November is in full gear and so is our new IMBA intake!

Written on November 27, 2014 by IMBA News in News

Around 350 students are having their first contact with the program through the Orientation and Launch modules, almost 10 days of informative sessions, workshops and seminars aimed at giving incoming students a general overview of the program and an opportunity for them to get to know each other while putting into practice the different set of skills required to start their IMBA Journey here at IE Business School.

From inspirational sessions by renowned mountain-climber Edurne Pasaban to hands-on, creative and teambuilding activities such as Revolutionize Your Space or Take the Stage, the future class of November 2015 is getting a real taste of the kind of journey that is awaiting them.

Don’t forget to welcome them on campus whenever you have the chance to meet any of them! We are sure they will make an excellent group of driven, hard-working and talented IMBAs.

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Interview with an IMBA Current Student: Sebastião Clara

Written on November 26, 2014 by IMBA News in News


sebastiao IIMeet Sebastião, a 30 year old, Portuguese student from the IMBA April 2014 intake.

Could you tell us about your professional background and why you decided to come to IE?

Before the MBA, I was helping raise the first fund for a new South American private equity firm based in Bogota. Even before joining the PE firm, I had considered enrolling into a MBA but the opportunity was so unique that I decided to postpone my decision. After close to a year in the firm, I realized that coming from Capital Markets (derivatives and structured products) and if I hoped to have a long-term career in private equity, I would need to build up my skills and business knowledge. Additionally, in private equity you rely heavily on your network and a MBA was a great opportunity to increase mine significantly.

What is a typical day for an International MBA student?

Intense! Classes start a 9am and finish at 3pm. Welcome to Spain and late lunches. Classes are fast paced and I need to be prepared (lots of pre-readings). A typical class starts with a discussion of a case and teaching notes I read before class, then there is a discussion for about 45min/1h where all the students are supposed to contribute and explain their point of view on the main issues of the case. The professor finishes the class with the main teachings and what we should remember and take to our professional life. On a typical day, I have 3 classes (1h 30min) and, in between, I will have 1h 30min to meet with my group and work on class projects. After 3pm, the day is not over, I still need to read the cases for the next day and plan another night in “la movida” (nickname for Madrid night´s life).

What Networking opportunities are there during the International MBA?

With over 80% international students, from all continents and different professional backgrounds, the networking opportunities do not get much better than this. But forget about the academic/professional “spiel”. The people I have met so far are absolutely amazing in every sense of the word. People with so many different past experiences and so much to teach me. Most of the networking I have done is during after-class activities (e.g. parties, events, trips, etc.) but the school also offers plenty of opportunities to network (e.g., cocktails, global village, etc.).

Tell us about your work group experiences.

When I heard people saying you learn more from your group that what you do from professors over and over again, I was skeptical. But I have to confess that it is one of the biggest truths I have heard since the beginning of the MBA. Working with a biologist major, a lawyer and an engineer forces you to think outside the box. I am a financier: I see the world in numbers, costs and profits. But not everyone sees the world that way. On the other side, it is very challenging. We are all smart people, we all have strong opinions and I had to learn to let go. That is real life. It is a great learning not only for my professional but also personal life.

Can you speak about the entrepreneurial ecosystem at IE?

When I joined the MBA I had the clear idea of what I wanted to do after the MBA: Private Equity. But when classes started and I began participating in the MBA events, I was struck by the entrepreneurial mentality at IE. I attended many weekly “Venture Network” days and saw dozens of new start-ups presenting their business ideas and getting feedback from potential investors. I also attended the Venture Day and was quite impressed by the panel and discussions. It was hard not to be tempted to actually create my own start-up around some of the ideas I had with such an ecosystem. Many of my colleagues just registered for Venture Lab and are now pursuing their ideas. In the end, for me, Private Equity is my goal and I have been exclusively focused on that for the last few months. But as I mentioned, even when you know what you want to do after, with such an ecosystem, it is hard not to be tempted.

Which elective period options have you chosen/will you choose?

Because I want to return to private equity, I am focusing mostly on finance classes. There seems to be many options with very interesting syllabus and professors. I am focusing more on Valuation and M&A/Corporate Finance classes. I will also take some entrepreneurship classes as I believe I can learn a lot from those. Entrepreneurship is something you can do independently or working in a company (e.g., looking for new products, new markets, new clients, etc.).

