Archive for the ‘Explore IE’ Category


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 or 


China, India and Japan: Global Economic Drivers

Written on November 26, 2010 by Dirk Hopfl in Explore IE, Live IE

IE Business School and Casa Asia are organizing this conference to discuss the concerns that Asian companies have in Europe and vice versa, in order to show the full potential, from the business point of view, of relationships with three of the major Asian countries: China, India and Japan.

Every time we have more and more evidence that Asia will be the center of global economic growth over the coming decades, due to the enormous strength of the Asian economies. In Europe, Asia is perceived as a great opportunity for its high growth rates, demographic factors, infrastructure needs and rising middle classes. In Asia, Europe is perceived as a market with high rates of consumption that is valued technological capacity of their firms, the relevance of their brands and the degree of excellence shown in the design of certain products.  Read more…


IE Global MBA – introducing even more flexibility

Written on August 6, 2010 by Dirk Hopfl in Explore IE, Go for IE

The continued demand of online education, makes IE launching a second intake in March 2011 of its renowned Global MBA.

Since already 4 years, the IE Global MBA provides candidates with an extraordinary flexbility when studying their MBA program. They can continue progressing within their corporations meanwhile they connect on a daily basis to the online campus, exchanging experiences and discussing cases in teams like in the full-time MBA class.

Every Saturday they enjoy the class setting through videoconferences where teams have to present their conclusions on a given case discussing it with the entire class moderated by the professor. If you’re working in an international oriented company, videoconferences are most likely to be happening at some stage of your career development and during the program you learn the tools to efficiently conduct those conferences.

Due to the increasing demand of the Global MBA and a more diversified outreach, IE introduced last year a second time slot for the Saturday Videoconferences. Now, those sessions can be followed from 11am to 3pm and from 4pm to 8pm (Madrid time). The second time slot boosted the diversity in class and the program counts now with 43 different nationalities within a class size of about 70.

… and there is another good news: in addition to the September intake , IE launches a second intake, starting in March 2011. The official program start is set for March 19, 2011 and the first residential week starts on March 28, 2011. This first residential weeks helps to know the other team and classmates as well as the professors. The second residential week at the end of the program is rounding up the whole online experience with the graduation together with the full-time MBA. Being awarded the same degree, it makes sense that both classes graduate together!

The next virtual presentation will be on September 8 at 1pm Madrid time (7pm Singapore time). You can sign up for on our event page and explore in the meanwhile the IE Global MBA web.


IE Business School is glad to invite you and the members of your network to join the sixth in a series of videoconferences titled Biotechnology Management Today, on Thursday, May 20th at 15:00 (Madrid local time) or 21:00 (Singapore local time).

Carolina Aguilar – Neuromodulation’s Market Development Manager for Europe and Central Asia (ECA). Medtronic European Headquarters, Switzerland

This conference will give an overview about how medical technology innovation will fundamentally transform health care delivery, providing new solutions that might have been considered science fiction just some years ago but that are quickly becoming the standard of care. It will focus on the barriers and drivers of the Medical Device industry compared to the Pharmaceutical industry explaining why the pace of the medical invention is accelerating leading to an extremely attractive market space.

Carolina Aguilar will also showcase one of these examples of medical innovation, covering the journey from pipeline to market of Medtronic Deep Brain Stimulation, a technology for which Medtronic has been recognized as one of the world’s most innovative companies by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in March 2010.

Since July 2008, Carolina Aguilar has been the Market Development Manager for Europe and Central Asia for Medtronic – the leader in medical technology providing lifelong solutions for people with chronic diseases. Her role covers the strategic analysis of the market conditions, prioritization of needs, development of strategic solutions and execution of tailored-made plans for a sustainable growth in the different countries of the European Union and Central Asia. Carolina holds a Pharmacy degree from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, a Master’s in Neurotoxicology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in USA and an Executive MBA from the IE Business School in Madrid. After her early years of undertaking scientific research in the area of Neurosciences in USA, she successfully led the introduction of the Greek cosmetic company, APIVITA Natural Products, into the Spanish Market in her function as Country Manager. After this challenging business experience, she joined Medtronic Spain in June 2006, working as a Marketing Manager in the Neuromodulation department and moved on to Medtronic’s European headquarters in Switzerland in 2008 where she continues working today.  

Please confirm your attendance by sending an e-mail to Upon confirmation we will send you the link to the open videoconference.

If you are unable to join this conference but wish to be kept informed of future open conferences, please let us know.


The IE “Marketing Gurus”

Written on May 11, 2010 by Dirk Hopfl in Explore IE

Original published at Bangkok Post on May 4, 2010

Earlier this year, Patr Bhalakula, a talented young Thai pursuing a Master in Marketing Management degree at IE  Business School, and his team won the second prize in the Novartis Masterminds Challenge in Spain. 

