better understanding of the industry and to improve my network. This lead me to check if the Business School had established any clubs related to FMCG. After finding the contact details, I applied to become a member. This was the first club I applied to, however, I felt there was something wrong because the club didn’t appear active and I didn’t receive any confirmation from the coordinators.
FMCG companies are behind the biggest brands in the world, and operate in an industry that is constantly evolving.
That been said, I went to the IE Campus Life Office to check the reason why there wasn´t any activity what I could do to get more involved, as this had become a topic that I was really excited about. The Campus Office told me that the club had been disactivated and that I should try and reactivate it by collecting 25 signatures. Therefore, I elaborated a proposal with the club purpose and gathered more than 50 signatures.
All this happened in January, during my first days in Madrid and since then we have had an average of at least one event per month, company presentations (Amazon, Nestlé and Mary Kay), having meetings, happy hour networkings and other activities. There is room for improvement and we are working to expand and be awarded with a certificate of one of the best clubs of IE Business School. Achieving this would mean creating a virtuous process for all involved.
Entrepreneurship does not only mean the creation of new ideas, as we have several examples of entrepreneurs that started new business by improving existing models. Entrepreneurship is about having an idea, developing a process and putting it into action, and to do that it is imperative to have strong engagement and teamwork.
“Vision without execution is hallucination” – Thomas Edison
Does this require extra effort and dedication? Yes, especially in the beginning. However, now we have elected coordinators and have a structured club, the purpose is shared, which is very important. This is a great start but we are still looking to improve and develop more.
Igor Souto Araujo
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