Archive for the ‘IE Stories’ Category


A story of one small change; #iegoesgreen

Written on June 14, 2018 by Campus Life in IE Stories

It started when our team of 7 IE HST students: Angel Galeano, Ghita Haloui, Rafael Herrera, Gaby La Fata, Marilia Ribeiro, Nadine Taha and myself, Natalya Shustova, were working on a regular assignment for a Change Management course. We paid attention to the plastic bottles of 0.33 ml offered to professors before each of the class. Since all our team members are passionate about sustainability, we asked ourselves: how many plastic waste do these bottles produce? Little research showed us: our institution has consumed 43,680 bottles in 7 months what is equal to 1,092 kg of plastic waste. Just imagine: it is enough to kill 37 Sperm Whales!! (remember the case of Sperm Whale found in Murcia coast on March 2018?). Long story short, we decided to change it. We did some research, had couple of meetings and today we are happy to see the results of our efforts: IE has started to purchase bottles of 0.5 ml instead of 0.3 ml.

You may think: “But it’s nothing, guys! In reality you haven’t done that much to reduce the plastic waste!”. We reply you:  just changing the volume of these bottles from 0.33 to 0.5, the amount of plastic waste it produces has been reduced twice!

Each of us can make a small but impactful change. Which change will you do?



On May 17th, our MIM students Lorenzo Alibrandi and Ernesto Cifaldi pitched their start-up, Box’nPapers, in the Grand Finale of the luxury business model competition “The Mark Challenge” winning the contest! Among more than 200 students and 77 teams participating in the competition, they were finalists together with only seven teams from six Business Schools that went through to final round in Monaco, to pitch in front of the jury composed of investors and professionals in the industry and chaired by the CEO of Moschino, Gabriele Maggio. Lorenzo and Ernesto held a 6-minute pitch that earned them the first prize in the competition.

Their project, Box’nPapers, born out of the market inefficiencies in the vintage high-end watch industry, aims at matching the needs of watch and warranties buyers and sellers who are looking for an easier and safer shopping experience. As requested by the competition rules, the project also focuses on social and environmental impact. The start-up is committed to sponsor sustainable watchmakers and help small shops to go digital.

“We are fully aware of the stakes. Many solid ideas were out there, it is not easy to challenge the industry! That’s a starting point. We are proud of having prized IE Business School in such an international competition, without the tools we learnt here we couldn’t have succeeded” – Lorenzo, founder of Box’nPapers

Box’nPapers is already operating, and by the end of the month will be part of a VC fund’s portfolio.We are looking forward to seeing how this project evolves!






The Global Inclusion Seminar 2018

Written on May 21, 2018 by Campus Life in IE Stories, Professional

The IE Europe and Talent and Careers travelled to the Global Inclusion Seminar 2018 in Zurich, Switzerland last month, aimed at getting closer to employers who are actively looking to recruit LGBT professionals, and to talk about IE’s master programs.

The Global Inclusion Seminar is a unique event where C-Suite executives, global thought leaders, academics and everyday practitioners will come together to share and learn new perspectives, models and strategic approaches towards creating and building organisations that truly embrace inclusiveness and diversity.

The IE Delegation comprised of Joel McConnell (Director for Europe and Central Asia (International Development Department) and William Gaber – Global Director of Recruiter Relations (Talent and Careers Department). IE also featured Sarah Finegan a current IMBA student who has been actively engaged with D&I initiatives at Goldman Sachs before coming to IE Business School.

The school met with top companies that are looking to recruit MBA graduates, engage with inclusion initiatives at IE, and co-fund scholarships for future students. Joel and I took to the stage and presented for 30 minutes on “Business School’s fast-tracking access to top talent”.

The conference presentations looked at diversity and inclusion from many perspectives. Some interesting ones of note were:

1)      Uta Menges from IBM (Generational Inclusion)

2)      Rachel Osikoya

from Maersk (Leadership Reflecting Customer Base and Workforce)

3)      David King from AirBnB (Inclusion in the Sharing Economy)

4)      Richard Spada from Novartis (Idea of Nudges for Change)

5)      Kristin Anderson from Barilla (Inclusion and Corporate Reputation

By Sarah Finegan, IE International MBA student



Suzette Meade & Gabrielle Rajkumar
International MBA Student, September 2017 & International MBA Graduate, January 2017 intake
From: New York, United States, & Trinidad and Tobago

The IMBA Program provides access to many valuable opportunities beyond the classroom. Recently, Gabrielle Rajkumar, graduate of the IMBA January 2017 intake, and Suzette Meade, current student in the IMBA September 2017 intake, identified a career learning and networking opportunity with Google through the IE Talent & Careers Achieve portal. Google hosted the “2017 Top Black Talent Forum” at its London office. This event was part of the tech leader’s core mission to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Gabrielle and Suzette were invited among 55 students from top European institutions selected through a competitive process of more than 1000 student applicants.

