Vaibhav Gupta comes from India. In September 2012, he starts a Master of Science in Marketing Management at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. Througout the program, he will write a blog for the Master in Management Compass platform and by this share his experience with other people.
Please tell us about yourself
I am Vaibhav, from Delhi, India. I did my Bachelors in Business Studies from University of Delhi. I have had the opportunity of working in three different companies as an intern and have also my own venture which is known as Cricket Revolt. During my Bachelors I worked in the organizing and placement cells of the college. I enjoy working and facing new challenges.
How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and cool career?
ESADE is one of the top ranked institutes in Msc degrees in the world and has over the period of time increased its affiliations with Universities all across the world.
That being said, I was highly advised to work for a few years and then go for an MBA degree rather than straight away going for a Masters. It is a norm, which is heavily followed and was perhaps the more financially attractive option.
The one biggest reason that made me chose Msc was the course. A general MBA starts from the base of the business world, something which I had already done in my bachelors. To me, it seemed a waste of both time and money to go through what I had already studied in the 3 years of my bachelors. While in Msc Marketing Management especially in ESADE, the course seemed an extension of the subjects I had previously taken. For example: the first semester of mine has International Management which is a more detailed study of what I had taken in my final year.
The other reason why I didn’t want to think about MBA was the minimum requirement of 2-3 years of work experience. I feel that one must not be judged by the length of the work or whether the work if full time or part time. I felt that this was the best stage to learn more about management and marketing.
Tell us about the admission process
ESADE Msc had a two step to applying for their programmes. First one was applying online in which one was supposed to put their details (like GMAT scores and other details). The second consisted of sending the transcripts, essays, recommendation letters (duly sealed and signed by the writer).
I had a below average GMAT score for ESADE (in fact, I had a below average score for all the schools I had applied to), so I was pleasantly surprised when I did get the interview call. My phone interview though went pretty well. One of the questions I remember they asking me was if I met the ESADE admissions committee in a lift for a minute what would I say to them. I had no hesitance in telling them that I would ask them about their work, since I was always interested in doing such work.
After waiting nervously for what seemed like a decade, I got an acceptance mail from them and here I am!!
How was the studying experience?
ESADE Business School initiated my course with a whole week of different types of activities. The first day in itself was amazing as we got to not only do crazy activities but also one of the more brilliant facet was that we got to interact and build relationships alongside.
The second day included a introduction into the whole course, which gave us the first taste of what was going to come, The Case Studies!!!
The week ended with students making a traditional cuisine from their home country and we not only got to taste some amazing delicacies but also gave them a taste of what is the taste of the crazy spicy food of India.
Well, the course began soon after, including the language classes. The courses that I have are Brand Management, Sales Management, International Marketing Strategies, Consumer Centric Marketing and Business-in-Society.
The courses are all mainly case based, meaning that you must read case before you actually start the theory. Thus, most of us are generally are either reading a case or wondering how to apply the theory that we might have studied in the previous lecture into the case.
Although my Bachelors had also been case based, the difference between the two lies in the fact that while my Bachelors emphasized the theory and then looked at case for reference, my masters has more emphasis on the case and how to solve a similar scenario if it arrives in your job in future.
In each of the subjects, there was a high degree of cohesiveness with the other subjects, which meant that when you study for one subject, you are on the side relating it with its effects on the other subject.
I ended up doing a Brand Audit for Mango by December, which was then presented to Mango representatives from Spain. I was amazed that people who plan the future marketing campaigns of Companies like Mango, took time out to listen to what we had to say and what future option we see for Mango. It was great to appreciated of course and perhaps motivated us to just go ahead and push ourselves even more.
Were there any industry orientation programs?
The first cycle of the Career Forum started with companies such as Bain, BCG, Mckinsey, Delta Partners etc. It was amazing to have so many companies together talking to students not just about the future opportunities that they have but also about how they work on a day to day business. I personally feel that in order to better understand a Company, you need to see their corporate workings and their organizational climate. The best part of the whole was the personal attention I got from recruiting parts of different companies.
Well, after some hard work we ended up getting a good break for Christmas, where I went back home (much to my delight). Oddly enough, the break didn’t seem to last long as before I knew it, I was on the flight back to Barcelona and in about 12 hours after landing in Barcelona, in class. I attended skill seminars in January, where I learned the much talked about skills of presenting and negotiating. On one side, I worked on my pauses and on the other I worked on various tactics in order to get a better deal. I must admit that was an amazing experience just to see yourself present and work on what chinks lie in your armor!
Well, at this point of time, I wait for the main electives to begin of my next semester, excited and nervous!! Hopefully, I will share more of my stories with you. Until next time, ADIOS!!
As I write this, I know my journey in ESADE has ended. I have attended all the classes, submitted all my assignments and in all, have completed every part of my studying in this master. I can’t believe that what started as just an educational experience has turned out to change my life completely. Regardless, of whatever happens, I will never forget the days I have spent here.
What were the electives?
Our classes started off in February, allowing most of the students to catch a flight back home and relax in order to prepare themselves for another semester of classes.
We had to choose our electives but our choices were to be based in the masters course, as in we could take all of the electives available but 3 of them had to be from our masters course. I had never chosen electives before and thus I was a little bit doubtful of what I should go ahead with. Thankfully, ESADE gave us concise course outlines so that we could take a proper an informed decision. The electives I took were:
- Retail Innovation: The good thing about this course was that it was the marketing aspect of retailing. We saw various examples and in the end had an opportunity to create a retailing concept for an industry of your choice. Sadly, my project did not seem to go down to well with my professor but I still learnt a lot from the same.
- Quantitative Market Research: This field has always interested me. I feel that one can use the same to generate a lot of insights and understand the overall consumer behaviour. Also got an opportunity to analyse dataset of SEAT which was even though a tough experience but at the end taught me a lot.
- Leadership: In one of the skill seminars, I was taught the cognitive side of management and leadership and thus, I felt I needed to divulge into it more. I felt that if I have to become a leader, I need to understand what makes a leader effective and what makes him/her “evil”.
- Social Media Marketing: Indeed, this is one of those areas which are still to be fully incorporated, yet we see new changes in the field. I wanted to learn certain aspects of social media and one of the most important aspects; I felt was to understand how the social campaigns are managed. I learned a lot and also got an opportunity to track one of the brands and see all of its actions in the social media world.
I think all of these courses were really interesting and am really glad I took them in order to get an even more rounded education here at ESADE.
Did you do an internship?
As a final masters project, we had three options:
- Business Plan
- Master Thesis
- In Company Internship
One of the bigger reasons for me coming to ESADE was to get an experience of working in a European Organization. So I was very happy when I got to know that I will be able to work here as an Intern for the period of 6 months. The company that I am working for is a small Spanish start up but has an impact across the globe since it deals with mobile applications. It is a challenge in itself but everyday at office is just a new experience.
What did you take from my Masters in Marketing
It was an interesting question that someone asked me a few days back. Amazingly, we have a tendency to just look at the material aspects when we undertake an investment. However, when I look at my journey in ESADE, I feel I learnt a lot more than just business. For someone who had never been in such an international environment, it was just a totally different experience.
I learnt how to be more organized from my classmates, how to think differently from my lectures and most importantly I learnt that there’s always a better solution for the problem at hand, you just need to look harder.
I guess the overall ESADE journey has just been fantastic and I cannot believe that it has come to an end so soon. I am currently interning in Barcelona till October. Post October I at this point have no clue, However, I look forward to the future and if any prospective student wants to contact, he/she can mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
What do you do now?
Iam Currently working as Assistant Manager Operations in Regalix. Focusing on Online Marketing and SEO and SEM.