Joël McConnell
Director for Europe and Central Asia
IE International Development Department
From: Vancouver, Canada

Originally from Vancouver, I grew up in English speaking part of the country but in a French-speaking home – something that would later prove very helpful when I moved to Spain and had to learn Spanish, my third language. When it came time to go to university I chose to move to Montréal, a city where I could study my Bachelor of Commerce in English, but live in a city where I could also speak my other language. At university I was very involved in student life, having held many student government positions and being part of the case competition initiative we had in place, where senior-year bachelor students were sent out in groups, all over the globe, to compete in competitions against other top schools.  When it came time to move into the working world, I joined a corporate rotational program in the financial services sector, and I shared the next 3 years or so between the US and Canada, before joining the MBA program at IE Business School – which looking back now, was probably one of the smarter professional decisions I’ve made to date.  What I didn’t know was that my move to Madrid would be a permanent one!

Since arriving in Madrid, I’ve not only completed several master and executive courses at IE, but I’ve also completed senior leadership programs at Judge Business School (University of Cambridge) and Saïd Business School (University of Oxford), but more recently at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business as well.  And it’s not only been about studying! I also lead market development and marketing initiatives at a successful industrial process automation company, held senior leadership positions at the IEEE –  a global engineering standards organization, completed an internship in Senegal in microfinance via the joint venture of the CRS and Caritas, and perhaps most importantly, built a successful career at IE via three roles: Director of Financial Aid, and then both Director for Asia Pacific and Director for Europe, within our International Development Department.  An added and important benefit of the roles I’ve held since moving to Madrid is that all of them have allowed me to travel extensively, all over the globe. Today, I’ve travelled to 58 countries worldwide, and perhaps as importantly, given my work at IE, I’m in constant contact with top professionals from all over the world – something that makes my work particularly enriching.

As part of the leadership team of the International Development Department at IE, I’m contributing incrementally to the building of the IE brand globally, thereby strengthening the relationships the institution has with our alumni, corporate and institutional partners, and making IE the first-choice school for degrees that are characterized by a strong focus on technology and innovation, regardless of the field of study, and by an well rounded experience that is infused with unmatched diversity and a real focus on entrepreneurship. We’re leading new projects that bring us closer to top global organizations, partner schools, and companies, and engaging with top regional events such as the Nordic Business Forum in Finland, FT events across the region, European Business Forum in Denmark, OECD Summits in France, and the Drucker Forum in Austria, among many others. Our next big opportunity will be to reinvent and position ourselves around the IE Exponential Learning portfolio of programs, which includes not only an updated executive education courses, but more innovative programs such as our High Impact Online Programs (HiOPs) and Bootcamp offering – short, technology focused programs that were initially pioneered by organizations like General Assembly, but that increasingly leading business schools are offering as a complement to their degree-based programs.  And we’ve got lots in store for the coming year, so stay tuned and join us at one of the more than 1000 activities we organize across Europe and Central Asia every year, events that are lead by the 7 offices and 25 members of my team.  IE is a top-ranked school, but we lead through actions that demonstrate real innovation and true focus on providing better learning and professional development experiences to our students, and after graduation, to our alumni.

Bio: Joel has worked in Field Operations at Novartis and Fleet Management at Enterprise, and completed the Headquarters Rotational Program at Edward Jones Investments before joining the MBA at IE.  From a study perspective he completed the Global MBA, Executive Master in Finance, and the Luxury Management EDP at IE before completing a Certificate in Strategic Performance Management at Cambridge, the Postgraduate Diploma in Global Business at Oxford, and most recently, he completed the Global Senior Management Program at Chicago-Booth. Some of the more exciting and far-flung places he has particularly enjoyed travelling to include Mongolia, New Zealand, Georgia, and Colombia.


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