Catalina Bustos Gonzalez is a fresh graduate in the MBA in International Industrial Management, Hochschule Esslingen. She is from Bogota, the capital of Colombia and she moved to Esslingen to study.
Since last Friday was the graduation ceremony, we had the chance chat and she answered a couple of questions:
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
I am from Bogota, the capital city of Colombia. I am a curious person that always wants to learn more about everything. I like to travel and discover new cultures and places so I spend a lot of time organizing new destinations to visit.
How was your academic and professional background before the MBA program?
My Bachelor Degree is in Electronic Engineering. I have over 10 years of experience in telecommunications with multinational companies based in Colombia, working in network design and implementation.
What was it like to move from Colombia to Germany?
It was a difficult decision as I had to leave behind my life there to look for better opportunities in Europe. Still, at the same time, I was excited to experience a new country with new people, a new language, and new challenges. Colombia and Germany are different in many aspects, so it took time to get used to everything here.
What has led you to the decision to start the Esslingen MBA program?
When I was looking for an MBA program in Europe, I looked for one that could offer me the general capabilities to become a manager or start my own business and the industry-related skills that Germany, as an industrialized country, has. When I realized that Hoschule Esslingen had a Digital Transformation Specialization, it made my decision easier as I was interested in this topic and how to develop my skills around it.
Why did you choose the major in Digital Transformation:
I wanted to explore the perspective of implementing a digital transformation program in any company, especially with all the issues and challenges we face in our companies worldwide. That was why I chose the MBA in Esslingen before applying to the University.
For me, Digital Transformation is a holistic approach to leveraging technology to create value for customers, stakeholders, and the organization. It involves rethinking existing processes, products, and services and using technology to innovate and improve them. Digital transformation is not just about implementing new tools or software but about creating a culture of innovation and continuous improvement and using technology to enable and enhance that culture. It is about driving growth and staying competitive in an increasingly digital world.
What did you find most challenging and most enjoyable about your MBA experience?
I had lots of experiences on both sides… As a most challenging experience, I don’t have much experience in the manufacturing industry and operations. I had a hard time understanding all the processes related to the actual operations, supply chain, and quality management and the theory behind them. Ultimately, it was a huge learning about something I had no idea about before!
The most enjoyable is, for sure, the experiences that I had in each group assignment with my colleagues from different nationalities and cultures. It was amazing to understand how each one works and adapt to each circumstance based on that. Sometimes I had to be the group leader, and sometimes I had to step aside and learn from each one. It was incredible.
How have the course and your internship experience prepared you for a job position?
I worked in a fantastic company that gave me all the tools to develop my master’s thesis. It was about an innovative topic that companies are starting to implement. It helped me learn the German working culture, and I now have solid knowledge to contribute to my full-time position there.
Can you share with us a memorable experience that happened during your MBA programme?
I enjoyed the Bosch Challenge in our Entrepreneurship subject. We had to prepare a 15-min pitch to explain to an expert board why they should invest in our project. It was a group assignment with many challenges, as we spent a lot of time preparing the project that ultimately had the best results. It was an enriching experience full of learning and helpful coaching sessions.
What are some of the biggest takeaways from your Esslingen MBA Experience?
Cross-cultural and global business perspectives: The MBA program exposed us to various classmates and professors from different backgrounds and countries. This experience helped me develop a more global perspective and understand how cultural differences can impact business practices and strategies.
Business strategy and innovation: The MBA program gave me a deeper understanding of business strategy and how to create value for customers and stakeholders. I also learned how to identify opportunities for innovation and implement new ideas and strategies effectively.
Leadership and team management: The MBA program involved many group assignments and presentations, which helped me develop my leadership and team management skills.
Networking and career development: The MBA program provided me with opportunities to network with professionals from a range of industries and countries as alumni, industry experts, and potential employers, which helped me to advance my career and explore new opportunities.
Thank you vey much Catalina for your interview, congratulations on your Esslingen MBA degree and on the FESTO Award!