Cynthia Hamouche: “My biggest fear was stagnation”.

Written on November 30, 2017 by Campus Life in IE Stories

Cynthia Hamouche
Global MBA Student, 2017 intake
From: El Manssourie, Lebanon

“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”—Sheryl Sandberg

I believe mothers face difficult decisions especially in the part of the world I live in. Some choose to leave work and dedicate their time for family which is the most respectful selfless act of love. However, the model which I would like to present to my daughter is that there shouldn’t be any compromise between self-accomplishment and independence on one hand, and family life on the other hand. It is important for me that she knows that she can reach whatever she aspires to, that she needs to work hard for it, that she can do it no matter how hard it is and that she has an equal chance as her brother. This is also one of the reasons why at 34 with 2 kids I decided to go for an MBA while working full time. I truly believe that I cannot convince my children to go for a higher education if I don’t do it myself. I need to walk the talk.

I have been working in the same company in the past 11 years where I started as a junior developer after my graduation from engineering school in 2006. Gradually, I started managing teams until I reached the position of Head of Development/ Country Manager two years ago. Although I hold a position with a lot of responsibilities in addition to raising two kids, I reached a point in my life where I started to ask myself “is that all?”, “where should I go from here?” My biggest fear was stagnation.

The company I work for is a software vendor specialized in Supply Chain Management solutions based in France with a branch in Germany. I manage the Lebanese offshore branch responsible of development and consisting of 31 employees; I’m very passionate about my job. It is true that working with the French and German branches provides me with some international experience but I needed to have more exposure. Learning from different cultures, acquiring managerial expertise by experience sharing and broadening my network would help me stretch myself to further career progress in my current position and future opportunities. This is why I decided to join the GMBA program of IE Business School last.

I really appreciate the women empowerment theme in IE since it is a subject I’m passionate about and I want to work on in the future. I can say that GMBA program has been one of the most fulfilling life experiences I have ever had. The mixture of nationalities in the global program gave me the international exposure that I was looking for thanks to class dynamics and emphasis on multi-geographical and cultural team work. Moreover, I thought that balancing between managerial position and family life helped me be a good time manager. Well, time management while doing the MBA is on a totally different level; I soon realized that there have been many hours of the day which could be used more efficiently in the past. I know it is hard and it demands a lot of effort but hard work and perseverance will pay off when we are passionate about what we are doing.

Bio: Cynthia Hamouche is a current Global MBA candidate at IE Business School. Living in Lebanon, she is the Head of Software Development/Country Manager of Acteos where she works since 2006. She is a mother of 6 year-old twins. She enjoys team planning, organizing and empowering. She is passionate about spending time with her kids, travelling and networking.


TECH TALK by IE AI Club, Robotics Club, and Air & Space Club

Written on November 27, 2017 by Campus Life in Professional

On Thursday, November 23, IE AI Club, in collaboration with IE Robotics Club and IE Air & Space Club, hosted the biggest ever Tech Talk event of IE. Tech Talk was from 6pm to 8pm at Paper Pavilion and more than 80 people attended the event, including professionals and students from the IMBA, MiM and MBD programs. For more event photos, click here. For a recap on our AI panel questions written by panelist and TEDx Speaker Lolita Taub, click here.

The event started with presentations from four industry leaders: Balvinder Powar, Partner at AERDRON, Elena Baillo, CFO of IBERIA Express, Rodrigo Haya Ramos, Senior Expert in SENER, and an online presentation from Georgi Stoev, Manager at Hubble AI and EY. During the presentations, these professionals shared their insights and initiative regarding the newest technologies in their perspective industries.

The event was followed by a panel with Kiron Ravindran, Associate Dean and Professor of Information Systems at IE, Konstantina Valogianni, Assistant Professor in Information Systems in IE, and Lolita Taub, TEDx speaker and finalist of Forbes 30 under 30, current IMBA student at IE.

The very interacting panel was moderated by Betty Lu, president of IE AI Club. The panelists discussed various relevant issues regarding opportunities of AI in the future, how AI technologies will affect job availability and placement, the relevance of AI in different industries, and what skills are needed from business students to succeed in the area. Many students also shared their questions and concerns on AI technologies.

At the end of the event, students had the opportunity to network with the speakers and panelists, learn about the prospects in different industries, and share their insights regarding the topics.

IE AI Club thanks everyone who joined us on Thanksgiving Day and looks forward to see everyone again in 2018!


Deniz Torcu: a curious rebel

Written on November 23, 2017 by Campus Life in IE Stories

Deniz Torcu
Director of Executive Programs at IE
Master in International Relations, 2014 intake
From: Trabzon, Turkey


“A curious rebel”. These two adjectives would be on the top of my professors’ list every time my parents would come to a teachers-parents meeting throughout my childhood and teenage years.

Born into a family of professors, I had the enormous luck of growing in the university campus where my mom taught history, in particular, the revolutionary first years of the Turkish Republic.

Curiosity is what killed the cat, so much I know. However the same curiosity led me to learn and try many things, amongst which was learning Spanish, which to my parents was one of the many crazy ideas that I had, since a typical Turk would go for German or French. Especially if you come from a family like mine: my grandparents had immigrated to Germany in the famous “gast-arbeiter” years in the 60s and ended up never coming back to the mother land.

Here comes the rebel part.