How have you customized your IE experience in order to best prepare yourself for your future career plans?

Well, there are two sides to this question: the academic and the non-academic. On the academic side, this is a tricky question because most of the customization will come in terms 4 and 5. So far, the MBA program has focused on the “Core” periods. In these, the program is the same for all the students and it covers all subjects from Finance to Operation and Marketing. In term 4 and 5 I will be able to choose the courses I want to focus on. As I am looking to move into Private Equity, I will be doing mostly financial courses. I feel this is a great opportunity for me to develop some hard skills that will help me stand-out when I am looking for position in a Private Equity firm.

On the non-academic side, I have joined the IE Venture Capital & Private Equity Club and that has been a very useful platform to keep me involved on a weekly/monthly basis with PE events. I also registered for the “Financial Statement Modelling & LBO course” organized by the IE VC&PE Club and in the “IE PE Competition”, which granted me a spot in one of the most important business school PE competitions in Europe (RSM PE Competition). Finally, and I mention this because it is important, I talk a lot with professors that have had PE experience in their professional life, they are a source of invaluable information and are always available to help.

How would you define your experience on the International MBA?

Intense! I work hard and play harder. In a 13 month program, everything is more intense. Less classes means more effort in each one. Less time means you need to make the best out of it. There is no time to stop in 13 months. I am in Madrid for a limited amount of time so I need to take-in the most. I only plan to do one MBA in my life, so I better make it count. Finally, after the MBA it is back to reality, so I am enjoying the break and recharging my energy for a strong comeback to the professional life.


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Join us in Madrid for an Open Day on Friday, November 28th!

Written on November 21, 2014 by IMBA News in News

IE Business School is opening its doors to all candidates interested in the International MBA program.

The event will take place on Friday, November 28th in Madrid (c/ María de Molina 31) and will include a master class, a soft skills workshop, a campus tour and a networking cocktail lunch with current International MBA students and IE Business school staff. During the Open Day you will also learn more about IE and the International MBA program, find out about financing and placement opportunities.

Please click here to register for the event and don’t hesitate to contact us at imba.admissions@ie.edu with any questions.

See you there!

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International MBA November 14 intake – Opening Ceremony

Written on November 20, 2014 by IMBA News in News

Last Monday we welcomed the November 2014 International MBA class with 278 students in the English track and 69 in the Spanish track. We have now 82 nationalities represented on Campus (April 2014 & November 2014). This is a very diverse class with 92% international students and 31% women!
The Opening Ceremony was a great success and included the testimonials of a current student J. Mitchell Maddox (IMBA November 2013 intake -American) as well as an Alumna Julie Frey (IMBA April 2012 intake – South African and currently Manager in the Corporate Strategy team for Wolters Kluwer) who shared their IMBA experience with the November 2014 students.

Finally, we would like to invite you to watch the video the students created before coming to Madrid and met in person!

IE International MBA Nov 2014 Intro Video



IE ranked 2nd worlwide in the Bloomberg Businessweek Ranking

Written on November 13, 2014 by IMBA News in News

We have recently been ranked 2nd worldwide in the Bloomberg Businessweek Ranking of Full-Time MBA Programs! http://ow.ly/E9Yfe To see the full ranking, click here: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-11-11/best-business-schools-2014-the-complete-rankings-table











Congrats Swapnil and Suraj for winning! How did you feel, when you found out that you’d won the Consilium 2014 at Indian school of business? 

We felt proud and happy to win the competition for the school. Also, when we told Erik Schlie (Associate Dean of IMBA) that we were shortlisted as finalists for the competition, he showed lot of respect and confidence in our abilities to win the competition. We felt we have kept that trust intact by winning it for IE. This was also a big moment as we were competing against best global B-Schools. The feedback we received from judges was very confidence building as our business was a rational, unique and feasible business opportunity. Moreover the idea is going to help in addressing the global food security issue while maintaining ecological imbalance.

Tell us more about the competition and what inspired you to pursue this award and what does it signifies to you?

SurajThis competition was one of the few competitions that attracted top business schools from all over the world. It also included the IIMs and the ISBs, which are the known to attract the most intellectual and clever students from India. I wanted to benchmark myself by participating in the competition and see how I fared, compared to the students from these B-schools.

