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Our time at the MBA World Summit 2015 in Barcelona

31 Mar

Time at the Mannheim MBA seems to fly by – events, courses and mixing around with batch mates. So when I first heard of the MBA World Summit, I did not pay a lot of attention to it. But enough to apply. Through the process, as I read on I became more and more intrigued by the concept and what was in store. Fortunately two Mannheimers – Ferencz and me – got to represent MBS at the global stage.

Started last year, this years’ summit already went from 62 students (2500 applicants across 20 business schools) to 100 students (3000 applicants across 85 business schools). We were glad to be one of the select few.

The first night in Barcelona was a cocktail reception where we all met together for the first time. Lot of introductions, greetings and in a few cases seeing familiar faces from other schools as well. This did well to break the ice for Day 2 – which was when we were all put to action, the reason why the whole thing came together in the first place.MBA World Summit Day 1.2

Company presentations, Student Laboratory Sessions (SLS – where students select what to discuss during a session and tailor it to their needs) and Interviews – it was all happening one after the other. We were spoilt for choice and yet worked to our bone – the essence of any good business proposition.

We got to interact with the company representatives of GoodGame Studios, Deutsche Bank, Bertelsmann and Merck. And the Student Laboratory Sessions were amazing. I particularly enjoyed conducting my own on “Crowd Sourcing” in business where we had a wonderful exchange of ideas with every attendee. Another one on Game Theory in the morning introduced me of a few new ways to look at some strategy problems.

Any mention of the program is also incomplete without mentioning the beauty of the IESE Campus in Barcelona and the friendliness of all on campus. Thank you for having us there.

The interactions between the students, the crew and company representatives spilled over to the dinner at a fantastic Tapas restaurant. And then onto the third day which focused on strengthening these bonds in the informal setting of city tours, lazy beach lunches and clubbing. The Barcelona experience is always incomplete without the clubs and of course the Gin & Tonic!MBA World Summit Day 1.3

And so before we knew it – the Summit came to an end. Just like that. Morning greetings over coffee, saying goodbyes and promises to visit other campuses. Back in Mannheim, the value of the Summit begins to sink in and I am so glad to have made friends from all over within this short span.

Thank you to QX Crew and we hope to always send a Mannheimer in the future as well!

– Vikram Gupta, Mannheim Full-Time MBA Class of 2015 –


MBA World Summit 2014 in Hong Kong!

28 Apr

The MBA World Summit is a platform for networking and high-impact exchanges amongst business leaders and MBA students from top business schools. The summit is organized by QX-Quarterly Crossing, which is a worldwide ‘network of excellence’, comprising of young and experienced leadership talents from across industries.

After learning that I’ve been selected to attend the inaugural MBA World Summit, I wondered about the type of people I was about to encounter. A quote by Mike Gravel, a former US senator and presidential candidate, came to mind, who quipped about his fellow senators, ‘You know, the first time you get there (the US senate), you’re all excited, and you think, ‘My God, how did I ever get here?’ Then, about six months later, you look around and think, ‘How the hell did the rest of them get here?!’

This was not the case at the summit. More than 2500 MBA students from around the world applied to go through a rigorous selection process. First, students had to submit 2-3 motivational essays. The selection committee then shortlisted the applicant pool down to 600 students, who were invited to a qualifying round to go through a video interview selection process, after which only 60 were invited to attend the summit. A total of 28 nationalities were represented amongst the participants.

This was a gathering of some of the most remarkable students from around the world, with notable credentials and inspiring personalities, and where every single participant offered something worth envying. What particularly intrigued me was how quickly everyone clicked. It was as if we all knew each other…and in less than 48 hours, we walked away with friendships that have the potential to produce great results in the future.

World Summit

The summit was designed to tap into the expertise of participating students, by giving them the power to shape the agenda of the summit. Students were to conduct lectures, workshops, and think-tank sessions, and were expected to enable in-depth discussion and inspiring exchanges. 18 students were selected to hold these ‘laboratory sessions’, which covered different topics including leadership, evolution of news, RMB internationalization, and my own workshop, titled ‘Business Ethics: An Oxymoron?’

MBA World Summit

The motivation to hold a session on business ethics was due to the impactful nature of the summit. Since it hosted top students and business leaders, and was a platform to exchange of innovative ideas, it seemed imperative that a voice for positive ethics should fill that space. Together with fellow Mannheimer, Susanna Ingalls, we spent a significant amount of time in researching, debating, and preparing for the workshop, which generated interesting discussions and exchange of views (& disagreements) on the challenges of being ethical in business, and the responsibilities that businesses exist to fulfill in society.

While the first day was focused on introductions and laboratory sessions, the second focused on further integrating the students through top-notch social activities, which included fancy dinners, drinks, visits to tourist hotspots, and an amazing boat tour through Hong Kong’s Victoria harbor.


We even got to crash a modeling shoot that was taking place on-board our boat…


…And also volunteered to lend our modeling talents…


The inaugural MBA World Summit was an enormous success, and top business schools are already competing to host the next one in 2015. All the alumni from this year are invited to attend. A trip to Hong Kong, amazing people, high-quality networking, tourist activities and much more, all for free, sounded like a dream when I applied to attend.



But this was the 3-day reality the folks at QX-Quarterly Crossing created for us, and I’m eagerly looking forward to attending the next summit, wherever it may be.

Saif Qazi

Mannheim MBA Class of 2014