“The Dual Degree program allowed me to understand the intersection of public-private cooperation and provided me with the skills to position myself in roles in international development, stakeholder management and to provide strategic advice at the highest levels of business.”
Yash Divadkar, Singapore
Lead, Business Engagement - South Asia, World Economic Forum
Drawn by diversity
Yash was already pursuing a career in private banking before he came to IE University. He managed the investment portfolios of high net-worth individuals, providing them with risk profiles and strategic investment advice. But Yash had broader ambitions and sought to strengthen his understanding of geopolitics, international relations and economic development.
When he was looking for an institution that suited this drive, he was drawn not just to the academic offering of IE University but the incredible diversity of the IE Community. This is something that comes up repeatedly in conversation with Yash—he places a very high value on diversity, and calls IE University “the most diverse school on the planet.”
He chose the Dual Degree International MBA + Master in International Relations because it allowed him to understand the intersection of public-private cooperation. It also, he says, provided him with the skills necessary for roles in international development, stakeholder management and for advising the highest levels of business.
Yash brings up diversity again when recalling the class sessions. Beyond the theories and frameworks, he asserts that the animated discussions between his classmates gave him a better understanding of the world. He became more self-aware, and highlighted the emphasis placed on building bridges between people from different backgrounds as important to him. His choice of topic for his Capstone Project reflects his interest in humanistic issues, as his thesis focused on Human Trafficking in Southeast Asia.
Asia is now prominent in his current role at the World Economic Forum. Yash asserts that no two days are the same as he manages the WEF’s private-sector partners in the region. He has built relationships with several Fortune 500 CEOs, and various governmental cabinet ministers as he offers strategic advice on building an ecosystem of public-private sector cooperation.
“The time I spent at IE University was like meeting the whole world in the center of Madrid. The diverse classrooms provided varied perspectives which stretched the boundaries of my thinking and imagination.”
The COVID-19 pandemic, Yash says, has changed the world for the foreseeable future. At the WEF he led a team responsible for the creation of a global, inter-operable, trust-based health assessment framework. This is now up and running and contributing to the safe reopening of borders in South Asia. Stakeholders from public health, travel and tourism sectors are working alongside tech companies such as IBM, Mastercard, Oracle and Salesforce across 32 countries.
Connecting the dots across a broad range of topics, appreciating cultural nuances, and executing high-level objectives with a strategic vision are all skills that Yash says he took from his studies at IE University and into his current role. Equally important to him are the relationships he formed during his time here—the lifelong friendships he formed within the classroom have ensured that he has a friend in every corner of the world. The professors too, he confirms, were not only experts in their fields but also served as mentors.
Yash wholeheartedly recommends the Master in International Relations to anybody seeking to understand the intricacies of geopolitics. He says the program affords a global perspective of the historical cultural nuances that still affect international relations and development, shaping the future of civilization. It prepares you, says Yash, to confront the evolving challenges of the 21st century.
These challenges are ones that Yash hopes to still be addressing in ten years’ time. Asked where he sees himself, he doesn’t hesitate in his response—he wants to serve in a government position, or work in a public office. We don’t doubt he’ll succeed wherever his career path takes him.