17
Apr

Brazil 2014 is about much more than football

Written on April 17, 2014 by Dirk Hopfl in Academics

IE Focus | By Antonio Montes, Director of International Development, IE University

This year Brazil is facing a much greater challenge than having to organize the World Cup. It also has to lay the foundations that will enable it to really become the world’s fifth greatest economic power.

It would appear that all the analysts, both Brazilian and foreigners, agree that 2014 will be a crucial year for Brazil, and not just because it will be hosting the world cup.

The country is in a particularly delicate situation, due to several factors. First we have the revaluation of the American dollar, which has worsened Brazil’s already deficient trade balance, and which has also made it more difficult to control inflation. Second, there is the fact that Europe is beginning to emerge from the crisis as a result of significant sacrifices which comprise more than just downsizing, and include reforms that have made Europe-based industry much more competitive, highlighting much that is lacking in Brazil’s industrial sector. Thirdly, the country is facing problems that are intrinsic to its economy and Brazilian policies of recent years.

Brazil has changed drastically over the course of the last decade, to become the world’s 7th power thanks to the high rate of growth of its GDP. Brazil currently has a newly created middle class that makes up around 55% of the population, some 10 million people who consume and demand goods that they hitherto could not afford. All this has had an equally significant impact on inflation, although it still stands at the reasonable rate of approximately 5%. However, neither industry nor infrastructures have grown to the kind of levels needed to meet the growing demands of new consumers.

This is one of the greatest challenges that Brazil’s new government will have to face after the upcoming elections in October. Although she has not yet confirmed that she will be up for re-election, President Dilma Roussef, seems to be the favorite, and there is even speculation that from the first round she would have enough support to govern without having to go on to a second round.

The president has had her ups and downs, particularly during the popular protests last June, partly caused by the feeling that public money was being wasted on useless infrastructures for the world cup when there were many other things lacking that should have been attended to. Nevertheless, she made an excellent comeback, and now enjoys the support of 56% of the electorate, having responded to popular demand with specific measures, such as the hiring of 6,700 foreign doctors to improve the healthcare system, concessions to address some of Brazil’s urban transport problems, and, particularly, a recognition that things were not working well. Also, although it may seem incredible, the result achieved by Brazil’s national football team in the world championship will also play a decisive role in the electoral result.

When all is said and done, it is clear the policies adopted to date, which yielded results in the early years of her mandate, is not what is needed to meet the country’s future needs. A far more firm and decisive commitment is needed to support the private sector in such a way that it will make it possible to carry our infrastructure projects, which are so badly needed for the country’s development, and to which the treasury allocated 18% of GDP, which is not sufficient by any means (India, another member of the BRIC club, allocated 36% of its GDP to infrastructure). Brazil needs new highways, airports, ports, high-speed train networks, etc. It is way behind, and unless it able to attract major investment in the form of private capital, it will be impossible to carry out work that is not only needed, but was also promised.

Moreover, the new government will have to promote the necessary means to develop Brazilian industry and make it more competitive. Not only are labor costs very high in Brazil in comparison with other countries, but it will also have to make a major effort in terms of training if it is to have enough skilled labor, which is something else that is greatly lacking in the country.

Finally, Brazil needs to regain credibility in fiscal terms. The market sees this government has followed an expansionist policy, without limits or goals, often scaring entrepreneurs, and making them look to other, less demanding markets. Predictions of a drop in the quality of its debt currently abound in Brazil.

This year will have to be a year of cutbacks, internationalization, solution of structural problems, in order to attract and retain capital, slow down inflation, and help lower tax rates while consolidating a modern and dynamic economy with constant growth. It is the only way to reposition Brail definitively as one of the world’s great countries , and meet its aim of becoming the world’s 5th largest economy.

Via@IEBusiness, EL PAÍS

14
Apr

Don’t miss out on the IE Brown Summer Program

Written on April 14, 2014 by Dirk Hopfl in IE University

As part of your university experience, you have the chance to join the IE Brown Summer Program at Brown University in Providence (US). Meet Mariana Equiron and Theodora Filip, both studying the Bachelor in Communication, when the talk about their impressions and experiences visiting the Ivy League institution.

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10
Apr

Who’s Got the Top Jobs?

Written on April 10, 2014 by Dirk Hopfl in Academics

Monika Hamori, Professor of Human Resource Management at IE Business School, explains her research findings recently published in a Harvard Business Review article “Who’s Got the Top Jobs,” which she coauthored with IE Business School Professor Rocio Bonet and the Wharton School’s Peter Cappelli. Prof. Hamori’s research focuses on the career paths and career success of senior executives.

