Ioana David Weekend MBA 2020-21

Programme: Weekend MBA

Nationality: Romanian

Education: MA Brand, Communication and Culture & Goldsmiths, University of London

Role: Global Marketing Coordinator, BCG

My professional background

My career has always been about exploring the power of bridging data and research with consumer behaviour. It is overwhelmingly in communication, but I took the opportunity to explore every side of it, from advertising, to PR, political communications, branding and finally marketing.

Choosing the Imperial Weekend MBA

In my career so far, I have approached branding from the consumer’s point of view, always trying to bridge the gap between data and feelings. The more I advance in my career, the more I want to challenge myself and dive into global business leadership and developing my understanding of the future of digital capabilities in my industry. The Weekend MBA at Imperial College Business School gives me the opportunity to do exactly that, while focusing on my career progression in real time, applying everything I learn.  

Core modules

In true nature of Imperial’s reputation, every subject you take has an innovative, technological advancement lens on it. Whether through the case studies of modern, future looking companies, to which traditional theories are applied, or the disrupting strategies that changed the face of an industry, the Weekend MBA programme is anchored in 2020, looking at 2030.

Something valuable I’ve learned is understanding investing for personal and professional purposes. The core modules like Financial Management Accounting or Corporate Finance, same as micro and macro econ helped me understand what pointers and insights to use in understanding the health of a company. One of the most rewarding parts of the programme has been when the coin dropped in Corporate Finance, a subject that I challenged myself to conquer (I say, slightly joking).

Applying learnings in real-time

The core modules Innovation and Entrepreneurship with Dr HeeJung Jung and Dr Michelle Rogan and Strategy with Dr Namrata Malhotra have by far been the most engaging sessions I have ever attended. They teach us practical leadership skills that we can apply beyond our career, and a great inspiration of women in leadership.

My purpose for studying was to better understand data analytics and application on marketing management (account-based marketing). Every core module has contributed to that, from Organisational Behaviour, which made me understand better stakeholder management strategy, to Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Decision Analytics, which I applied on product management, and economics related theory which help me position our company better to our clients. 

Juggling the work/life balance

Juggling work, life and studies has been indeed challenging. The most important part for me has been communicating and understanding the expectations of every person who embarked on this journey with me, directly or not, from my work manager, to my life partner and my Weekend syndicate team.

A diverse, collaborative cohort

I am lucky to have a diverse cohort, with professional individuals who contribute to each other’s development in a collaborative, social way. I am specifically impressed by the female leaders in my cohort, who are everyday heroes to me, at work, at home and in class, who show me time and time again the role models I wish I had growing up. 

On the programme you are assigned to groups which are well balanced from a demographic point of view, and also diversity of thought. The environment at the Business School creates a special platform for us to connect and for my syndicate group, it feels like we have been working together for years.  

The Global Experience Week

As part of the Weekend MBA programme, we want to learn hands-on about how businesses develop and we were invited to Iceland for the Global Experience Week. While on the trip I was impressed to see how everything I've learned in the past year and a half has contributed to better understanding a business community. 

Opportunities outside the programme

I took the role of SSC Co-Chair of the programme and have been involved with the committee of the FMCG, Luxury and Retail Club. The SSC Co-Chair role has given me the opportunity to affect change for the Weekend MBA programme in real time but also for the future. It is very rewarding working on new initiatives to improve student experience and wellbeing, and know you leave your mark on the future of teaching.

Life at Imperial

While the social scene has been interesting, my highlight is being part of an absolutely amazing women network at Imperial College Business School. I truly feel I have found a community to learn from and find support in personal development but also professional ambitions.

As someone who has a human science background, the greatest opportunity on the programme so far is the focus on quantitative subjects, digital transformation, data analytics, and working with science colleagues, and professors.

My career journey

The support from the Careers team is key to my experience at Imperial College Business School, as they equip me with the tools to better understand the strengths I want to lean in and the industry I want to pursue. I plan to one day become a CMO. Maybe it will not be the day after I graduate, but the tools, knowledge and growth mindset in-depth lessons have laid the path for me to get there.

Advice for prospective students

Take the MBA application as an opportunity to find what is truly important for you, beyond the brand and paper it is printed on, and find your purpose. That will be your ticket in, guiding light during the more difficult times of this programme, and the first brick you can lay for the next chapter of your career.

Programme: Weekend MBA

Nationality: Romanian

Education: MA Brand, Communication and Culture & Goldsmiths, University of London

Role: Global Marketing Coordinator, BCG

Is the Weekend MBA right for you?