2020 Best & Brightest EMBAs: Alejandro Macías Torre, ESADE

Alejandro Macías Torre

ESADE Business School

An avid learner and researcher, constantly looking for solutions to questions.”

Age: 35

Hometown: Everywhere is home. Currently, Madrid (Spain).

Fun fact about yourself: I once held a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

  • Degree in Biochemistry from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)
  • MSc in Molecular Biology from Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (Germany)

Where are you currently working? ViacomCBS EMEAA. I am the Regional Research Manager for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work, and Leadership Roles:

  • Scholarships throughout my studies.
  • One of 35 students awarded a Vulcanus Scholarship to live in Japan by the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation (2008-2009).
  • Fundación CajaMadrid awarded me a scholarship to pursue my MSc in Germany (2009-2011).
  • I have been an active member of several LGBT running clubs and I collaborated with a volunteer group for the LGBT migrant community when I lived in London.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Probably the hardest thing to date has been the impact of Covid-19 and the lockdown on my course. My classmates had just voted me class representative, and coordinating the changes to find a solution to please everyone was not easy… but it paid off!

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? When I was a teenager, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life besides living in different countries and learning a lot of stuff. Now my biggest achievement is to have crafted a career in media research, combining several of my passions: science and data, cultural differences between countries, and stories and content on TV.Who was your favorite MBA professor? Jaap Boonstra, our professor for Discovering Dynamics of Transformational Change. Besides being an excellent teacher, he had an amazing ability to read into us all individually and help us figure out who we are and what we are looking for.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? When I decided to pursue an EMBA, I took the GMAT and started applying to several business schools. ESADE wasn’t the frontrunner initially (don’t tell them!), but it soon became clear that they were the perfect fit for me. I really appreciated their personal approach to each student and how much care they show for all of us. All of my classmates have talked about how ESADE has managed to assemble a class combining lots of different backgrounds, where everyone has a lot to offer!

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? I really enjoy the social part of it! Initially, I thought I would hate the “MBA student” stereotype, and I expected to feel out of place. But I love talking to my classmates: we all have very different backgrounds and bring different things to the table. And meeting for beers on Microsoft teams during lockdown has been a blessing!

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? Probably the biggest lesson to date has been in the LEAD Module, where we work on our leadership development and look into our motivations and philosophical mindset. Being able to understand what moves me and what I need to do to feel fulfilled has made me a better employee and changed the way I approach my job.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? When Covid-19 hit, Spain went into a weeks-long, mandatory, enforced lockdown. Just the previous weekend, I had been voted class representative, met my study group, and celebrated my birthday. And then, everything froze. Weeks on end, home alone and working remotely. My classmates and I found ourselves in a new territory, and we counted on each other to navigate the new normal.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Do it. Think about it thoroughly, but don’t overthink it. If you are already looking to enter, you’ll regret it if you don’t. Be thorough, look at the programs you’re considering, and start the application process!

What was your biggest regret in business school? I wish I had been bolder and had thrown myself out there at every opportunity to connect and network with more people.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? On a personal level, it would be José Ramón Serra. He’s a musician and an engineer who now works in real estate… and on top of being very clever and rational, he’s also very emotionally intelligent and truly cares about the people around him. I’d also have to give a shout out to any of my classmates who managed to do the same thing I’m doing while raising kids. Seems impossible from where I’m at!

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…a recruiter in a job interview told me that they wouldn’t send my CV for a position in media research because I was trained as a biochemist, even though I had 7 years of experience in the industry. Their close-mindedness was what pushed me to do it.”

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I’d love to continue working in research and exploring why some people are interested in some things and others aren’t. My new obsession is intergenerational cultural differences and how the development of online culture is changing younger people.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? “He was always there when we needed him.” The only thing that matters is the memories you leave with the people around you. I’d love to be remembered as someone who supported everyone and made the class a better place, where everyone was comfortable.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Publish a book and travel around South America (the only continent I haven’t been to yet!).

What made Alejandro such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“His energy, open mind, and leadership are recognized by all his classmates. As a matter of fact, Alex has been chosen as class representative. Is a very active person, capable to add value to the class for his international experience and capacity for continuously “thinking out of the box.”

Michele Quintano
Associate Dean of the Executive MBA


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