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7
Apr

Get insights into the IE-SMU MBA

Written on April 7, 2014 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

A blended program sounds abstract and difficult to catch. MOOCs help to get the idea to study a program mostly online and gain valuable knowledge, industry insights and network through it. But still doubts remain…

The following presentation on the IE-SMU MBA, an educational fusion created by IE Business School and Singapore Management University, gives you visual support that online learning works, is effective and produces a great return on investment. Keeping your job, studying with a mostly flexible time table and be able to travel and relocate while doing the program are some of the features of such programs. An Asian focus, project-based learning  and getting taught by global and outstanding faculty are additional valuable elements.

Keen on more arguments? Visit our face-to-face event or virtual information sessions which we are hosting over the next couple of months. Just connect to www.ie-smu-mba.com to explore the details!

3
Apr

Four bachelor students of IE University were the only undergraduate students competing against experts with MBAs, PhDs and Master’s degrees.

An IE University Team comprising students Stefan Wolf Staertzel, Victor Berthon, Pablo Otero and Carlos Beltrán, won a spot among the top 4 in the regional finals of the prestigious Hult Prize, the planet’s largest student competition in the field of social entrepreneurship, with a million dollar prize. IE students were the only graduates competing against more experienced candidates with PhDs, MBAs and a range of master’s degrees. They were also the only students under 22 in a final round in which the average age was 30 years old.

The Hult Prize, which received a record number of more than 10,000 first-round applicants, was created by Hult and Clinton Global Initiative to boost the development of social start-ups in the healthcare industry. This year entrants were required to focus on “Non-communicable Disease in the Urban Slum”, and more than 250 teams competed against each other in six regional finals in the cities of Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai and Sao Paulo.

The members of the IE University Team were from France, Germany, Venezuela and Spain, and aged 20 and under. The four students met in the Bachelor in Business Administration program at the Madrid-based university and presented their project for the Dubai Final.

They won the first two rounds with “Cuidado Verde”, a project aimed at helping the 92% of slum-dwellers in Peru who do not receive a timely diagnosis for chronic diseases. In order to do this the team came up with a simple but innovative idea: a business that recycles the uncollected trash generated by the area to fund a free full annual check-up for its inhabitants.

“I think the Hult Prize was one of my greatest achievements so far in my life!” says Victor Berthon, team captain. “Being the youngest and the only team comprised of undergraduate students it was already a huge achievement to get to the finals, but ending up in the top 4 exceeded our expectations and showed that no matter how small we are, we can create an impact.”

Photography Credit: Marko Zirdum / Hult Prize

1
Apr

Facebook-WhatsApp: a costly deal?

Written on April 1, 2014 by Dirk Hopfl in Academics

Did Facebook jump the gun by buying Whatsapp? After the biggest purchase to date in the technological market, two IE professors take a look at what led to this decision. In this first video, Professor and Technology Expert Enrique Dans explains the intricacies of Whatsapp and why this purchase was so costly.

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28
Mar

Immerse into the ieLABS!

Written on March 28, 2014 by Dirk Hopfl in IE University

Find out more about the IE Labs, Start-Up Lab and Social Impact Lab, IE University’s alternative to traditional internships. Aimed specifically for first and second year students seeking high level internship placements, the IE Labs provide hands-on, internship-like experience on campus, working on projects for leading companies and institutions in a variety of sectors.

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27
Mar

IE Paper Pavilion

Japanese architect Shigeru Ban was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize yesterday for his sustainable architecture model and his humanitarian work.

The Hyatt Foundation announced this week in Chicago that the 2014 edition of the Pritzker Price would go to Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. The jury for the prize, which is often referred to as the Nobel Prize of Architecture, underscored Shigeru Ban’s humanitarian work, which includes architechtonic solutions for disaster areas.

In March of 2013 Shigeru Ban inaugurated the only project he has ever undertaken in Spain, the Paper Pavilion situated in the gardens of the IE Business School campus in Madrid, built in collaboration with IE University students of architecture. The Pavilion comprises a unique structure made up of 173 paper tubes held together by wooden joints that rest on paper columns. The construction took only 12 weeks to erect and was designed in accordance with criteria that included sustainability and efficiency, and the condition that it would be a temporary structure. It is a multipurpose space used for executive education activities, as well as serving as the backdrop for key events like the ELLE Talks, organized by IE in collaboration with ELLE magazine.

“The whole IE community is in celebratory mode about the news that Shigeru Ban has received the prize, which he so richly deserves”, says Santiago Iñiguez, Dean of IE Business School and President of IE University. “Shigeru Ban is a reference for relations and dialogue between east and west, and the integration between tradition and modernity. IE shares his commitment to sustainability and his aim of using architecture to improve society.”

