Archive for the ‘IE Stories’ Category


Katharina Streibich
International MBA January 2017 intake
President, IE Women in Business Club
From: Bühl, Germany

A couple of weeks ago, the admissions office asked me to present the IMBA to prospective students and to answer their questions regarding IE, the program and living in Madrid.

In preparation for the call, I thought about the three reasons why I chose the IMBA: Its internationality, its set-up and its focus on Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship.

First, I guess having 92% international students, is one of IE’s biggest assets. We all love the different national parties and club events to taste local specialties, such as Tequila, Aguardiente, Pisco or delicious German beer at Oktoberfest. However, the true value add are the study groups. My first study group represented almost all continents and it was interesting to see how the dynamics changed over time. Whereas the (Latin) Americans and the Europeans were quite communicative and participative from the very beginning, it needed a karaoke party to reveal the real personality of some Asian fellows. However, the study groups are not only a lot of fun, but also a unique and save learning environment, both from a personal and professional point of view.

Second, the flexible set-up of the IMBA allows us to have the same benefits as in a two-year MBA program. Having the chance to do either an internship or the start-up lab as part of the MBA was one of the key reason why I chose IE. Although I love to live in the IE-bubble, I decided to leave Madrid during the summer to conduct an internship in London. Especially for students who want to change their career an internship is a great learning and networking experience.

Third, having worked as a Consultant before, I wanted to understand in detail what all those digital buzz-words, which I put on my slides, really mean and how they impact our lives, both in the short- and long-term. IE is the only top business school in Europe, that offers basically a class or club for every single digital technology.

Another reason why most of us love IE, is the rich campus life directly in the heart of Madrid. IE has plenty of national, industry, sports, and social clubs. Being a member of such a club is not only a great networking experience, but also a great chance to strengthen your soft- and hard-skills.

To come back to my call with the prospective students and the advice I gave them. – The IMBA is a great chance to experiment and to reach new limits. For some things, such as internships, you have to be a bit more proactive, but at the end of the day thanks to the program’s flexibility everything is possible at IE. So, make the most out of it and even more importantly ENJOY the exiting time!!!

Bio: Katharina, is an IMBA student from the January 2017 intake and will graduate in December. She just returned from London, where she completed the IMBA in Practice Internship at Here at IE, Katharina is leading the Women in Business and the Technology & Innovation club. Prior to her MBA, Katharina worked for 5.5 years at Accenture Strategy in the area of Strategy and Digital Finance in Munich, Germany. Before starting her professional career, Katharina studied in the UK, France, Germany, and Argentina.

Katharina loves sports, travelling, good food, modern art, and history.


Andrey Pereira: first triathlon – and lifetime lessons

Written on October 19, 2017 by Campus Life in IE Stories

Andrey Pereira
International MBA January 2017 intake
President, IE Finance and Capital Markets Club
From: Refice, Brazil

MBA is becoming special for the reasons you never believe it would. Sure, knowledge is important, contacts, diversity, exposure, etc. but what about the little other things?

I am not an athlete precisely, especially with so much cañas y tapas this year. Gym was part of the routine but had never participated in a Triathlon competition. The dream about finishing one seemed quite distant.

This year is about to experiment – appealing to the cliché – getting out of your comfort zone. So, meet Andrey: one of those obstinate people that when decide to commit to something, go all in. It was like that when parallel to the MBA I decided to take the CFA 1 (approved :)), or when instead of traveling I decided to spend the summer in London trading financial assets (which is not particularly fun when you check all your friend’s fb pictures in the Mediterranean Sea…), or when I joined and was elected President of IE Finance & Capital Markets Club, or even when I decided to participate in the Santander Barcelona Olympic Triathlon (1.5km open waters swimming, 40km pedaling, 10km running), which took place last Sunday 06/10.

First things first, if you know you are not good at something, try to contact those who are good at it.  I reached out to Imad Khochman and Christian Santa Cruz, two IRONMAN finishers with lots of experiences to get on board on this venture.  First lifetime lesson: If you believe you can do something, you are already 50% there, but you always need inspiration and support from REAL people. You can become as good as the people you associate with. Choose wisely who you want to partner up for your projects in life and use admiration as the main criteria for selecting the people. Thank you, Imad and Christian!

