I have been always passionate about the automotive industry and as soon as I joined IE, at the beginning of the year, I was very excited to discovered that there was an Automotive Club for students. Later, I found out that the club had been suspended due to inactivity and I thought that bringing back the club together would be a great opportunity to share my common interests with other people also curious about this field and a great chance to network with industry leaders.
While having conversations with some colleagues, I met two friends who shared the same passion as me for cars and we decided that, together, we will start the club back leveraging on our own experiences and contacts, and this is how the Automotive Club for Students begun in May 2017. Our first meeting was held at Selfie restaurant to get to know each other and those willing to be part of the club.
Previously, I had met an IE Professor who was well connected among people in the automotive industry and was willing to collaborate with the club. Without any doubt, I can say he was a key contributor to the club all this year. With his collaboration, we managed to arrange a visit to Volvo Headquarters in Madrid, which was our second event. A group of 15 people were kindly received by Enrique Entrala, Volvo’s Network Development Manager and we discussed about the company’s vision of the future related to the vehicles distribution strategy and learned some specific company insights that helped us broaden our perspective. Already before going into the August break we were planning to do a factory visit which was originally planned for September. After a lot of effort and talking to many people, I must mention that it was very difficult to find a company that would be willing to open their doors to a group of students, due to external reasons, they cancelled our visit and got rescheduled for June, 2018; part of our legacy for the new club coordinators and its members.
Moving forward this planning issue, in September we got in touch with EMOV’s Chief Marketing Officer, Carlos Blanco, an IE alumni, who generously accepted to present to us their view of the car sharing industry and where it is moving to in the coming years. The event was the one which had the highest participation rate, we believe this happened because the topic was more popular and trendy among students.
Finally, in November we leveraged on the fact that two of us were working in an Impact Project with Daimler – Germany. Within Daimler, their truck division and its telematics department called Fleetboard. During this month, we held two events; in the first one we discussed how they employ an entrepreneurial approach to manage their projects, something that is not common at all in such big and structured companies. The second topic was about working in Daimler across multiple geographies and job functions. In both of them, students were very committed and engaged to the topics discussed.
Concluding, it was a wonderful year at IE Business School where we worked as a team doing what we liked the most, that is being strongly involved in automotive events where we were able to know many interesting people. We hope this help the coming coordinators to leverage in our positive experiences and to promote the Automotive Club for students.