"Because I had trained with JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, the concept of the MBA was familiar. I wanted to retool myself because I was going down a route I wasn't sure I necessarily wanted to pursue long-term. I decided my business education to date had been US-oriented. Therefore I was looking for more of a European sensibility. The reason for IESE was that I looked coldly at the world and thought gaining exposure to another culture would be a very beneficial thing. If one considers globalisation and what that means, a multicultural perspective is very important. That's why I went for Spain, even though I didn't speak a word of Spanish.
IESE is a very professional MBA school. It is the best in Spain and a really well hidden secret in Europe. The opportunity to spend two years with an international peer group on a well-structured programme in another country and gaining another language was an enormously enriching experience. Professionally, you walk out with a toolkit, which is what the MBA gives you. But there was something which many of the non-Spanish speakers took from it which was about operating in another country. Barcelona is a fantastic city and the Catalans are very interesting people.
I couldn't have got the job with Egon Zehnder without a second degree. For me, that second degree was my MBA. Joining an international peer group, competing with them on the programme and performing well, building up a new life in a foreign country, and so on, gives you greater confidence. You feel like you've really achieved something."