Read about Oliver Madden, ESCP Europe MBA in International Management alumnus.
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background? Where are you from, what did you study and where did you work before you started your MBA in International Management at ESCP Europe?
I have a somewhat non-traditional background. I’m American, from the Boston area - where I studied philosophy before beginning a technology sales career focused in data and analytics. When I joined ESCP Europe’s MBA in International Management, I was 26 years old, with about 3.5 years of work experience across 2 companies, including a very early stage startup, and several extracurricular leadership positions.
2. Why did you choose to do an MBA?
I choose to do an MBA to grow my business understanding, out of intrinsic interest and also to strengthen my professional profile, given my previous academic studies in Philosophy.
3. Why did you choose the ESCP Europe MBA in International Management specifically?
I joined ESCP Europe’s MBA in International Management program seeking a platform for international career advancement. More specifically, I chose ESCP Europe’s MBA in International Management over other MBA programs for its one-year, multi-country, urban-campus approach in addition to the school’s strong reputation.
4. Can you share with us a memorable experience during your MBA that had a significant and lasting impact on your life, professional or personal?
The electives period had a profound impact on me, personally and professionally. Electives in the MBA take place over a few weeks during the 2nd semester, and in these few weeks, I formed lifelong memories with alumni and classmates, including my now-girlfriend. Participating in the Regatta ESCP in coastal Italy, taking electives in Turin, Paris, and Beirut, and realizing first-hand the camaraderie of the ESCP alumni community not only created lifelong memories of a great adventure but strengthened me personally and professionally.
5. Could you tell us about the most difficult challenge that you faced during the year?
As a non-EU citizen, obtaining a professional opportunity in Europe proved more difficult than expected, but, I think, only in the short term. An MBA in International Management builds a strong foundation for an international career, but it does not immediately guarantee it. I found it difficult to navigate work authorization (visa) restrictions and cultural language barriers in Europe as a non-European, and I ultimately decided to return to the United States. However, I was largely hired into my current role based on my interest and skillset in international business, with opportunities and responsibilities to help my firm expand globally.
6. What were the main takeaways from your year as a student of the MBA in International Management at ESCP Europe?
While I joined ESCP Europe’s MBA in IM to strengthen my professional profile and launch an international career, I found not only this, but also the adventure of a lifetime. Studying outside of my home country, alongside classmates from dozens of other nationalities in ESCP Europe’s multi-country, urban campuses, I learned more about myself, life, and the behavioral side of business than I could ever imagine elsewhere. And while the program tangibly boosted my career, the real benefits are in the moments when classmates turn into acquaintances, and when shared experiences turn those acquaintances into lifelong friends.
7. How did the programme help to improve your professional success? What features of the MBA do you think you will most apply in your career?
This program directly led me to and enabled me for my current role as an Alliance Manager with 1010data, a NYC-based cloud analytics company. At 1010data, I have built our go-to-market channel distribution strategy, working with consultancies to help retailers and consumer goods manufacturers digitally transform from product-centric to customer-centric organizations, while also helping my firm expand internationally. Learnings on the behavioral side of business from the MBA have helped me most so far, and I definitely expect that to continue.
8. Could you tell us a little bit about where you see yourself in the future, career-wise?
In the future, I see myself progressing into a managerial role with increased focus on international operations. I’d like to maintain my strength and focus in data and analytics and increase my focus on organizational behavior.
9. And finally, what types of candidates do you think should apply to this particular programme, and what would be your advice to these future applicants?
If you’re looking to join an MBA program, ask yourself “why?”. Why do you want an MBA? What would you value in an MBA program? What wouldn’t you like? We live in a specialized world, and MBA programs are no different; each one has a unique DNA. By first understanding yourself and uncovering what you truly want, you’ll be better able to determine which MBA program - where, when, and why - is best for you.
10. Can you name three words that best describe the ESCP Europe MBA in International Management?
Worldly, Adventure, Opportunity