2021 Best & Brightest EMBAs: Natasha Müller, IESE Business School

Natasha Müller

IESE Business School

Age: 37

“A results-driven events and marketing manager, committed to collaboration and continuous learning.” 

Hometown: I’m originally from London, but now live in Munich, Germany.

Family Members: Husband Martin, children Helena (7) and Benny (6).

Fun fact about yourself: As a humanities graduate and a passionate communicator, I never thought I would end up working in the technology sector. My career decisions have been based mainly on instinct and a belief that you are more likely to succeed in a role if you really enjoy it, rather than any structured plan. I love the fast pace of the sector and feel motivated knowing that technology touches the lives of almost everyone around the globe.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Cambridge University (Trinity College) – Modern & Medieval Languages.

Where are you currently working? Marketing Manager, Microsoft Germany.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:

  • Board Member at the Women in Technology Network (German chapter)
  • Mentor at GDEXA – Skills for the Digital Future

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Getting 100% in my Managerial Accounting mid-term exam and finishing with a B+ overall. I’m not naturally talented in finance subjects, so this result was a surprise and really boosted my self-belief. It shows that given the time, the will to learn, and the right teacher, you can achieve whatever you set your mind to do. I’d like to call out Professor Edi Soler for being an exceptionally talented teacher – he really broke down the concepts into digestible chunks and, with his affable style, kept the class engaging and interesting.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? The first time I attended the Microsoft Inspire, our worldwide partner conference, was magical. I was the Project Lead for the event for Germany. Being part of this conference with 18,000 others made me truly see and feel the power and spirit of Microsoft’s partner network.    

Who was your favorite MBA professor? It was Christoph Zott for making it so clear that entrepreneurship is a state of mind, rather than a job you do; and Jorge Gonzalez for helping me join up the dots between sales and marketing, and showing how large the marketing remit actually is.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? Apart from its impressive rankings, IESE stood out as a business school that really saw me as an individual. And I love the classroom dynamics and learning potential of the case study method.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? The lesson I am most grateful for is that almost everyone is willing to help you if you explain why you value their contribution and how it will pay into whatever you are working on.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? The phrase “It takes a village” comes to mind! Committing to an MBA would never have been possible without the support of my husband, the patience of my children, and the understanding of my manager.

I think it is important to involve those around you as much as possible in your studies. For example, my children loved going to campus and seeing where my seat in the aula was and drawing on the flipcharts in the team rooms.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Invest time visiting potential business schools before you make a decision to get a feel for how the classes are delivered, as well as what the other students are like. In my opinion, this is a crucial part of the decision-making process, as so much of the learning is peer-to-peer.  

What was your biggest regret in business school? I don’t have any regrets.  However, I am part of such an amazing cohort, it would have been fantastic to have spent more time with each other in person had the program not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Linus Haferkemper. I have never known anyone quite so generous with their time and advice, even during a super busy period when he took on a new, demanding role during the EMBA.

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? I didn’t spend a long time considering online formats. I see a lot of value in the dynamics of an in-person setting and the informal networking that is part of the EMBA, which can’t quite be replicated online. A full-time course wasn’t relevant to me as I wanted to continue working and feed learnings from the program straight into my day job.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? For me, the journey is more important than the “end goal” – that concept doesn’t really exist for me. I’m focused on continuous learning through new challenges, and I want to help others achieve more with technology.

What made Natasha such an invaluable member of the Class of 2021?

“Natasha is an enthusiastic learner, who successfully managed the challenge of balancing the course with spending time with her kids and her work. She has been an asset to the class, and is always looking for new initiatives and ways to get involved both on the program and in the wider community. It has been a privilege having her as part of this adventure.”

Gonzaga Garcia Ruibal-Amor
IESE Business School EMBA Munich Director