Hi guys and welcome back to my second blogpost!
Time has flown by so fast and I cannot believe that I am already halfway through the program. The past two terms have been super exciting but were also tough in terms of time management, assignments and exams. However, after nearly 6 months in the program, Madrid does not feel foreign anymore and many of my classmates have become my close friends.
Short IESE Update – What has happened:
So far, I have completed two periods and just started my third one right after the Christmas break. The first period rather functioned as a starting base: In order to get us acquainted with IESE’s “Case Method” we covered some fundamental basics such as Financial Accounting, Marketing Management and Critical Business Thinking. I am not sure if all of you know, but IESE is one of the universities like Harvard that heavily relies on the case method as a teaching approach. Hereby we usually receive a case covering a problem in a certain teaching subject, that needs to be analyzed both in qualitative and quantitative terms in order to make well-found strategic decision. To me, this approach is not only much more fun and interactive but also much more helpful in terms of tackling day-to-day problems later at work!
After being more familiar with the case method, the second term started off rather technical – which was very new but also exciting to me! Next to more traditional courses like Operations and Finance, we also covered subjects like Business Analytics where we learned how to code in R. On top of that, IESE also offered subjects like “Exponential Digital Technologies” covering the very up-to-date topics like Quantum Computing, AI or Deep Learning. By learning more about the disrupting trends of today and tomorrow, we all get more aware of how the business world will and already is changing – which is both exciting and scary at the same time!
A Day in the Life of a IESE MiM Student
To give you guys a better idea of how a normal day at IESE looks like, I thought it would be a good idea to guide you through a normal day on campus. As explained beforehand, IESE’s teaching method relies on cases. Therefore, on a normal day, we cover between three to four cases – meaning three to four subjects in total. Every day starts at 8:15 with a team meeting where we sit together with our teammates and discuss our solutions for the cases of the day.
The teams were formed right after the career bootcamp in the beginning of the program. Back then, the class was divided into groups of seven to eight people – all having very different cultural and undergrad / working backgrounds. From day 1 of the program, you stay with your team meaning all team assignments are covered by the same people. This does not only make you get to know your teammates better but it also forces you to stick together – especially when times are getting more stressful and tough. To me, this approach is what makes IESE very special: Even though the people in your team might not be the ones that you hung out the most in the first days of the program, you start very quickly to appreciate and even embrace the strengths and differences of each team member. Working with people from both different cultural and work background, did not only make me see things from different angles but it also helps everybody to grow more!
Right after the team meeting, the day starts with cases finishing between 15:15 and 17:00. On some days we also have “Career Development Sessions” with the IESE career team. These activities vary a lot: In the beginning we rather covered topics such as how to find the right industry, where to apply and how to apply. Right now – as many of us already know what industry we want to work in – the sessions are more tailored to interview preparations, assessment centers days or cover letter help. Usually we have between two to four hours CDC activities per week, helping us all a lot to get ready for the life after MiM!
Outside of IESE / MADRID LIFE
As stated before, Madrid does not feel very foreign anymore! Even though university covers a lot of time during the day, we all had time to get to know a bit of Madrid’s day and nightlife! One big advantage of Madrid is definitely its size: I have never seen so many good restaurants and bars in one place – even though I come from a pretty big city in Germany. The people here are so warm and open-minded, which is very helpful for foreign citizens. We as a class grew together much more closely – also in our free times – which I think is what makes this experience even better. I am very excited for the next months and hope to give you new insights soon.
Until next time!
In case you have any questions, please do not hesitate and text me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristindeutsch/