Archive for the ‘IE Stories’ Category


Manuel Weissenegger
Master in International Relations student
From: Bressanone, Italy

All my life I have been different. Raised by a single mother in a Catholic area in the very north of Italy, my family background certainly set me apart. At a very young age, I was forced to question the traditions that surrounded me. Moreover, having grown up in a German speaking area of Italy, I have always been aware of my distinct cultural heritage, one that transcends the conventional boundaries of the nation-state. Because of these circumstances, I have always felt the desire to find my place in the world.

Aware of the competitiveness of global careers, I worked hard and graduated with honors in law and was offered a job as a lawyer-trainee at one of the most prestigious law firms in Bologna. As honored as I was when I accepted the job offer, something inside me questioned whether this traditional path was really my course to follow. Despite countless hours of hard work on interesting cases, a competitive salary, and career advancement opportunities, the calling for something more grew stronger. During work breaks I caught myself researching master’s programs in international relations, which I believed to be a perfect fit for my international ambitions. I caught myself dreaming of new adventures. I wanted more.

At IE I found more. I encountered an endless pool of people – students, professors and staff – that work hard to leave their imprint on this world. I met people that question traditional approaches as much as they value them provided they serve the greater goal of moving human development forward. I found a graduate school of international relations that wants to change the world in the business setting, the real driver for advancement in our era.

All these factors made me find my place at IE. As someone who deeply cares about finding a sustainable way of ‘fueling’ our economies, I became the president of the IE Energy Club. It was my goal to show why changing energy usages – which constitute the biggest chunk in CO2 emissions – is difficult. With the panel discussions we organized, we tried to demonstrate that energy, far from being merely a question of innovation, is a rather political matter. Climate change and clean energy depend to a large extent on the will of world leaders to move important projects forward. However, political leaders themselves depend on their constituencies. Constituencies, by turn, have their own preferences, largely dependent geographic, economic and historical factors: moving the American Rust Belt away from coal is difficult because coal has historically shaped the economies of the region. In this context, the legacy I tried to leave is that it is imperative for all of us to understand the political dynamics behind climate change and clean energy. Only if we fathom why people might favor political leaders who oppose clean energy efforts, can we find solutions that can change our future to the better.

Bio: Manuel Weissenegger was born in Italy on 20 May 1989. After graduating with honors in law at the University of Bologna, he worked for 1.5 years at Maffei-Alberti, a prestigious law firm located in Bologna, Italy, that deals with bankruptcy and business law. Simultaneously he was engaged as teaching assistant to Professor Vincenzo Calandra-Buonaura, professor of business law at the University of Bologna. Manuel is currently a Master in International Relations candidate at IE Business School where he will graduate in July 2017. Besides Italy and Spain, he also has academic experience in Switzerland and the United States. He speaks four languages (German, Italian, English and Spanish).


Beatrice Murage: doctor, MBA and IE Big Data Club President

Written on April 6, 2017 by Campus Life in IE Stories

Beatrice Murage
International MBA / Master in Business Analytics and Big Data 2016
IE Big Data Club President
IE Dual Degree Ambassador
From: Nairobi, Kenya

I love treading the unknown; many of my best lessons and character honing processes have happened in the white space. The more abstract and creative it is, the better. That is what drew me, a medical doctor, to apply to IE Business School and to challenge myself by taking the International MBA and Master in Business Analytics and Big Data dual program.

On the one hand, my journey at IE has been a tougher kind of unknown. When I started in January 2016, I was ecstatic about the upcoming IE experience. I quickly realized that adjusting was going to take more effort than I had anticipated. Working with the level of diversity in personalities and cultures represented at IE was particularly stretching and required a lot flexibility. I soon learnt to make my priorities dynamic in the fast evolving IE environment and to ask for feedback – which was initially uncomfortable. I felt like a fish out of water and this time I did not like it much. When I started my second program, two people in my family who had been key pillars in my life passed away, setting in motion one of the most tumultuous and character defining months I have ever had.  At that point, my journey seemed so daunting, with the end no longer in sight.

On the other hand, I have grown in so many ways. One of my early decisions was to immerse myself in the chaos created by the crazy schedule, time constraint and events that were out of my control. I wanted to regain my love for the unknown. That goal has been tried and tested anew at IE. I have grown in resilience, learnt many new and cool skills, met amazing people and made new friends. I have taken up challenging opportunities within and outside IE that have motivated me to keep my curiosity alive and provided a platform to grow my ability to lead and work with different people.  I am still learning to embrace the diversity and thrive in it.

I choose to trust the process. I choose to keep stepping up despite the curve balls that come along the way;  to show up consistently, even on days I do not think I have any more fight left in me; to actively participate in this community  and to be present.  I am okay with feeling like a fish out of water

The main nugget I take from my IE experience is that people come first. I love connecting with people, really getting to hear what they have to share. I have mostly enjoyed learning from my colleagues and the staff at IE. I admire the ones who are brave to ask and learn about my continent, Africa and my country, Kenya. They challenge the common narrative about both and widen their views to include the wealth of mind and spirit that we contribute to the world. The personal and work stories they have shared and my experiences in interacting with them have significantly recast my perspective on the world around me.

My IE blueprint is to “Step Up”. To that effect, I have the pleasure of currently leading a phenomenal team that runs the IE Big Data Club (we invite you to join the community through Campus Life). In addition, it was a great learning experience for me to work on a start-up idea with an amazing team and to pitch it at IE Venture Day in November 2016.

Moving forward, I will throw my hat in the ring, even when I may be afraid to do so. I will take up challenges that interest me despite the risk of failure. I will prepare, show up and participate in different opportunities that present themselves and even those that I have to create along the way. I will keep stepping up.

Bio: Dedicated, high-performing and enthusiastic professional with 8 years’ experience spanning across business development, digital innovation and public – private policy development in emerging markets. International MBA and Master in Big Data candidate with proven leadership of cross-functional teams. Merging interests in healthcare, business strategy, entrepreneurship, mentorship and analytics to redefine customer experience.

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