Archive for the ‘IE Stories’ Category


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.


Michelle Raymond
PhD Candidate, IE Business School
IE International MBA alumna
President of IEOut Club
Folk artist
From: Virginia, USA

Two years ago, I quit my cushy finance job, sold my car and other possessions, packed a suitcase and hopped on an overnight flight to Spain. I had just performed an intimate farewell concert the night before with my band, at my favorite bar in Washington DC, surrounded by my closest friends and colleagues. The following morning, one hangover and three coffees later, I ugly cried on my best friend’s shoulder and bid the city I had called home for the past 8 years goodbye. 

I grew up in one of those picturesque southern towns outside of Richmond, Virginia, where neighborhood kids played in the street until sundown and Friday night football was the talk of the town. If you were to ask me then, if I thought I’d ever end up here now, I would have told you yes. It became obvious at an early age that I was a bit different… for lack of better words, I didn’t exactly “fit in” with the other neighborhood kids my age.  

I was two years old when I jumped off the staircase with my first miniature guitar. Grinning ear-to-ear, I slid across the living room carpet on my knees, emulating the rockers I saw on MTV. Not exactly ready to raise a Rockstar daughter, my sweet, loving, parents decided to sign me up for ballet class. That was a short endeavor to say the least. I decided to go “rouge” at my dance recital by improvising my own dance routine, and when one of the older kids in my troop became annoyed with my antics, she shoved me. Let’s just say that shove ended up in a tutu brawl on stage where I came out the better half. Now that I had been permanently blacklisted from the ballet circuit, the next logical after school activity was karate. Surprisingly, this was a great fit until it became evident I didn’t do so well with authority. And so it began, the birth of a Rockstar.

It was during my years in middle school that I learned a few things about myself.  First, that I really wasn’t cool. I had 2 friends. Literally two. The awkward “puberty stage” wasn’t so great for me. I was overweight and shy and struggled to connect with the other kids my age. The other thing I learned was that I had a knack for stringed instruments. I went on to perform concerts for local youth organizations, school functions, and even the neighborhood biker bar at the age of 16.  Since literally no one knew who I was, I became known as the “guitar girl” or the “girl with the blue guitar.” In a way, this really made me happy. I enjoyed the newfound attention and began to find comfort in my new identity.

It wasn’t until university that I began to tune into my sexuality. My best friend and I at the time entered a secret relationship. Both having grown up in conservative, religious backgrounds, we knew the repercussions for going public. I had seen plenty of friends and colleagues being shamed and hated for loving someone of the same sex. Unfortunately, my relationship with this girl took a turn for the worse and consequently, I was promptly kicked out of the metaphorical closet.

Stressful events are a fact of life. So, I had my coffee one morning and realized I had a decision to make – was I going to fight or flight? I recalled my ballet boxing match and decided that not only was I going to fight, but I was finally going to be open and honest about my sexuality, and turn this negative experience into a positive by using it as inspiration for my next song.   

I tested my new “coming out” song out on a few friends, saved up the money to record it, and submitted it to a nationwide songwriting contest. At the same time, I started targeting my music towards the LGBTQ+ audience and began to identify myself as a Lesbian Folk Artist.  In the contest, I ended up earning 8th place. Although I did not take home the grand prize (which was an opening spot for Hanson…yes, that HANSON), the songwriting contest ended up posting the top 10 finishers online, and it was there that a movie director discovered my song, and asked to make it the title track to their full-length feature film.

Seven years later, I have racked up an impressive music resume – not only have I opened for multiple International recording artists including Rita Ora, Meghan Trainor, and most recently Miley Cyrus, but I was able to marry my passion with a cause I am more than proud to support. This June marked my 7th consecutive performance at Capital Pride DC, Washington DC’s gay pride festival, on a mainstage that has allowed me to share my music with audiences of over 250,000 LGBTQ persons & their allies. 

Life doesn’t come with guarantees and truth can’t be rehearsed. One day, maybe you’ll find yourself on an airplane traveling to a distant land across the ocean to chase a crazy dream.  I’m proud to be a member of IE’s diverse community, enrolled in one of the top PhD programs in the world, and studying my passion all while heading the university’s LGBTQ+ club. In life and in music, harmony is about finding the perfect balance – follow your passion and with some hard work and determination, the rest will fall into place.

Bio: Michelle Raymond is a PhD Candidate at IE Business School  with over 7 years of Wealth Management experiences on Wall Street. She is a polished public speaker, social media marketer, and an award-winning international Folk Artist & Entertainer, currently ranked #1 on Spain’s Folk Music Charts. Demonstrated leader and diversity & inclusion activist, Michelle is the recipient of the 2016 McKinsey&Co. LGBT Leadership Award, President of IE’s LGBTQ Club, and 2-year corporate member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Certification Committee.Over 5 years experience serving on U.S. Television Entertainment & Private Higher-Education Boards. Education volunteer in the United States & Ethiopia. 2016 publications include an interview with Financial Times & TEDx Talk presentation, “How to Tune in & Out.”


Angela Ehrenzeller: Humanizing IE through Social Media

Written on September 14, 2017 by Campus Life in IE Stories

Angela Ehrenzeller
Social Media Manager at IE
From: Colorado, USA

I’m a Colorado Native who now considers herself part-Spanish as a result of the way Spain’s cobblestone walkways, clinking caña glasses and vast landscapes have worked their way into my heart.