Shigeru Ban also took part in Hay Festival Segovia 2010 as IE University’s guest, sharing his architechtonic projects with festival visitors.

Shigeru Ban’s most famous projects are the Pompidou – Metz Center, Metz, France (2009); Metal Shutter House, New York, (2009); Takatori Church, Kobe, Japan (2007); and the Japanese Pavilion at Hannover World Exhibition Expo 2000. Shigeru Ban was Time Magazine’s Innovator of the Year in 2001.

25
Mar

We recently caught up with International MBA alumni Hide Maekita to learn more about his MBA experience at IE Business School…

Japanese Graduate of International MBA program

Japanese Graduate of International MBA program

What’s your story?  Who is Hide?I was born in Japan, but spent my early years between my home country, the US and Canada.  Before getting my MBA at IE Business School, I spent four very formative years at Goldman Sachs, in their investment banking division, after I had completed my Bachelor’s degree at UBC in Vancouver.  I chose IE because was top-ranked, for its duration, its diverse student profile, but also for its location; because it was located in Madrid.  I wanted to get some added life experience, to get to know life in Southern Europe, I wanted to live some of that passion the Spanish are so well known for.

What most motivated in your professional life before joining IE Business Schools International MBA program?

There were two things that really motivated me: first, to work in a globally relevant industry with highly competent colleagues, and  second, at the bank where I worked I got lots of exposure to Southeast Asia where I was part of the team responsible for expanding their securities trading franchise.  Lots of exposure to senior leaders at the firm was also something that was highly motivating for me.

What’s been both the most rewarding and most challenging part of your MBA experience at IE?

From a social perspective, building new friendships and having new cultural experiences was a hugely rewarding part of the experience.  At IE, the world becomes a smaller place. I met and studied with people from every part of the globe. The different sections and groups really allowed us, in just over a year’s time, to experience so many different cultures and perspectives that otherwise might take years to obtain.

Academically, and while the MBA itself was no easy feat, for me the big challenge was also to learn Spanish – and to get to know Spain.  IE is a “bubble of internationalism” where the de facto language is English, and so I had to make a real effort to make sure I was able to learn about Spain and obtain a basic level of conversational Spanish.

Have you met anyone during the program that has particularly inspired you?

There is only one answer to this and that is “everyone”. Everyone had their unique background and I was able to learn from everyone. There are people who I admired for their past professional accomplishments and there were others who inspired me simply by their life experiences. You can find successful entrepreneurs, musicians, athletes, a language specialist who speaks five or six languages, all in addition to your more typical MBA candidate who comes from banking or consulting. Furthermore, I have met enthusiastic people in school who are really trying to make a difference and motivated me to do the same. The campus is full with inspiration and that is one of IE’s characteristics.

I heard you competed at the MBA Tournament in Paris, how did it go? Was the event worth attending?

MBAT was one of the highlights of my MBA. Not only was it an opportunity to meet students from all over the world, it really strengthened the friendship and showcased the school spirit of IE. I was part of the swim team, and the year I participated IE took home several top medals, in addition to showcasing excellent school spirit.  Each night there was a themed party, complete with costumes (apparently Elvis even made an appearance…) and lots of camaraderie. I would certainly go again if I could and recommend it to all students regardless of your program.

To learn more about IE Business School and Alumni Office activities, navigate to www.ie.edu/business or www.ie.edu/alumni. 

21
Mar

Social Entrepreneurs are welcome!

Written on March 21, 2014 by Dirk Hopfl in IE University

IEUSSAnother exciting week with tons of action and fun is scheduled this summer in Segovia (Spain). The IE University Summer School opens its doors to wish-to-be-social entrepreneurial High School students under the theme: Striving for change through social entrepreneurship.

The program provides students with new ideas and skills in order to help them think about our society’s most pressing issues in different and innovative ways. Using the design thinking methodology, students will tackle an existing social issue by focusing on transforming ideas into real opportunities.

Social Entrepreneurs use the design thinking methodology to help them think out of the box about social and global issues. Using this methodology, you will develop within a Global Action Team a grass-root social entrepreneurship project, centered on different topics, such as culture, ecology, sports, social justice and other. Interact with other students and social entrepreneurs who share your concern about our society’s most pressing problems and put an innovative battle plan into action.

The summer school will be hosted in IE Universities’ beautiful historic campus in Segovia, Spain. Housed in a 15th century convent, this perfect setting will inspire you in your quest for new ideas to achieve social change. You’ll also be able to explore the surrounding areas, and enjoy and absorb all the history and culture that Spain has to offer.

- See more at: http://www.ie.edu/university/ieusummerschool

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