No one likes to feel stuck in a rut in their career—feeling trapped at your desk, watching the clock tick more slowly than it seemed to when you first arrived.
It could be that it’s time for a transition, and one popular way of achieving this is by studying for an MBA.
MBAs give challenge-seeking professionals the chance to apply and expand their existing skills in new areas, trying their hand at all areas of business until they find something that just ‘clicks’.
This was what happened for Emanuel Kuzmich, who graduated from the MBA at IE Business School in 2016.
Having previously worked as a senior sales consultant for private banking clients in Austria, Emanuel felt that it was time to shake things up, and was looking for an MBA that would help him reach his full potential.
“The first criteria was flexibility in the curriculum,” Emanuel says. “I wanted to learn and develop new skills and insights and to try new things.”
On the MBA program at IE, students get to choose between three different course ‘tracks’ after the core period, to follow throughout the degree: the business case track, the venture lab track, and the social impact project.
For Emanuel, it was the social impact project that drew him in, as it gave him the chance to apply his skills to socially responsible business all the way in Johannesburg, South Africa.
He worked as a consultant for Emzingo, a certified b-corporation working to produce responsible leaders across industries, getting to solve real business dilemmas on the other side of the world.
“It was a hands-on experience, involving market research, marketing and export strategy for a local manufacturer,” Emanuel says. “It was great to see the direct impact of our work and helping their business to thrive.”
This was not the only opportunity he got to experience global business, either—Emanuel also took part in an exchange with Fudan University in Shanghai as part of his MBA.
“The interaction with colleagues from various cultures definitely enriched my worldview and also showed how important a cultural understanding is in doing business,” he says.
Another of Emanuel’s standout experiences from the program was his participation in the school’s 2016 Venture Day, competing alongside teams of other students to create and pitch innovative business ideas.
“The Venture day was an amazing experience,” he enthuses. “It gave us the opportunity to develop an idea from scratch by forming a team, developing the business case, doing financials, design and even a video promotion—it was all done in just a few weeks, I’m still amazed!”
Now, two years post-graduation from IE Business School, Emanuel is working in Sales for Business Applications for Global Enterprise Clients at Microsoft in Germany—and he couldn’t be happier with his career path.
“I was exploring a couple of industries during the year, but nothing triggered my interest as much as technology and IT,” he explains, so he decided to get deeper involved.
“I was president of the IE Technology Club during my MBA where we hosted several events, and one of them was with Microsoft,” he recalls. “This way I got familiar with the Microsoft culture and their services at an early stage.
“It was inspiring, refreshing, and I liked the growth mindset for sure—Microsoft was going through a change with the new CEO, Satya Nadella, and so did I. The IT industry was the right fit for me and a new high-potential growth area.”
This ‘growth mindset’ was something that the MBA helped to cultivate in Emanuel, and it’s partly what makes his job at Microsoft such a good fit. Emanuel highlights the entrepreneurial atmosphere at IE as a key component in the proactive problem-solving attitude he uses in his new role, particularly events like the Venture Day.
“It showed me how important passion, commitment, teamwork, and mutual respect for other people’s opinions are to moving an idea forward,” he explains.
Among all of these great experiences, Emanuel finds it hard to pick out one thing as his favourite.
“I would not say that there is just one highlight,” he says. “It was a perfect mix of business courses, practical experience and social engagement. The MBA gave me the opportunity to gain insights about many different topics and industries and helped me select my next career step.
“It also showed me how to transfer my previous knowledge and gained skills to new areas—an invaluable experience.”
And now his MBA from IE Business School has landed him a job in tech. If you're looking for a career transition, an MBA could do the same for you. But how do you know if you’re ready to apply to business school?
According to Emanuel, if you're itching to try something new, and have a problem-solving attitude, it's time to turn in your MBA application.
“If you are dedicated, tenacious, and innovative, with an endless curiosity for uncovering savvy business solutions, you’re ready to take on an MBA program that’s just like you,” he says.