From the academic point of view, I was doing very well in school and the courses at IE equipped me with a lot frameworks and concepts; I felt it was the right time to apply these frameworks to solve a real world business problem. I was following various consulting competitons and I came to know about the Consulting Conclave, which was a global Inter B school case study competition. I saw an opportunity to apply what I learned to compete with the best schools across the globe. It also gave me the opportunity to do something different from my normal IE MBA routine.

Swapnil – I am passionate about Business Consulting aseach case brings unique challenges. As a Consultant at Honeywell before entering the MBA, I worked on several challenging business cases and learnt that problems are multidimensional and proposed consulting solution impacts different business matrix. For me, consulting not only needs a holistic view of business and strong analytical skills but also needs strong leadership skills to work with multiple stakeholders in the process of solving problem.

As we were approaching the end of the MBA program, I saw ISB Consulting Conclave as a competition which would pose another challenge and provide an additional opportunity to connect the dots from my several learning at MBA at IE Business School along with my past experience. Also, the competition had global participation which meant we would not just be applying our learning but also competing against best talent from global B-Schools. This was sounding board to testify my strong academic and professional performance.

How did or did the knowledge you gained during your MBA help you win this competition/challenge

The case study based methodology at IE gives you exposure to thinking at a much broader level.

In the first round we had a marketing case on the consumer goods industry to solve. The IE curriculum offered very strong marketing coaching during the core terms and also in elective terms. We could select, find and apply suitable frameworks to solve the case and get selected in top 10 finalists out of 500 teams participating.

In the final round we were given business case based on digital technology (Code Halo by Cognizant) to come up with a unique and new business idea applying Code Halo. We were also asked to come up with the market size for the consulting company if they pursue our idea. Here we could apply learnings and frameworks from Technology and Innovation curriculum of IE. Also this case required deep understanding of marketing, market and non-market strategy, Economics, corporate social responsibility.  It also offered the ability to connect the dots from different courses to think like a consultant and leader with vision and understanding of future of technology and how it will impact different industries.

On top of learning from IE, we had to very quickly learn about the Code Halo technology in a to work on the business consulting solution. High intensity learning at IE helped us to take up this challenge smoothly without affecting our regular curriculum.

How will winning this award affect your work as an IE student? 

Winning the award does not affect our class work and participation. It was a platform to apply our knowledge and experience we gained from IE to solve a real world business problem although we have to admit that it did create a lot of buzz in the school and we felt happy when students and friends congratulated us.

Any advice or tip you can give for future IE students that want to participate in this award

I would say that you need to be dedicated and committed if you want to win the competition. Do not participate just for the sake of it, because that affects the quality of work and ultimately affects the reputation of the school. You will have to sacrifice your social life and put in extra hours. The competition along with the IE routine made us put in almost 20 hours of work a day for ~10 days. These kinds of competitions are challenging-physically and mentally.  Make sure your goals align with your team and everyone is dedicated to the project before enrolling in the competition!

Winning the competition gives us the opportunity to work with Cognizant and could be our potential employers based on the business plan we create for this idea. If students are interested in consulting opportunities, such competitions will give the opportunity to network and convert your ideas into job opportunity / venture.










Interviewed by Zaid Saghah, current Int MBA student



IE Visit to TechCrunch Disrupt Europe 2014

Written on November 7, 2014 by IMBA News in News








By Hanna Evron, current International MBA student

Our group of technology passionate April IMBA students attended the TechCrunch Disrupt Europe conference in October to gain deeper insights about startup and venture capital opportunities in the upcoming months. The conference included speakers such as Uri Levine (Waze), Justin Kan (Y Combinator) and the team representing the newly launched Google Ventures EU, which discussed valuable lessons in entrepreneurship, and bringing new ideas to life within Europe.  Hearing from unicorn founders, well known investors and regulators helped provide us with a new perspective into the crossroads between our learnings in Entrepreneurship, Technology, Marketing, Finance and Government as well as hear incredible real life examples of both the good and bad that await in the dynamic startup space.  

