Ece Bayrak

Ece Bayrak

Executive MBA Americas

Boardroom: Mexico City, Mexico
Position while enrolled: Business Unit Director, MSD Switzerland
Undergraduate studies: International relations, Bogazici University

“The experience of learning from top-notch faculty in their field inspired me and immediately convinced me that it was the right decision to join the EMBA Americas program.”

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?

I worked in sales and marketing roles during the early years of my career and considered myself a functional expert. However, when I started advancing into people management and leadership roles, I felt that I needed the MBA experience to learn more about finance, general management, and leadership.

Why did you choose the Executive MBA Americas program?

For me, the most important factor is the flexibility that the EMBA Americas program offers. Due to my workload and busy travel schedule, it would be impossible for me to take multiple workdays off each month. With classes taking place on Saturdays and Sundays every other week, the EMBA Americas program enabled me to have a personal life while taking minimal time off from work and being able to perform well in my day job.

How has the program impacted your career?

During the EMBA Americas program, I changed positions twice within my company, each time with increasing responsibilities. I strongly believe that the skills I learned through my MBA contributed to me getting these opportunities. I am about to start a new international assignment in Switzerland with my current company. This was an aspirational position for me and my EMBA experience definitely gave me the courage to apply and eventually get the position.

What is the boardroom experience like?

The boardroom experience is one of the areas that surprised me most about the program. The EMBA Americas program has stellar boardroom technology, which enables participants and faculty to see, communicate, and interact with each other in real-time. Despite having more than 20 boardrooms across four different time zones, I felt most of the time that all of us were sitting in the same classroom.

Who has been one of your favorite professors?

My favorite professor was Yaniv Grinstein who taught Managerial Finance and Corporate Governance. I had no financial background coming to the EMBA program and was slightly worried about the course. However, Professor Grinstein made even the most complex topics simple by giving us plenty of real-life examples and being available after class. His teaching style of raising the bar gradually and structuring the class in a way to appeal to students with different levels of financial acumen made it unique for me.

What has been your most memorable experience in the EMBA Americas program?

My most memorable experience was my first residential session. It felt surreal to take classes on the beautiful campuses of Cornell and Queen’s universities, and I felt really grateful to be back in school after 10 years of uninterrupted work life. The experience of learning from top-notch faculty in their field inspired me and immediately convinced me that it was the right decision to join the EMBA Americas program.