Posts Tagged ‘IE Stories#8217;


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.


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.”

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