IE Business School

Master in Management | Part 2

Sergio · 2016 - 2017

Published: 1 July 2021 | by Sergio

Sergio from Colombia started a Master in Management (MIM) at IE Business School in 2016. In his blog, he writes about his experience during the program

October to January…

Since my last post, I have finished the first of three terms of the MIM Program, three months of hard work, lots of studying and loads of fun around Madrid!

To be completely honest, work started full-on from the first day at IE; groups, discussions, networking, presentations, everything! I’m one of around 350 students in the September intake, which was divided into seven sections (five in English and two in Spanish) from around 35 to 65 people per section. Classmates in each section are together for the first two periods and divided into teams of 6-7 people who will do all the group work together, and since most courses have a great amount of group work, you spend a lot of your time with your team and develop some close bonds. These groups are very diverse, both academically and culturally speaking, which leads to some interesting ideas and the occasional (and unavoidable) debate. Nevertheless, most teams learn to get along, work together and play to their strengths.

The day-to-day

The typical day at IE starts off at 9:00 am and finishes at 3:00 pm. During these six hours, we usually have three 80-minute class sessions, one 40-minute break, one one-hour slot for group work, and a couple of short 10-minute breaks. After 3:00pm, students tend to go for lunch (adapting to the Spanish schedule) and some group work is likely to follow.

Luckily for me and my section, our group work slot was always scheduled from 9-10 am. Needless to say, my group unanimously decided we would not meet in the mornings (unless it was absolutely necessary) but would rather have a longer meeting in the afternoon. Believe me, that extra hour of sleep in the morning made all the difference in the world!

To be honest, I was not very excited about the idea of group work at first. Throughout my undergrad, I had been far more effective when studying alone, being able to set my own pace and prioritize tasks as I saw fit. During the first couple of group meetings my team and I were quite inefficient since we spent a lot of time discussing ideas and not making any real progress, but as we got a little more organized and got to know each other better, we started to discover the system that worked best for our group and our productivity went up. I also started seeing some benefits to the group work philosophy – different points of view were always shared and each group member’s personal experience proved to be quite helpful. I particularly benefited from the fact that my group members had all studied Business during their undergrad (I’m a civil engineer) and had a clearer idea of what was what, especially at the beginning, so I learned a great deal from my teammates.

After 3:00pm many of the MIM students head to the restaurants and cafés near campus which offer quite the variety of meals. In less than a 5-minute walk to Calle López de Hoyos you have the option of eating at a Chinese, Lebanese, Argentinian or traditional Spanish restaurant, with a couple of other choices that include salads, wraps, sandwiches, and burgers. After a couple of months, however, I found it best to have just a small lunch and explore some restaurants in other parts of the city later at night.

The People & the City

IE is well known for its cultural diversity and this is one of the things I have enjoyed most so far. I’ve had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world – just my group had people from Austria, Colombia, Italy, Morocco, the Netherlands, and Senegal. I’ve met people with similar interests as me, and others who seem to be my complete opposite…and I love it! I’ve made some great friends during the past few months with whom I’ve been able to explore the city and take memorable trips to Barcelona, San Sebastián and Biarritz.

The big “plus” is that the majority of the students live in Salamanca, the neighbourhood where IE is located in, so most of my friends are less than a 10-minute walk away and it’s easy to find someone who is up to go for a meal, a drink, or simply hang out. This also helps to meet people from other sections of the MIM (I found that people tend to spend a lot of time at school with people from the same section).

Outside Salamanca there is plenty to see in Madrid. Each neighbourhood has its own, unique vibe and the bars, clubs and restaurants seem to be endless. From the bohemian feel of Chueca to the ethnic environment of Lavapies to the tourist-filled streets of Sol, Madrid is proven to be a vibrant city – one I had greatly underestimated before coming

What’s next?

I learned a lot during my first term and met a lot of people, so I’m really looking forward to see what the second and third terms have in store. I’m excited for the courses that will come in the second term as well as starting my specialization in Digital Business in March, and can’t wait to continue exploring Madrid and meeting new people.

Until next time!

Your Contact at IE Business School

Cristina Bejarano Ricaurte is your person of contact for Masters in Management 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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