IE Business School

Master in Management | Part 2


Daena · 2012 - 2013

Published: 7 February 2013 | by Daena

I have finished my first period at IE, and I can’t believe that the time has flown by so quickly. The Master in Management (MIM) class of 2013 took the advice given to us at our opening ceremony and worked hard and played just as hard. We’ve made some amazing friends and have completely immersed ourselves in life in Madrid. I suppose the best way to let you know what it is really like to study at IE, is to tell you about my everyday life.

My every day life at IE Business School

Our class is divided into 4 sections – 2 in English and 2 in Spanish. Each section is made up of work groups, comprised of 6 or 7 people. I am in Section 1, Group A. In Section 1, the most days start with workgroup meetings. In The A-Team (my group) we arrive with coffee, tea, and croissants or some form of breakfast on the go. Each one of us is bundled up before we are awake enough to realise the air-conditioning is out to freeze or boil us and get down to work. I would suppose that when I consider my normal day, this meeting is filled with discussion and disagreements as we try to agree on different levels of the project we are doing and attempt to reach some kind of consensus. Navigating the socio-cultural environment that is set up by these groups is getting easier every day. We know more about each other, about our preferences, the way that each person works and where their interests, strengths and weaknesses lie. Arguably, by the time we are finally completely used to working together, we are going to be close to the end of the first period... and our groups will change!

Assignments, presentations, and exams

Inevitably, we are so absorbed in our discussion that we run out of time and need run to get to class on time. Theoretically, we have 3 lecture sessions each day, but the timetable changes daily so a regularly updated calendar on a cellphone or laptop is a must! Each lecture lasts 80 minutes and there is a 10 minute break in between two and a longer break between these and the other lecture for the day. Our classes range from Marketing and Organisational Behaviour to Quantitative Methods and Financial Accounting. We discuss and disagree as the lecturer’s role shifts from educator to facilitator and sometimes even referee. Here, our difference in backgrounds, both academically and culturally are the most apparent. Different cultural norms are negotiated and overcome. What is an acceptable way to address a professor is different for different people, along with the way that opinions are expressed. We worked incredibly hard through the term. We completed assignments and case readings; presentations and midterms and finals. Finals were a combination of written exams and presentations in our classroom.

Lunch all together, afternoon chatter, and siesta

Surprisingly, the sections do not cross paths throughout the day. The only times during the day when we see our friends from other sections is if we chose to grab lunch all together, with the restaurants close to campus being popular choices. An afternoon of chatter and hanging out draws to a close and its time siesta! Some people go home to sleep for a while, or take advantage of some downtime before getting back to work later in the evening. Different groups do things differently. Because mine meets at 9am, we do not meet in the evening, but some groups prefer the extra hour of sleep in the morning and would rather meet in the late afternoon or evening. Personally, I spend that time keeping in touch with those at home, sometimes going to the gym or doing other things that simply need doing (like shopping – assuming the shop is open).

I think these girls will be my friends for a long time to come

This is my favourite time of the day. My flatmates and I sit together and chat about our day, make some dinner and spend the evening winding down. It has made me appreciate our differences and everyday brings something new – whether it is American candy or delving further into our different ways of talking. We keep finding more things that we are big fans of, and things that could not be more vastly different. I think these girls will be my friends for a long time to come. We have plans to visit where each of us calls home before 2013 turns to 2014. We are each so different and yet get along so well. In due time, out come readings and our dining room or kitchen table becomes the platform for discussion and exchanging ideas and perspectives. I know that many of my classmates go to Maria de Molina 31 and take advantage of the big open space around the cafeteria and feed off everyone working around them or book a study room to work on one of the upper floors. I enjoy the change of pace from actually being on campus to being at home. The day slowly winds down before the sun rises through the shutters on a new day and its own new set of experiences.

Social activities: football tournament and a scavenger hunt

We have had fun-filled activities organised by the programme management that included a programme wide football tournament and a scavenger hunt that had us exploring Madrid. The football tournament day dawned cold and misty, but this is the antithesis of the atmosphere that was surrounding green canal. Technically, there were girls’ teams and boys’ teams but this concept was fairly fluid as Leah Wald played with the boys and the boys made fantastic cheerleaders when the girls were on the field. The scavenger hunt was not like the ones we experiences in childhood. All credit must go to Sylvia McCallister for coming up with the most obscure clues imaginable and had 200 MIM students all over Madrid trying to complete as many tasks as possible.

Highlights of the Master in Management so far

There is too much for me to reflect on in a single post, but highlights included presentations throughout the term; the executive insight series that involves invited business and thought leaders giving an evening lecture every fortnight; weekend trips to Barcelona; and the late penalty for class becoming singing a song to raucous applause. Another highlight for me during last term was realising just how true the insights that were shared with us from the opening ceremony have come to be. I am surrounded by wonderful people that have each been chosen to be a part of this programme because in our similarities, we each are different and bring our own individual contributions to the table. These are people that I am going to have in my life for a long time to come. I take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way and IE has no shortage. With 3 months down, if I have learnt anything is that this programme is one that will helps carve out the direction that my life is going to take and that it is up to me to make the most of it.

So, what's my impression of the MIM program right now?

With a term down, I have never been surer of my choice of IE. The programme management is actively involved in our day to day activities and we, as students, are able to make an impact on our programme. Our groups that were designated for working purposes have flourished into friendships and a level of mutual respect has developed between the different members of the class as we now know each other. It is sad to move onto a new group with the new term, but I can only hope that we work as well together and are also able to build lasting relationships. I would like to encourage those of you reading this to get in contact with the Admissions Office, and find out when a representative is going to be near your home or register for an event and chat to some IE students who perhaps are coming from the same place as you or have experienced something similar. I am proud to be among the MIM class of 2013 and look forward to the next term with great anticipation.

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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