No matter how successful one’s career may be, proving that you have relevant experience and sufficient technical knowledge are some of the hurdles to cross when embarking on a career switch across industries. Hear from Santiago Xavier Elizalde about how the ESSEC Global MBA (GMBA) helped him take his shot.
According to an ESSEC Career Survey in 2020, 58 percent of ESSEC Global MBA (GMBA) participants change sectors, and 89 percent change function after graduation—testament to the program’s capability to catalyze career transformation for those looking to switch careers.
Santiago Xavier Elizalde from the class of 2022 looks to be one of them.
In early 2021, Santiago Xavier Elizalde was thriving in the finance sector. With around five years of experience handling business development at ATR Asset Management Inc, an asset management firm in Manila, his career was on the ascent and he had steadily risen from associate to managerial level.
Despite this, his passion for sports and experience as a trustee and board member of a non-profit organization that uses football to teach underprivileged children led him to begin angling for a new role in the sports industry.
Fast-forward just over a year, and Santiago is a step closer to his goal. He has found a business development internship at a sports marketing company, Silk Road Sports Consulting.
He shares how the GMBA has been key to him making this leap.
Developing the Skills to Cut Across Industries
With experience developing ATR Asset Management Inc’s wholesale business and leading the company’s overall digital transformation journey, Santiago had an impressive portfolio that could speak for itself.
What he needed was a program that would hone and refine his existing skill set so he would have the versatility to move across sectors.
The ESSEC GMBA, therefore, checked all his boxes because of its Strategy and Digital Leadership track. With its big picture focus on how to improve organizational performance and manage the changes brought by digital transformation, the track was an opportune way for Santiago to deepen his digital understanding and acquire the tools to lead in a digital-first world.
Adding a Global Dimension to His Portfolio
The fact that the GMBA allows participants to study in both France and Singapore was also a huge appeal.
Living across continents would help him build a solid global network, and “as one of the strongest business hubs in Asia and the world, I felt Singapore would be the place for me to explore Asia’s fast-growing sports scene, begin growing my network within the region and kickstart my job search,” he says.
The dual-campus international experience is only amplified by the GMBA participants, which Santiago describes as: “the most diverse group of people I have ever been around.”
His cohort comprises people from 15 different nationalities and a wide spectrum of industries and professional backgrounds. This exposed him to a broad range of perspectives from which to view the world. It also taught volumes about different working styles, teamwork, and management—all of which will serve him well in an international company like Silk Road Sports Consulting, which has clients from Europe to Southeast Asia.
Customized Career Support
Finally, ESSEC also stood out for the individualized and tailored career services support offered through the ESSEC GMBA Talent Center, Santiago says.
Like other GMBA participants, he gained access to career workshops, networking events, career events, and fairs, mock interviews with professionals, pitch practices, mentoring programs, and more.
“The various workshops taught us how to improve our personal brand and provided tips for writing cover letters and attending interviews—even how to make our LinkedIn profiles more appealing,” he recalls.
Besides this, he had a dedicated career coach to provide support and guidance throughout the program and also received support to start the ESSEC Global MBA Sports Council—a club that provides other sports enthusiasts with a platform to publish their analyses and business strategy recommendations— as a step forward in his career goals.
Looking back at his journey from the Philippines to France, and then to Singapore, Santiago muses that his experience can be summed up in just three words: “Infinite learning opportunities.”
“The ESSEC GMBA experience will end up being whatever you make of it, I am looking forward to applying what I’ve learned in the classroom to real-life situations at my internship, and to keep growing my network for the future.”
Like Santiago, the GMBA can be a valuable tool in your career journey. The last round of admissions closes on 12 June. Apply here: https://www.essec.edu/en/program/mbas/global-mba/mba_admissions/