Second lifetime lesson: Preparation! I learned that good things always take time to happen (which is a harsh reality for millennials.). Putting together time to exercise required some sacrifices in other areas. Spending a summer in London was not that fun but I found an open water swimming spot in the city and went there three times a week. Without this experience in open waters I would had never completed the race.

Third lifetime lesson: learn to celebrate small accomplishments. Swimming 1.5km in semi-cold open waters ultimately everybody can do it (trust me, I’m not a great swimmer), it’s not a milestone to put on your CV either, but learning to celebrate small accomplishment like this will give the joy and motivation to go for the big accomplishments.

On Saturday (one day before the race) we drove to Barcelona early morning and the worst thing that could happen, happened. Food poisoning. What a bummer! 3 months dedicating 12 hours of exercise per week for nothing… spent all Saturday in bed at the Hotel with only coconut water. Felt weak, frustrated and frankly, pathetic.

Sunday morning arrived and against all common sense and body conditions I decided to race anyway. Fourth lifetime lesson: If you come so far, don’t walk away.

At the end my overall time was far behind from what I was aiming for. Running was a nightmare. Can’t say I had joy during the race because I didn’t, but the final lesson here, certain sufferings are worth if you can visualize the big picture. Like the one I was staring at in the photo on the right: the finishing line 🙂

Bio: Andrey was born in Recife, north east coast of Brazil. Has lived in 5 countries and developed his career in the Banking industry in Latin America. When not studying/working he enjoys music, reading, outdoors, dancing latin rhythms and his church activities on weekends.


Javier de Cendra: why IE?

Written on October 11, 2017 by Campus Life in IE Stories

Javier de Cendra
Dean of IE Law School
President of the Law Schools Global League
From: Madrid, Spain

Kudos to Campus life for taking the time to look past IE´s employees visiting cards to find out a bit more about their lives and interests!

I should start by explaining why I decided to join IE, over four years ago. When I was first contacted about a new opening at the law school, I was working at University College London and did not know much about IE. Nor was I thinking in leaving the UK, as I had already changed countries a few times within a short time span (UK, Belgium, The Netherlands and back to the UK), was married to a wonderful Belgian woman, and had three kids. But the fact that I have been born and raised in Madrid, and that most of my family still lived there, were two additional reasons to take the possibility very seriously.

So, I decided to undertake some research. I was quite surprised and impressed by what I found. Here´s why. I found an institution of higher education that was trying, quite simply and nonchalantly, to reinvent higher education by applying to it a globally oriented, entrepreneurially minded, tech-enabled, humanistic, approach. Ok, I grant that was not the language used at that point in time, but the vision and mission were there nonetheless. Moreover, IE had something to back up its mission, particularly—but not only—its leading positions in international business school rankings.

This was intriguing to say the least, as those adjectives do not generally match my experience at a good number of internationally oriented universities. Indeed, the entire idea of a university having an integrated strategy to achieve some well determined goals beyond promoting excellence in teaching and research is a rather novel, and not yet very widespread, idea.

After some time at IE I became convinced that it has what it takes to achieve its mission. This is a young, dynamic, creative, open, diverse, and forward looking institution. A place to grow and help others grow, while making a well-considered contribution to one of the great challenges throughout history: how to better educate citizens so that they may reach their full potential and fulfil their own mission. At IE Law School, we take this as a starting point to develop a range of programmes and activities that can achieve that in the legal professions. Not a bad place to be at all…

Bio: Javier de Cendra is the Dean of IE Law School. He is also President of the Law Schools Global League, member of the governing board of the International Association of Law Schools, Honorary Senior Research fellow at University College London Faculty of Law, Honorary Senior Lecturer at UCL Energy Institute, legal expert at Sustainability College Brugge, and member of the boards of several reserach centres and think tanks.


Angel Metodiev Angelov
Communication graduate, class of 2017
Works at IE Communications Department
From: Plovdiv, Bulgaria

“What language do you think in?”, people often ask me. And the answer is: it depends on “the world you are in” in that specific moment!