I consider myself a fairly basic person and I’m pretty content with a good piece of chewing gum, fresh air and a challenge ahead of me. That is why I love IE (for the challenge part- I provide my own gum).

I started at IE over 4.5 years ago covering a maternity leave Web Project Manager position in Marketing. I was then offered my current job as Social Media Manager and I ended up accepting the challenging of being the main person responsible for social media at IE for all master programs, international offices and global initiatives.

I love helping project the beautiful, chaotic mixture of all the incredible minds, backgrounds, experiences and ideas that comprise the IE community on our social media networks.

Side note: Don’t judge me by my personal social media activity.

My time at IE has been filled with endless trials, problem-solving sessions, and intriguing conversations flowing from coffee cup meetings with creative, driven people. I feel honored to work with such brilliant minds from all around the world who impress me on a daily basis.

For me, it’s each individual who has touched any part of IE, set foot in its classrooms, connected virtually, explored its websites, constructed a project, arranged meetings or cleaned its floors that forms part of the IE family. I strive each day in my position to unearth the various stories that comprise IE, from its incredibly diverse students to its projects and events to its brilliant professors and staff, sharing them with the outside world by using one of the most powerful tools available today: social media.

IE is a breathing, reeling being consisting of many extraordinary facets, ready to attack and inspire. I work each day to make sure the world sees that. One post and tweet at a time. Yes, I’m over my 140 characters…

Bio: Angela Ehrenzeller is the Social Media Manager at IE, responsible for the strategies, planning and execution of content published on all social media platforms for all programs within IE Business School, IE School of Human Sciences & Technology, IE School of Architecture & Design, IE School of International Relations and IE Law School. She is also in charge of global social media initiatives and serves as the main point of contact for all social media for the 29 international offices. Before joining IE, Angela worked as a Web Manager for a digital design company in Boulder, Colorado. 


Juliana Pereira
Campus Life Director
IE Business School
From: New York, USA

Juliana Pereira was born in New York and raised amid three cultures, American, Portuguese and Colombian. DIVERSITY is not only in her DNA, an appreciation for it was nurtured by her Portuguese father and Colombian mother. From an early age, it was clear to her that she wanted to be a great COMMUNICATOR and as a result she focused on honing that skill, among others during her education in the States. Ultimately it is Juliana’s love for learning and education that has been a constant throughout her life. During her career she learned that when you learn to DO you can quickly shift from skill to competence. For instance, Juliana would soon explore as, communicator turned CONNECTOR (Malcolm Gladwell).

After working in New York City for prominent global advertising agencies for accounts such as P&G and J&J, on campaigns for products that could fill a supermarket cart: Gillette razors, Duracell batteries, Herbal Essences Shampoo, Lay’s potato chips, Doritos, Cheetos, Tostitos, Splenda no calorie sweetener, and many more, Juliana made one of those GUT decisions. While a surprising move, she left the city that never sleeps, for one that takes siestas, Madrid. She landed at a PR agency with a focus on luxury brands. Soon Juliana would have a new cart to fill with shiny new products and lessons! Three years focused on developing PR strategies and new business pitches for the likes of Tods, Etro, Burberry, Gucci, Tiffany & Co, Bentley, and Armani Casa to name a few, was in many ways like a dream but also yielded priceless lessons. With all that she learned, Juliana decided to go from agency-side to client side at a leading management company of luxury outlets in Europe. She went from communicating about products and brands to MARKETING a concept, a destination, Value Retail – Chic Outlet Shopping.

Juliana’s career was built on fitting into a variety of roles and industries, from multinationals to SMEs. The challenge that preceded her current role was that of ENTREPERNEUR. She learned quickly it was either sink or swim. Everyday multiple hats were worn, salesman, tech whiz, bookkeeper, marketing guru, HR Director and whatever else was needed to make the idea a reality and the company run. The challenge was enormous, but the experience gave her what no company, mentor, parent or professor could have…life lessons, not from the sidelines, but front and center.  Juliana successfully developed and positioned an innovative new concept in the Beauty & Wellness service industry in Madrid, which she recently sold. Call is luck, great timing or destiny but she sold just in time to reach her current destination, IE Campus Life Director.

So how does the North Pole fit into the story? Juliana had the privilege of reaching 90 degrees and Santa Clause three times in her life. The adventure of getting there, swimming in below 0 degree Celsius water, sharing the journey with brilliant minds and explorers have left a lasting mark. She aims to channel the perseverance, curiosity and humility of that experience in all she does.

An Explorer, Entrepreneur, Communication/Marketing/PR professional with nearly twenty years of experience, found herself at IE ready to give back to a community and a student body nearly one year ago.

Now that you know a little about me I’m ready to set off on a new adventure and school year with you, the COMMUNITY! I want to hear about you and how you will leave your blueprint on IE as IE is ready to leave one on you.


Ines Drieselmann: on Finding Your Balance

Written on September 7, 2017 by Campus Life in IE Stories

Ines Drieselmann
Director of Programs
IE Business School
From: Germany

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.

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