The conference also included networking opportunities with newly launched as well as established ventures in the technology space across Europe, proving that one does not have to go to Silicon Valley to start a successful business and Madrid is without a doubt fertile ground to do so. Over 100 startups presented their concepts in various stages throughout the event and offered an opportunity to have a first look at exciting new technologies currently under development. It was incredible to hear pitches from bright entrepreneurs launching innovative new products within the frameworks we have studied and help them consider different areas of their business as they grow. Watching startups pitch in front of a global audience at the Startup Battlefield was an incredible experience as we continue to learn what makes a good pitch and what types of questions to anticipate from investors evaluating the opportunity on it’s financial merits. As much as we loved some of the concepts, it was here that we learned a good idea is simply not enough when competing against other equally strong products in the market.  

In the incredibly diverse London environment and the newly emerging Silicon Roundabout atmosphere it was truly eye opening to see the opportunities for entrepreneurship and technology here in Europe. The connections made will be valuable as some of us prepare to build businesses in Venture Lab and others consider employment in this growing segment in the months to come. The trip was a terrific opportunity to implement our MBA education in real life and time well spent bonding with fellow IMBA friends.  




How did the CMC and your IE experience help you during the recruiting process?

I had tried to enter into consulting after graduating from undergrad and even as an alternative to coming to do an MBA, but had been told that the MBA degree was important to many consulting firms. Based on all the MBA recruitment that most consulting companies do, I agree that getting an MBA was the right choice and definitely think that coming to IE was very important in this process. Probably the most important part of the IE experience in terms of helping me in the recruiting process was the network that I developed here. Talking both with with current students as well as former students was an essential part of getting an interview opportunity at Bain. The CMC was very helpful in terms of answering my questions about the companies I was interested in and providing resources to help me prepare for the interviews.
How was the recruiting process: stages, tests, interviews, etc?
After applying, it took a few weeks for Bain to invite me for the first round of interviews. Since I was applying to an office in the Middle East, Bain asked me to go to their Madrid office for a videoconference interview with the people in Dubai. During the first round, I met with two different people. Each interview lasted for about 45 minutes and included 5-10 minutes of fit interview questions, 30 minutes of case interview questions, and 5-10 minutes of time for me to ask the interviewers any questions I had. I heard back almost immediately about the results of the first round – and also received feedback from both interviewers on areas for improvement. The second (and final) round was scheduled for about a week after the first interview. I flew to Paris to meet with some of the principals and managers of the Dubai office and interview with them in-person. This time, I had three separate interviews, which were in the same format as the ones in the first round. From what I understand, some offices have written case questions or analytical tests, but this was not part of my interview process for the Dubai office. 
 Would you like to share any tips with future IMBA students interested in applying to Bain?
I think there are two main things that people interested in consulting should focus on. First of all, definitely reach out and talk to as many people at Bain (or whatever company you’re looking at) as possible. Use all the connections you may have – your friends, family members, IE alumni, and their contacts to learn about the company’s culture, the type of work you will do, and whether or not you are a good fit to work there. I spent a lot of time during my first few months at IE on LinkedIn searching for people to talk with. The sooner you contact these people, the better – because early on, you can talk with them more casually (without the pressures of needing to be hired) and connect back with them a few times during the year to strengthen your relationship. If you’re interested in working in a specific region, it may be helpful to actually travel there and meet with people face-to-face. For example, I set up 15-20 meetings for the first two weeks of summer vacation and traveled to Dubai to meet these contacts in person. Secondly, it’s important to start preparing for the case interviews early on – because you may only have 7-10 days of notice once you are invited to the first round. Find a few partners who are also interested in applying to consulting firms and meet on a regular basis to practice cases. It’s a good idea to practice with many different people – so you don’t get too comfortable with just practicing with a friend.

Islamic Finance

Written on October 31, 2014 by IMBA News in News

From October 12 – 16, IMBA students embarked on a unique and once in a lifetime cultural journey in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. IE Business School students together with students from Kingabdulaziz University took an intensive course on Islamic Finance.  Through theory and experiences from practitioners at the Islamic Development Bank, Saudi Economic Development Company and Islamic Research & Training Institute, students were able to compare Islamic Finance to traditional Finance and have an open debate about its benefits, challenges and uses in countries other than the Middle East.

When taking a break from Shariah law and practices, students were able to experience first-hand Saudi culture from our national hosts as well as see life in Saudi from the eyes of the expats.  The trip would not be complete without a visit to the past and future at the local mall and Old Town and of course a day at the desert for a complete Arabian experience.

