I came to Spain ten years ago. Recently graduated from the University of Oxford Brookes, I took up an exciting opportunity to work for the UN in two development projects in Turkey and Serbia. Numerous field trips and several years later I completed the Master in International Relations at IE and found myself sitting in Erik Schlie and Julia Sanchez’ office applying for the Associate Director position of the IMBA. Not only did I get the job, but three years later, I was offered the Executive Director role in one of the most exciting times – just shortly before we began the redesign. The IMBA is a program that is still close to my heart. Both due to the insightful experience I gained from working with the team as well as the incredibly diverse and smart student body (many who I now call friends), but also the exceptional, humble and brilliant professors and colleagues I had the chance to meet over the course of the years.
In 2016 my partner, our three girls (by then aged three months to three years) and I took a ten months sabbatical to move to a small village in the very south of Germany, at the foot of the Alps. So one may ask, why did I go on this adventure even though I loved my job and felt Madrid as my home?
The truth is that I had come to a point of reflection in my life. On an early Saturday morning walk with the kids wrapped up in their stroller, I had seen a poster that was pinned to the window of a bookshop next to el Retiro and it said “Sign up for the workshop: how to become even more efficient”. This was a key moment – my inflection point. I wanted to spend more quality time with the family and felt like I needed to refocus priorities. So, a year after the launch of the new IMBA, we left our apartment, stored our belongings in a garage, packed the kids and left for one of the most picturesque landscapes one can imagine – the Alps. For the next ten months we hiked, swam in rivers & lakes, showed the kids what nature has to offer and did a whole lot of family bonding. I realized that living in a natural surrounding has an incredible effect on us – restoring, powerful, stress relieving and stunningly vitalizing. By the time eight months had passed, I felt stronger, more energized and balanced than I had felt in a very long time. It was time to come back.
In July 2017, I returned to a new position as Director of Programs. I am excited to set this energy in motion, working alongside an uncountable number of talented and passionate people at IE, people who live by what they teach: positive leadership, humbleness, empowerment and compassion. My takeaways from this year? Be bold, persistent and follow your dreams, everything else settles along.
Bio: Ines Drieselmann is the Director of Programs at IE Business School. Responsible for identifying and implementing operational excellence among the programs, Ines plays a key role in the contribution to implement curricula innovations in the program portfolio for the Business School. Prior to IE, Ines worked as project manager at the United Nations World Tourism Organization with several non-European Member States as part of the Millennium Development Goals, obtaining strategic and political insights collaborating with national and international project stakeholders. Ines holds a BA (Hons) in Business Management from Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom, as well as an MA in International Relations from IE School of Arts and Humanities and an MA in HR and Talent Management. She spent the last ten years living, studying and working between Germany, United Kingdom, Spain and the United States.