Speaking a language is more than just communicating; it’s about being part of a culture, it’s a sense of belonging, it expands your horizons, it enriches you and opens your mind to a whole new world. In this sense, every new language opens a new world in front of you, a world you are ready to explore!

I speak four languages: Turkish, Bulgarian, Spanish and English. Let me explain… I was born in Bulgaria, where my family has lived for many generations. But I have Turkish roots and we speak Turkish at home. However, when I was 8 years old my family left Bulgaria and immigrated to Spain. So, there you go: a new language and with it another “world” ahead of me. 8 years old and I already had three worlds to delve into!
Here it’s noteworthy to mention that I come from a humble background, but my parents have always told me that I need to have goals and a purpose in life and work very hard, fight and give my very best in order to fulfill them; they have set a brilliant example in this sense. That’s why I’ve always tried to do my best in everything I committed to. After studying in Spanish schools for ten years, I thought it was a good moment to expand my worlds by starting a new adventure: studying Communication at IE University.

Additionally, during the third year I could do my exchange semester in Leeds (England), where I was able to explore a new world and get to understand better its amusing culture, history and lovely people I will never forget.

At IE, I could also explore one of my biggest passions: videomaking. When I was 9 my dad bought me a video camera. I was thrilled! I loved making videos with my friends, especially horror “films” (if I may call them films). It was not just another world, but a whole new universe in which I could create my own worlds! And IE was the catalyst that would help me develop the technical and creative skills I needed.

I graduated from IE University in July 2017, winning the award for Best Final Project for my documentary film “Male Body for Sale”, where I explored the masculinity models used in male perfume advertisements and their effects in millennials’ perception of masculinity. This is the project I am most proud of so far, because after many months of hard work and dedication, where I interviewed marketing experts, film producers, sociologists and gender studies scholars, millennials and even a perfume actor in Paris, I was happy to see that my work was recognized by IE School of Human Sciences and Technology.

Thus, I believe that having a purpose and striving to achieve it, no matter how hard and impossible is seems at the beginning, is the key for success. Nothing should be taken for granted. And we should always be ready to open our minds to different worlds (cultures and people) in order to keep growing and enriching our own world.

Bio: Angel Metodiev works for the Communication department at IE. He is especially focused on the audiovisual side of the department, producing videos for the various schools at IE, including IE Business School, IE School of Architecture & Design and IE School of International Relations, in addition to IE Foundation and other departments.


Laura Marco-Gardoqui: on managing an MBA and motherhood

Written on September 28, 2017 by Campus Life in IE Stories

Laura Marcogardoqui Grande
Global MBA September 2016 intake student
M&A Lawyer
From: Bilbao, Spain

I believe we all share a common duty: “Make the world a better place”. This is a very challenging objective that I try to pursue both in my professional life and in my personal life. Before having my first child, I was very focused on my professional career, and I felt I could reach my dreams in this domain.

When I became a mother a new passion arose: to make the best out of my children. Our children will one day be responsible for the future of our society and thus we need to educated them with strong values, positive thinking and leadership. This will give them the tools to have a positive impact in the world and become change-makers and leaders of the future. But on the top of that, I believe this will give them the most precious gift: sense of accomplishment and fulfilment.

Both motherhood and a professional career are very demanding, and unfortunately many women tend to give one up.  It is sometimes not easy to find the energy to cross the lines and meet all your objectives and overcome the daily challenges.

This is why I decided to study an executive MBA at the IE. I chose the blended program, that allowed me to attend my professional and personal duties while learning from the best teachers and sharing expertise with a global network of alumni.

I believe that the IE Global MBA will give me the necessary tools to balance my personal and professional life and fulfil my dream of creating sustainable growth and a positive impact in society.

Bio: Laura is an experienced professional, skilled in corporate law and strategic planning. Natural connector, recognizing business opportunities and the potential in others. Used to work in multicultural teams (Spanish, English and French) and cross border projects. Passionate about projects that can make a positive impact on society and sustainable business growth possibilities. She speaks French, English and Spanish.

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