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IE Story – Kyle Fraser

Written on October 24, 2014 by IMBA News in News

Kyle lives a passionate life. He built satellites at Boeing, explored Africa on wheels and runs a smoothie business now in Brazil. Kyle said IE changed his life in a surprisingly pleasant way. He met his Brazilian business partner at the MBA class, explored the idea at IE Venture Lab and felt empowered to follow his heart to Brazil. Now every day he makes fresh smoothies in the kitchen, rides bicycle to work and occasionally enjoys a sunny break at the beach. The business name Santa Hora encourages people to relax and enjoy simple pleasures in life.

By Wang Lin


A cool breeze

Lin: What brought you to the MBA program?

Kyle: I love experimenting with my life. In the past 415415 Over five years at Boeing, I optimized satellite code, facilitated communication between developers and management and 415415 for the US government.

However, as one of the over 5000 people at Boeing, I felt like a small gadget fixed in a huge machine. The prospect of growing old doing the same work terrified me. I wanted to do the MBA to explore new possibilities and live a more creative life.

Lin: Why did you prefer IE over business schools in the US?

Kyle: In US business schools, Americans tend to be the majority on campus. The charm of IE lies in the neat percentage of people coming from everywhere. Since there is no dominant group on campus, there is no pressure to fit in. We just enjoy more freedom to be ourselves!

What’s more, most people left familiar circles and came to Madrid alone. Their burning desire to make friends makes IE social life so much easier and fun!

Lin: What are your secrets to enjoy your IE MBA life?

Kyle: Just dive into the flow, experience the fun and chaos and see where it takes you. If you want to free yourself from the hustle and bustle of IE, club activity can be your oasis. At 415Many of them tried soccer for the first time and their joy was infectious.

If you want to truly embrace Madrid, step out of the IE bubble. Within IE everyone speaks English. If you go out to eat, drink and have fun, you will encounter more locals and absorb more of the Spanish culture.

Last but not least, don’t worry about the bell curve. Grades will fade but friendship will accompany you long after your IE life.

Lin: How was your graduation adventure to Africa?

Kyle: In August 2013 I ventured to Africa with my crazy friends. We encountered lions in the safari, hiked to the top of the Mount Kilimanjaro and enjoyed snorkeling in the crystal blue water of Tanzania.

The highlight was our bizarre bus ride. From the moment we got on the bus, everything started rolling downhill. It was jaw-dropping to witness an old man coming naked to his seat and calmly reading a book. Then the bus pulled off for the toilet break. We got off only to discover two bushes by the roadside. When we realized it was the last minute to switch the bus, we ran to jump on the other bus and squeezed ourselves between old ladies and crying babies. Along the way, the local music blew to our ears and made us more confused in this alien land.

Lin: Why did you move to Brazil after MBA?

Kyle: New country, new business, new adventure! I met my Brazilian friend Marianna Peretti at the MBA class. She loves recharging herself with fresh smoothies, yet in Brazil she found only small bottles of juice or frozen smoothies in the supermarket. So we explored the idea of selling fresh and tasty smoothies in Brazil at IE Venture Lab with other classmates. Curitiba, a vibrant city in Southern Brazil. Why not? MBA empowers me to follow my heart. Everything I learnt at IE influences my smoothie business today in Brazil.”


A real delight

Lin: Why did you name the business Santa Hora?

Kyle: 415

After trying different recipes and hearing feedback from people, we are proud to present our first two flavors: strawberry with banana and mango with passion fruit. You can find our smoothies in coffee shops, gyms and cafeterias around Curitiba.

Lin: How different is running Santa Hora from working a normal job?

Kyle: I feel like a happy free kid. Every day I can wear whatever I feel comfortable with and happily grow my business. I don’t have to wrap myself with suit and tie and get bored in the office. 415

However, running a smoothie business in Brazil is not always rosy. Every day I resolve a different issue, from dealing with supplier and retailers to studying tax and legal policies here. The responsibility is high when it is my own business. But I am upbeat and hopeful. If life throws a lemon at me, I will make it a smoothie!

Lin: How do you feel about living in Brazil?

Kyle: I ride my bicycle daily, travel to the beach whenever I can and grow my knowledge about Brazil day by day. Whether it is buying fruits at local market or watching football with new friends, everyday little happenings bring my heart closer to Brazil.

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