IE Business School

Master in Management | Part 3


Edwina · 2014 - 2015

Published: 10 August 2015 | by Edwina

Edwina writes about her Master in Management experience at IE Business School.

I left my last post toward the end of the second term, since then I have completed the Specialisation period, and the final project, and graduated last week! I really can’t believe how fast time has flown and now that the program is all done and dusted, it’s time to reflect on what a crazy, fun, challenging, and unforgettable year it has been.

IE MIM: The Specialisation Period & Final Project

The Specialisation period has been my favourite part of the program. As part of the MIM each student must choose a focused area to ‘specialise’ in. The courses available include, Sales & Marketing, International Business, Digital Business, Financial Management and Control, and Integrated Marketing Communications. I selected Digital Business (DB) as I decided I wanted to study something a bit different to what I had already reviewed through the MIM program, and also unlike my bachelors degree. DB was quite hands on, requiring a lot of class discussions and presentations, and many hours of group work. It worked well, as by this stage of the program we were all so relaxed and at ease with our surroundings and each other, that the classroom felt very open and opinions could flow freely. Additionally, it was made fun as all the sections were mixed up into the specialisations, so it was a great opportunity to meet and become better friends with people I had not studied with before. Overall, the term proved to be highly interesting and relevant to my career goals, as it became clear to me that I want to work within a company that understands the potential advantages of digital technologies for bettering business operations and driving growth.

Preparing our final presentation

The DB term absolutely flew by, and before we knew it we were in the final week, preparing our final presentation. We were a lucky section as Ricardo (the program organiser) is very hands-on and wanted us to all experience real business cases in this moment, so that we can have opportunities to make mistakes in a ‘safe’ environment. So for this reason, our final project was with a real Spanish company, which had established only 3 years ago in the social analytics space. Having a real company to research and connect with made the work much more interesting than reviewing another HBS business case, and definitely added a little more pressure knowing that the CEO and some of his staff would be on the judging panel. The specialisation and the final project were in my opinion, a great way to wrap up the course, as we were able to apply everything we had learnt over the past 10 months.

When you study a Master in Management, keep in mind: Change is Good – Have Confidence

Challenging yourself in different ways is important for personal development and confidence. Before coming to Madrid I really didn’t recognise my own personal strength, or believe I was as resilient or hardworking as I am. Stepping into a new environment and actively making decisions to do things I had never done before was a bit scary but paid off immensely. For example, learning Spanish and speaking with the locals, or even taking the lead on group projects and presentations and telling 5 grown men what to do! I must say though, that I would not have adjusted so well, if it wasn’t for the amazing group of friends I met, who really became like family to me. When one was struggling with something, all would jump in and assist immediately. When you are so far from home it is important to have a support network that will experience the journey with you and push you along when things get difficult.

A little bit of ‘Healthy’ Competition

The Guass curve was tough at times. I really loved my section in the first two periods, but it really got very competitive as we were a small class and not many could get the top grades, given the nature of the curve. On the one hand the curve works creating driven, hardworking students, but on the other hand it can turn a term into a stressful battle for grades. The reality is that often there are students who work hard all term, and are ultimately not rewarded, which can be dangerous to student motivation and their perceived self–worth. We were lucky enough to have some very understanding teachers who knew the pressure the curve implied. Thus they were more focused on the learning methods, class discussions for instance, to ensure that real improvements were actually made and knowledge really gained. I quickly realised that there was much more to the IE MIM experience than studying, and that giving into the competitive pressure of my class was going to mean a hellish nightmare of a term. I still studied hard and managed to get good grades but I did it at my own pace, instead focusing on myself and understanding my goals for the year. This meant I was able to better balance a social life (eating out, dancing, travelling) with school life, and enjoy the best Madrid had to offer.

Graduation Day

We made it! The ceremony itself was a great celebration with families and friends of graduates, although the day seemed a little surreal. I was lucky enough that my parents flew all the way over from Australia to celebrate my achievements with me, which made the day even more exciting. Luckily the ceremony was also streamed live online, so the rest of my family could share in the day too. Coming to a European Business School was something so completely different to my previous experiences but something I would never change! I was expecting a tough year crammed with study before returning home, but was not expecting to come home with more than a degree and a desire to stay! I now have friends located around the world, feel more than qualified to begin a career in Digital Business, and am ready for a new chapter to begin in London.

While the end has been bittersweet – many tears as goodbyes were said, but I know its only a matter of time before we meet again, and I’m very excited to see what crazy journeys are in store for my fellow MIM students. I wish you all the best of luck, and hope that you will seriously consider the IE MIM, as it has been an unforgettable experience.

- Edwina

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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