For two days, students enrolled in bachelors, masters and MBA degree programs participated in customized activities further to build their knowledge of the company, network with employees across a range of disciplines and learn helpful skills from the HR and recruitment team to enhance future job and internship applications. Also, attendees had the option to participate in variety of “soft” and “hard” skills” workshops, such as digital marketing (Ad Words), leadership development and building one’s personal brand. In addition, to the corporate context, the Forum included a lively Q&A session with successful external content creators from the YouTube network, which demonstrated how Google partners with and provides a platform for the broader community to monetize social media engagement. To cap off the experience, the group took a tour of the unique office space to get an inside look at the environment, new technology on display and day in the life of a Googler.

A message that came through loud and clear from the EMEA University Programs Team and company leaders, who took time out of their busy schedules to present at plenary and breakout sessions, is how much Google values highly qualified MBA graduates as part of its future talent pipeline around the world. The combination of education and work experience that MBA candidates offer is viewed as an asset to the company as it continues to grow and expand its business offerings and talent pool. An example of this is the fact that the Forum added an ad-hoc Q&A session with a Senior Director exclusively for the dozen MBAs in attendance. This session was not on the original agenda, but was inserted midstream to provide a small group experience for MBAs, and was yet another example of how being nimble and adaptive are part of the organization’s DNA.

Whilst the Top Black Talent Forum was aimed specifically at recruitment and networking for students of ethnicity from the global African diaspora, like Gabrielle and Suzette who have cultural roots in the Caribbean, it is just one manifestation of Google’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace. During the Forum, students learned about other Googler Networks such as those dedicated to the LGBTQ community, differently abled individuals and other underrepresented ethnicities. Ultimately, Google as a business is sustainable insofar as it remains a relevant utility for its users. By employing people who contribute diversity of culture, thought, ability, experience, etc. to the workplace, Google helps to ensure that its products and services reflect the expansiveness of its users worldwide.

Overall, Gabrielle and Suzette had a fun, informative and memorable experience at Google UK, and were thankful to IE for raising awareness of this opportunity, which has helped them as they pursue their post-IMBA career paths.


Gabrielle Rajkumar: Gabrielle Rajkumar is a graduate of the IMBA 2017, January intake. She is a native of Trinidad and Tobago and prior to moving to Madrid, lived in New York City where she worked in the Office of the President of the General Assembly at the United Nations. During her MBA, she was the treasurer of the IE Family Business Club and a member of the Net Impact and Soccer Clubs.

Suzette Meade: Suzette Meade is a first-generation Caribbean-American, born and raised in New York, USA. At IE she serves as a Careers Representative and is engaged in leisure and industry clubs. Prior to starting the IMBA program in September 2017, Suzette spent more than 10 years as a corporate communications and public relations professional at global hospitality corporations and consulting agencies. She has visited nearly 50 countries and is “mom” to her dog, Sassy.


Imad Khochman: a message to new IE students

Written on January 11, 2018 by Campus Life in IE Stories

Imad Khochman
International MBA Graduate, January 2017 intake
From: Abidjan, Ivory Coast

To all the inspiring people joining the IE community very soon,

You are about to embark on an uplifting journey and certainly have many expectations. You are probably wondering how this year in Madrid will transform you and help you on your way to being a more accomplished individual. Well, let’s put it this way: It will be what You make it!

It is about how much you’ll get involved in the community, how well you’ll embrace diversity, how open you’ll be to change and how enthusiastic you’ll be to share experiences with your peers. This might seem trivial now for smart people like you, but when the workload will start to peak up, when tensions will appear in some work groups (not all obviously), when you’ll get over the super-excitement of starting your MBA and meeting hundreds of new genuine and creative people; then you might be slightly drained and overwhelmed.

We all have different reasons to be here, different objectives and different ways to deal with more complicated situations: Some will choose to get lost in the crazy Madrid nightlife, others will travel around, some will prefer the calm of their own bubble or even study. As far as I’m concerned, I found Sports to be the perfect element for my personal balance.

Teamwork and Leadership are two key master skills that the IE experience aims to teach. You’ll get the opportunity to develop those skills not only during your MBA classes but also in the different clubs that are available for you to join depending on your areas of interest. Getting involved in those clubs is also a great way to meet more people from different intakes and boost your network. (Going out for drinks is also a good option! You’d be surprised by how much Gin Tonic can help skyrocket your professional network and personal career).

Looking back at my year with the IE Football and Running clubs, as well as at an exciting Triathlon experience in Barcelona, I am very grateful for the friendship and camaraderie that our teams could build regardless of our differences. I am also very proud of the positive attitude and team spirit that we developed while traveling around for sport events in Spain, France and the UK. I have learnt a lot of bad Spanish words on the pitch but I’ve also been inspired by outstanding teammates.

It’s up to you to go out there and make it a special year! All the best!

Bio: Imad is an alumnus from the Jan. 2017 Intake. Originally from Lebanon, he was born and raised in Ivory Coast. After achieving his Masters in Engineering in France, he moved to Canada and the US where he worked in the energy industry before launching a start-up in Montreal. In 2017, he was IE coordinator at the MBATournament in HEC Paris, Member of the IE Football Club and won tournaments in London Business School, Barcelona, Bronze Medal in HEC Paris, was a finisher at the Santander Olympic Triathlon in Barcelona, member of the IE Running Club and Coach of the IE Women Football club.

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