Benjamin Rhatigan has just completed the full-time MBA program at ESADE Business School
in Barcelona. With no previous business education, he landed a job with Delta Partners Group – the leading TMT advisory and investment firm in global emerging markets – fresh out of graduation from the Spanish based business school. His resume was so impressive that he had to turn down a job offer from another firm.
After studying in the country for two years between 2011 - 2013, Ben has developed a “soft spot” for Spain and he has a passion for working in emerging markets outside of his native New York. He has worked in seven different countries since graduating from Wesleyan University in Connecticut in 2003 with a BA in English.
His job-hunting success at Delta Partners was a direct result of the ESADE MBA program, in what was his first taste of the business school world. Asked if he would have been hired without the MBA, Ben said: “No. The MBA was critical in preparing me for the position.” He made contact with the firm with the help of an ESADE alumni. “I made initial contact with the firm via an alum from the ESADE MBA,” he explained.
“HR liked my profile and I had a series of very challenging case interviews afterwards, and finally an exam to test my business Spanish language, before getting the offer for the Barcelona office.
“Throughout the process I was very, very impressed with the caliber of the interviewers, and actually turned down an offer from a different firm as a result of how intelligent and thoughtful I thought the Delta guys were.”
Instead of an academic business background, Ben had to rely on his practical business experience to blast through the interview process. Ben's background is heavily international: he has spent substantial time working in Russia, Greece, Spain, Argentina, India, Austria and the US. Indeed, Benjamin’s two most recent positions - completed while still enrolled at ESADE in Europe - where on opposite sides of the globe. He landed an internship with Infosys in June 2012, based in Bangalore, India, and before that at Fairview Research / IFI Claims, in New York City. He relishes seeing new parts of the world.
But it is no coincidence that the “tech-mad” MBA has developed such an international repertoire of business jobs: he is passionate about emerging markets
While at Infosys in Bangalore, Ben wrote a business plan for the international Indian Consultancy giants to expand into African markets. Ben believes emerging markets are ripe with untapped potential. “I really enjoy seeing the world and working in an international context,” he said. “From an economic standpoint, emerging markets still have substantial untapped potential, so for me it's always been a logical combination of both personal and professional interest. My experience at Infosys in India is a great example of that.”
Before landing a job with Delta Partners, Ben worked at Telefonica in Spain, as a consultant to the Global Trends Executive. His interest for a tech-career was borne out of a digital media class he took while studying at University. “It really opened my eyes to the vast creative possibility that technology had, which for me removed some of the dryness that I think a lot of people feel towards the subject,” he said.
“I’ve also been fortunate to have worked in the R&D departments of some great companies, like Telefonica in Spain, where they're doing incredible stuff with machine-to-machine innovation and eHealth initiatives.”
Ben had to learn the basics quickly at ESADE in Barcelona and, while it was critical to his career success at Delta Partners, he says the most valuable thing he learned on the MBA program was the practical side of things. “I hadn't had a formal business education before the MBA so, (I learnt) everything!” he said.
“For me, the more practical academics like Accounting, Business Valuation and Corporate Finance were very valuable. But I also got a lot out of classes like Global Sales and Managing Service Organizations.
“Working with diverse teams of people from all over the world is a great way to get prepared for leadership in an international career.”
Ben works in the Advisory side of Delta Partners as an Associate but he hasn’t ruled out a switch to Corporate Finance or Investment. After three months with the company, he says that the most challenging part of his job so far has been getting up to speed with their clients and projects. “…And figuring out what's happening in the broader telecom landscape,” he said.
“Delta demands a lot of its consultants and has very high performance expectations. Everyone I work with is super-smart and very dedicated, and it's a pleasure to learn from them and contribute my brain power to the team.”
While Ben is “very passionate” about emerging economies and technology and is “in a good spot right now”, he is also an entrepreneur at heart. With a lot of possibilities for his future; he imagines that further down the line, he’ll set up his own business enterprise... “or two!”.