IE Business School

Master in Management | Part 1


Daena · 2012 - 2013

Published: 9 November 2012 | by Daena

A few weeks ago, I was approached to write this blog about my experiences doing the Masters in Management at IE Business School in Madrid Spain. Now, I’ve blogged before but usually it has been a place for me to put my metaphorical pen to metaphorical paper and let my friends and family around the world know what has been going on in my life. I think this is slightly different. I suppose I should start with an introduction to me.

Coming from Cape town in South Africa

My name is Daena D’Oliveira and I am from Cape Town, South Africa. When I look back at the choices I have made it could be any number of them that led me to this point of my life – pursuing my Masters in Management in Madrid. My desire to study further, my involvement in development agencies and student leadership at the University of Cape Town has all given me hope for the future leaders the world is producing. I am incredibly proud to be one of "Madiba’s Children." I am a part of the class that started school in the same year that Nelson Mandela took up his presidency of South Africa and have been afforded opportunities that my parents could only dream of.

Believing that I can do anything I set my mind to

The greatest advantage that I have as a student today is still the unwavering belief that I can do anything I set my mind to. By being a student at the University of Cape Town, I was part of an advantaged few in my young country and I feel as though I need to use this to my advantage and become the best me that I am capable of. In today’s society, this is not only the best me in Cape Town or South Africa, but the best me on a global scale.

Why a Master in Management at IE Business School?

Most of you reading this would probably wonder why IE? There are lots of different things that you need to consider when choosing your graduate school – what is it that you want to gain from the experience? What can you do for the school you want to attend and what can they do for you? Are you a good fit? I wrote my GMAT with this in mind, and to be honest, my scores surprised me. I knew which schools were ranked highly by The Financial Times, which schools focused on Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and which schools appealed to me from a location and cultural perspective.

Something special about IE

With my scores, I was able to consider the top schools in the world, but there was something special about IE. IE is part of Madrid. It embraces the city and the people and makes the most of the global business community. There are people here from every corner of the world (my class has 46 nationalities represented) with any number of interests. For me, this was crucial: a great school, in a dynamic urban setting and people from all over the world.

From the application to the letter of acceptance

All through the Admissions process, the IE admissions department and administrative staff were great. Any question was answered promptly, and numerous phone calls were exchanged. Before I even arrived in Madrid, I felt as though I was part of the IE community. I felt that there were people here who were truly excited that I was coming and acted as a port of call when I needed documents for my visa application.

Interview and admissions test in Johannesburg

I had my interview in Johannesburg as there was an admissions test happening on the same weekend and a member of the admissions team would be available for this. This happened because, as a South African I would have needed a visa to come to Spain for the interview and logistically, this would have been very difficult. This was followed by a phone call so that I could talk to another member of the admissions team.

Getting conformtable with the staff

The entire process made me increasingly more comfortable with the staff and showed me that each applicant is considered in their entirety before a decision is made whether to offer them admission or not. The time that passed between the telephonic interview and receiving my letter of acceptance, was less than 10 days. I was so excited. The school that I wanted to attend wanted me!

Arriving in Spain

…And thus started the flurry of activity that comes with imminent relocation to a new country. I had 2 months to get to Madrid. I landed here on the 6th of August for the Spanish pre-programme. Here, I got to meet not only a few of my classmates but MBA exchange students and Masters in Finance students too. The month of Spanish passed quickly and I found myself the weekend before the opening ceremony.

Getting to know each other

I organised a dinner for those of us who were around to meet so that there would be at least a few familiar faces on the first day. This was a rousing success and there were 42 people at dinner. At this point we did not know which classes or groups we were in, and in hindsight has meant that we still interact across the different MIM classes.

Opening Ceremony at the Segovia Campus

The morning of the Opening Ceremony dawned and Leah Wald, Kimberly ReMine and I headed toward the IE library to depart for the school’s Segovia Campus. This day, more than anything, showed me that IE embraces where it comes from and uses it as a point of departure for the future. The advice from all the speakers on this day was that this year is going to be one to remember; that we are going to work hard and play hard; and the friendships that we forge will last well into our respective futures.

Why doing a Master in Management?

In attending IE, I hope to one day return to South Africa and use the lessons I have learnt to make a difference in the way that people perceive South Africa, do business with South Africans and the way that South Africans respond to the rest of the world. I am 23 years old and have the world at my fingertips, if I only reach out and grab it! I am excited for the coming year and the experiences, knowledge and opportunities that will launch from this knick point in my life. IE’s ethos of global awareness, entrepreneurship, innovation and social responsibility added to the appeal of the school for me. I am proud to be part of the class of 2013 – representing myself, my family, and my country in this global forum.

Your Contact at IE Business School

Isabel Janeiro is Senior Associate Director of Admissions at IE Business School in Madrid. She would be happy to answer any of your questions regarding IE’s Master in Management program and why IE can help you go beyond your own limits.

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