The challenge is a competition involving the London Business School, IESE (Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa) Business School, Insead (Institut Europeen d’Administration des Affaires) Business School, Esade (Escuela Superior de Administracion y Direccion de Empresas) Business School and IE Business School. It aims to stimulate innovative approaches and raise interest in executing marketing plans for the pharmaceutical industry. More than 170 competitors of over 40 nationalities participated in the challenge.

“I wanted to find out if I could combine my marketing experience with what I learn here at IE Business School and apply the result to the real business world and to a sector I had little knowledge about previously,” said Patr, explaining the reason why he participated in the competition. Patr joined forces with two other students at the same institution, Kelly Fung and Leen Rimawi, to form the Challenger team. They were given the task of developing a marketing plan and converting Zelisar, Novartis’ hypertension medication launched in Spain last year, into a first-line treatment solution as well as suggesting recommendations to improve the health care system in Spain.

The final presentation was held at Novartis’ headquarters in Barcelona. The team won the first runner-up position and was awarded 4,000 euros (172,000 baht). The first prize went to the Beer View Marketers team from LBS. Patr admitted that he has no background in the pharmaceutical business. Before entering the postgraduate programme, he worked in the marketing department at Toyota Motor Corporation and Procter & Gamble in Thailand. “During the competition, the time management, the teamwork and everything had to be perfect. Teamwork is crucial. I guess the most enriching aspect of the challenge was working with my friends. Achieving something is always sweeter when it is the result of group effort,” he commented. “Our team members were the youngest in the competition and none of us had had previous experience in pharmaceuticals before. This, we thought, would surely be our weakest point. That is why we called our group ‘Challenger’. It was a real challenge from the start,” Patr said.

However, he disclosed that their perceived weak point turned out to be their strength. “One of the members of the panel [of judges] told us that our proposal was very fresh, innovative and different, probably because our ideas were ‘out of the box’ and because they did not have any experience in pharmaceuticals. He was impressed because he thought we were very young,” Patr explained.

When he completes his studies in December, Patr anticipates pursuing a career in Thailand in the field of brand management in consumer products, technological products or luxury products.


IE at the Shanghai World Expo

Written on April 29, 2010 by Dirk Hopfl in Explore IE

IE is set to take part in the Shanghai World Expo, which is expected to receive 70 million visitors between May 1 and October 31. IE will be present at the beginning and close of the Expo in Spain´s Pavilion and the Madrid Pavilion, with activities that include the presentation of the Caso España case study.

IE is one of the many key Spanish institutions that will play a part in promoting Spanish culture in the Pavilions of Spain and Madrid. In order to achieve this objective, IE will be organizing two activities in Spain´s Pavilion on May 11 and 14, and a further event on October 26. The first of these has been organized jointly between IE and ESADE, bringing together the deans of both schools with the deans of leading Chinese business schools and universities, including  CEIBS, Fudan and Beijing University. The meeting will serve as a platform for an in-depth discussion about the global challenges facing business schools.

Another of the activities focuses on social networking, and will be led by Professor Enrique Dans on May 14 in Spain´s Pavilion. In the same Pavilion, but at the later date of October 26, Professor Gonzalo Garland will present Caso España, an interactive case study which shows the landmarks of Spain´s political and economic landscape from 1973 to the present day, using macroeconomic data and an analysis of the main decisions made by the different governments that have presided over Spain during that time.

IE will also run two further academic activities in the Madrid Pavilion. The first will be held on June 4 as part of IE´s international Executive Education program: China an inside view.  The activity will comprise academic sessions led by Professor Eduardo Morcillo and European students participating in the program. Moreover, the Dean and Vice Dean of Architecture at IE University will be participating in the Madrid Pavilion´s ´Madrid Urban Forum 2010,  where they will be exchanging knowledge and experiences with other international experts in areas like sustainability and the environment, infrastructures, transport, energy and social equilibrium.

Finally, on August 17 the Dean of IE University´s School of Architecture, Javier Quintana, will present the results of the summer workshop on sustainability and urban density held in Madrid, organized by IE School of Architecture and the Architectural Association of London.

IE in China

IE runs a range of international programs through its international office in Shanghai ( One such program is the residential period of IE´s International Executive MBA online, held at Fudan School of Management, taking place in June and November. Said residential period features lectures by Chinese professors from Fudan School of Management on subjects related to Chinese culture, history and business practices, coupled with visits to companies that bring students into direct contact with Chinese corporate realities. 

IE´s International Executive MBA Biweekly also includes a week in Shanghai together with students of IE´s Global MBA. This program is also run at Fudan School of Management, and comprises talks by senior managers of foreign firms operating in China – with a special focus on Spanish or European firms – who share their experiences of working in Asia.

