Here’s a talk with Daniel Helmhold who just graduated from ESADE Business School in Barcelona (with one semester at UC Berkeley Haas). Thank you Daniel for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us!
This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. We hope to offer you a candid picture of student life, and what you should consider as you prepare your MBA application.
Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself: Where are you from? What and where did you study as an undergraduate and when did you graduate?
Daniel: I was born and raised in Cupertino, California, in the heart of the Silicon Valley. My first job in high school was as a computer salesman at CompUSA and ever since, I knew that my career would be within the technology industry. I went to the University of California at Davis and after spending a semester abroad in Sevilla, Spain I very happily changed my majors to Spanish and International Relations, in which I ultimately earned my BA.
Accepted: Why did you choose to study at ESADE? Why go so far from home?
Daniel: ESADE’s draw was very clear – an extremely diverse student body and a focus on learning the nuances of international business in a location where I could continue to grow my Spanish language skills.
Accepted: What was your favorite thing about living in Barcelona? Least favorite?
Daniel: My favorite thing about Barcelona was the constant opportunity to improve my Spanish. My least favorite part was probably the lack of high quality, diverse food options other than Spanish food.
Accepted: Since you’ve spent time at MBA programs in the U.S. and abroad, can you share some insight into the different approaches these two institutions took?
Daniel: Comparing the two programs, ESADE clearly had a more global focus. International case studies enhanced by astute discussions by an equally international student body led to a wealth of viewpoints and very engaging debates and discussions. Haas, on the other hand, had more of an emphasis on U.S. businesses, focusing on technology and business in the Silicon Valley in particular. I think both specializations were very valuable, but unique in their value proposition to potential students.
Accepted: How central to ESADE student life is club involvement? Which clubs or extracurricular activities were you involved in and what did you gain from the experience?
Daniel: Club involvement was very central to student life and a part of the MBA that I was very involved in. I was founder and President of the ESADE Technology Club, an activity that I took great pride in and poured a great deal of time and effort into. Being involved in the club scene at an officer level gave me the chance to mold the Club, maximizing the value for its members. I worked with school administration, 3rd party organizations, alumni and students to plan events and create a healthy forum for discussion around a shared passion of many students: technology.
Accepted: You worked at Google for many years before pursuing your MBA. Can you tell us about your experience?
Daniel: I was amazingly fortunate to spend 5 years at Google prior to attending ESADE. Starting right after undergrad, I joined the company just before it went public. At Google, I was able to observe just how successful a company can be when based on a great product and driven by intelligent, highly competent, extremely motivated young people. I learned a lot about online marketing, sales and how to succeed in a high tech company. Although I’ve moved on to new opportunities I am and always will be an unapologetic Google fan-boy.
Accepted: What role did ESADE play in helping you secure your current job at Kabam?
Daniel: ESADE helped me to secure my internship at IBM which gave me the experience I needed to successfully transition into Product Marketing from Sales. That combined with interview skills gained through various Career Services activities and the general business expertise acquired in class provided me with the knowledge needed to succeed in my interviews with Kabam.
For one-on-one guidance on the ESADE application, please see our ESADE Business School packages. For specific advice on how to create the best application for UC Berkeley Haas, see Linda’s 2013 UC Berkeley Haas Business School MBA Essay Tips.