While everyone was expecting me to study some kind of engineering, I ended up studying economics, which is something that no one-not even myself saw coming. The result was four years of intense studying, where I’d also take any minute I’d have free to work on my Spanish, in Instituto de Cervantes, where I was known as a renowned freak for languages.

After completing my studies, the job offers had started to pour in-since I held a degree in economics and were fluent in many languages. All of those promised great salaries, great executive career paths, fancy suits-all the Spiegel.

The rebel strikes back.

The fact that my poor father did not have a heart attack when I told him that I was accepting a temporary job offer (a 2 months contract, to be exact) from Instituto de Cervantes to work on an exhibition between La Alhambra and Topkapi Palace instead still astonishes me to this day.

Little did I know that those 2 months would eventually become 5 years and transform me into a literary translator from Spanish into Turkish and have me translate 10 novels by the age of 28.

In a moment where everyone taught that I’d be staying at Instituto de Cervantes until retirement-curiosity got the best of me yet again. I decided to learn modern Greek, since my grandmother had roots from an ancient Greek community from the Black Sea-an experience that opened me to the world of anthropology and cultural heritage.

My growing interest in cultural heritage took me on a new journey at the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO, where I was in charge of monitoring the implementation of the seven cultural conventions of the organization within my country. A challenging task that took me to several countries and gave me a firsthand experience of working in an international community.

As you may already imagine by now, the minute I was expected to settle at my exciting job, I applied and received the equivalent of a Fullbright scholarship from the most prestigious educational organization in Turkey and the scholarship was for no other school than IE Business School.

You can imagine my happiness after completing my master in international relations, when I received the chance to stay on board within the staff and work for the institution, which I’ve known from my Cervantes years to be one of the world’s most renowned business schools.

For me IE is a tiny United Nations, where you can meet nearly any one from any country you may or may not imagine. The cultural richness is also reflected in the business ethic, which relies on mutual conversation and understanding-two values so crucial yet so missing from many places within our world. Being part of the IE family goes way beyond than working as an admissions or program manager-it’s being part of an international family where each family member is trying their best with passion to make sure that you never stop growing both professionally and personally.

It’s an honor to be part of a young, dynamic, diverse and forward looking institution where every day is a new opportunity to learn something new. Reinventing higher education is not a simple marketing act, it is our day to day mission here at IE Business School.

For a curious rebel such as myself, I cannot think of a better home.

Bio: Deniz Torcu is the Director of Executive Programs within IE Business School Executive Education. She holds a degree in economics and two master degrees, in European Union Studies and International Relations. She identifies as Turk-although is always curious about her Greek-Georgian roots. Fluent in English, Spanish, Greek and German and highly ashamed of her rusty French, Deniz is currently thinking about a new language to conquer. She enjoys anything related to history, literature, politics, music, cinema and traveling.


USA Club Blog – Second USA Club Event – Club Fair

Written on November 17, 2017 by Campus Life in Geographic, Social

I joined my fellow American board members for the October 9th club fair at MM4. Our January intake had previously held the club fair in the Launch Pad of MM31, so I was curious how big of a turn out there would be.

The place was packed! Many different clubs, with club members sharing their pride for their group with potential members. And unlike before, there were potential members from all the different IE programs, not just IMBA.

The USA Club was on fire! Andres, looking very dapper and professional, was making moves left and right, talking with people and signing them up for our club. Adi was all over the venue meeting people, infecting classmates with our unique, exciting and fun American spirit. Lauren, our fearless leader, looked resplendent in a multicolored dress which perfectly personified the beauty of diversity we value so highly in the United States. I did my best just to keep up with these fine Americans as I met interesting new people from so many different countries and programs.

By the end of the night we had shared several Mahous with our classmates, (I had a funky bottled “lemonade” I’ve never seen before and may choose not to try again) and wound up with a great long list of new members. Walking around, it looked like the other clubs had had a awesome night as well. Everyone there had smiles on their faces as they chowed down on the free popcorn and sipped the free cold brewskis.

My favorite part of IE is our diversity and the USA Club is working awesomely, as one piece of that beautiful diversity tapestry!

Until next time amigos!



USA Club Blog – First USA Club Event – Happy Hour

Written on November 17, 2017 by Campus Life in Geographic, Social

On Sunday, October 8th, the USA Club held our first Happy Hour event at Mercado de San Ildefonso. As the president of the club, I was unsure of how many attendees would make it – I’m a part of the January 2017 International MBA Intake, we have very few Americans (under 20) who are part of the program. We were surprised and excited that over 40 people from different IE programs came to the event, from several different programs including the Master in Cyber Security, Global MBA, Executive MBA, Master in Management, and Master in Real Estate Development.

One of my favorite events held by the previous USA Club chapter was the Careers in North America event this past July. The IE Career reps from the NYC office flew to Madrid and gave an excellent presentation about the career options available in the US upon completion of the MBA. This team works closely with companies in the tech, oil & gas, energy, and retail sectors to network and bring fresh opportunities to the graduates of IE’s programs. It’s so nice knowing that this team back in the US working hard to connect us with employers upon our completion of our studies from this fantastic university.

We’re looking forward to our next mixer this week, at Selfie this Thursday at 7:30pm. It’s so nice meeting the Americans who’ve crossed the ocean to further their educational development, and to start forming connections friendships that will last a lifetime! Hope to see you there!


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