IE Business School

Master in International Management | Part 5

Gianpaolo · 2010 - 2011

Published: 1 July 2021 | by Gianpaolo

Gianpaolo (25) started the Master in International Management at IE Business School (Madrid) in April 2010. In his 5th Master blog he writes about his experience in the Knowledge Incubator and his second Specialization in Digital Business.

Hi everyone,

I know…I know… some months have passed since my last post, the reason is that as expected with the ending of the first phase of the Master many things started to change: applying for jobs, checking out business ideas with friends, and let's also be honest "taking a good look to any country that might be willing in the short and mid-term to give me a chance to untapped my full potential”. Ok, less talk more anecdotes!


Last December, I ended the first part of my Master (MIM); most of my friends went out on internships-exchange or even their started their own ventures. In my case I decided to squeeze a bit more IE opportunities and academia. What I decided to do is to enroll in the "Knowledge Incubator" from January to first-week of April, and starting one week later my dual specialization on "Digital Business" at IE.

Knowledge Incubator (KI) {January - March}

This program is offered to students that are interested in developing their business ideas from the very basis (when everything looks as a tremendously great idea!) and then taking it to the different steps in which the initial idea suffers many many mutations. In the very end the idea has a complete new shape, and financial figures start to make a lot of sense. At the end of this journey, you have developed an entire business plan.

In my case, the idea that I had in mind was a Family Business, specifically in Panama. Because I wanted to carry out "primary market research", I negotiated with my professor at IE to discuss about my main findings and get some guidelines, remotely (God bless Skype!). Everything went as expected, my idea changed from "manufacturing" something to a 2-phase idea: (1) A business in the "service sector" to create a strong brand, and then (2) use the already positioned brand to start selling also our own manufactured products.

What I really enjoyed, and I know this might sound a bit sarcastic, is that when developing the idea and carrying out the market research I was mostly left alone... as in real life. The professor in charge of the KI, was only following my milestones and providing me with very specific initiatives to think about it. If I would have to put a label on his role I will have to say he was a "mind opener", and was preventing me to be too simplistic (“you are not alone in the market”) or too complex ("we want something that can be successfully implemented in the next 2 to 5 years"). Outcome: A couple of months working very hard on Panama-Madrid to develop a real business idea, for a real need of the market, with real financial figures, and real risks.

Dual Specialization (April - July)

As mentioned before, I decided to substitute the internship with a second specialization of the MIM at IE. My dual is going to be on the field of Digital Business. I have checked the profile of the professors that will be in charge of the lectures, and I have to say that there is a very interesting mix of people that has been on both worlds, academia and in the public-private sector, drawing up how technology/Internet and the new trends can be used as a core part of the strategy of companies… don't worry I will keep you up-to-date about this new and final step of my master at IE. Talk to you quite soon, and all the best to the guys of the new intakes!.

Hope to see you around soon,

Gianpaolo Tepedino
Master in International Management Candidate 2010-2011

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