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GEMBA Students Earn Degrees

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August 15, 2013
After spending 14 months traveling to nine countries on four continents, the fifth class of the Georgetown-ESADE Global Executive MBA program took the stage at Georgetown’s Gaston Hall on July 27 to receive their two diplomas. Each of the 33 students earned a diploma from Georgetown University and one from Spain’s ESADE.

The GEMBA program, a partnership among Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, Walsh School of Foreign Service, and ESADE Business School, combines excellence in strategy, leadership, management, and policy. After the ceremony, the graduates shared how the program was able to transform them not just in terms of business knowledge, but also helped them gain a global perspective and improve their leadership and teamwork skills.

"Attending the GEMBA gave me the opportunity to conduct business with people from other countries. Throughout the course I am learning from my classmates, and how they lead their teams, and this has helped me further develop my leadership and management skills," shared Lt. Commander Carl Parks of the United States Navy. "Collaborating with my GEMBA classmates allowed me to bring in different methods of leading and learning, which is pivotal to my own growth."

"It has been a transformational experience since we started the GEMBA program," added Felipe de Montagut, a Spaniard who works as an IT software solutions product manager in Switzerland. "The first module in Madrid and Barcelona was challenging because we did not know each other – and we all have strong personalities and strong leadership characteristics. But by the sixth module in New York and Washington, we learned to be more cooperative and more cohesive in terms of understanding each other’s perspectives."

The commencement speaker, Abengoa CEO Manuel Sánchez Ortega, shared a touching personal story of a life of hard work. An engineer by training, he started working at his company for less than $20,000 a year when he graduated from college. But he gained a new perspective on life after suffering from aortic aneurism.

His advice for the graduates was to be active in their professional and personal endeavors. "Be there no matter what you are doing. Enjoy every moment of every day. Enjoy your family. Enjoy your personal life. Work hard, but enjoy your work. Enjoy every person you work with."

-- Joan Lim