In the executive education field IE has forged alliances in China with Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business with whom it partners for two programs. The first isEurope: an Inside View, designed for Chinese directors who want insights into corporate realities in the Western world, and which has been run at IE´s Madrid Campus for the last four years. The other program is the abovementioned China: an Inside View,which is the reciprocal program for western managers who want to learn more about Chinese corporate practices. It has been held in Beijing or Shanghai for the last four years. Both programs include not only class sessions but also visits to firms to round off the experience.

Shanghai World Expo 2010, which commences on May 1 and runs until October 31, is focused on the quality of life in cities. Shanghai, with a population of 20 million, will host the largest Expo in history. Spain has pinned all its hopes on the belief that the Expo will serve to showcase Spain in China, and has invested 55 million Euros in the project. This budget has enabled Spain to have the second largest Pavilion, with more than 7,000 m2, the largest being that of the host country, with a surface area of 100,000m2.

The Universal Expos have always had a tourist and leisure slant. The fact that this year the Expo is being held by China, the country with the greatest economic potential in the world, means that it is a unique opportunity for foreign countries, including Spain, to promote themselves.


IE launches a Master in Architectural Management

Written on March 17, 2010 by Dirk Hopfl in Explore IE, Go for IE

Throughout architecture´s history, there has been the perception that the best designs were created by artists whose works remained untouched by the financial constraints of business. However, contemporary architecture has proven that excellence in design, although very necessary, is not quite enough to reach success. The majority of architects are, in fact, entrepreneurs and vocational designers that undertake administrative responsibilities without the proper management education. 

In response to this scenario, IE School of Architecture is launching the Master in Architectural Management and Design, in collaboration with IE Business School and the Architectural Association School of Architecture of London, in order to bridge the gap between advanced design and business management in the architecture field. 

This is the first Master exclusively aimed at architects. The program structure is based on its internationally acclaimed International Executive MBA and helps architects to gain insight into management without setting aside their projects as it is conducted part-time.

To learn more about the program, please review our corresponding web - or if you’re an architect living in Bangkok, please join our upcoming program presentation on Monday, March 22, 2010 at the Business Centre of the Grand Hyatt Erawan.


China shows the world how to get through a crisis

Written on May 5, 2009 by Estela Ye in Explore IE

Call me mad but this crisis is good for China. It is also good for China’s role and responsibilities in the world.
Yesterday, we upgraded our gross domestic product forecasts for China for 2009 and 2010; we are now looking for 8.3 and 10.9 per cent, respectively, up from 6 and 9 per cent.
Why the optimism? It was clear that the massive rise in exports, the mainstay of the China growth model until 2008, was not sustainable. At one stage in late 2007, Chinese exports to the US alone were about 12 per cent of total GDP. This meant that exports would suffer badly in the event of something going wrong with demand in the US, and the risk of a protectionist backlash.
This led some of us to expect an end to the fixed Rmb8.28 exchange rate to the dollar and a gradual shift to a more flexible, stronger exchange rate a few years ago.
Fast-forward to the crisis. When this intensified post-Lehman, global trade suffered enormously and quickly, and it was clear that Chinese growth would suffer. It was also reasonably clear that, just as they did in response to the Asian crisis in 1997, Chinese policymakers would react swiftly and shift gears. That they have done.
Three policy initiatives stand out, and the results are starting to bear fruit, hence our upgraded forecasts.
First, in November the authorities announced massive fiscal expansion, centred on fresh infrastructure spending. While my industry has quibbled about its true size ever since, this misses the point. The statement of intent was clear; interestingly, the stock market noticed and has rallied since.
Second, and ultimately perhaps the most important development in the world economy, the government announced plans to develop a full medical insurance policy for the still vast rural community, the beginnings of which it plans to have fully implemented for 90 per cent of the rural community by 2011. This could result in an end to the excessively high Chinese savings rate and allow much stronger consumption.
Third, and critical to our forecast upgrade, the authorities, led by the People’s Bank of China, embarked on a timely reversal of tightening financial conditions of the previous two years. According to our Chinese financial conditions index, conditions have eased a huge 520 basis points since last October.
These three measures have set the scene for an acceleration of Chinese domestic demand for the rest of 2009 and 2010, just the right recipe for China and, critically, the world.
The next stage of China’s development has started and is likely to go on for years. It was partly in anticipation of this that we highlighted owning China “A” shares as one of our most favoured trades for 2009. As they have risen 50 per cent since the November stimulus announcement, the entry point is now less attractive but, as evidence of rising demand accumulates, many investors are rightly going to be attracted back to China.
The “C” in the Bric economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China) has always been the most important of the four and the events of the past five months continue to justify our excitement for the longer term.
Amusingly, in the past year many people have suggested that the Brics story is over. Nonsense – it is still in its infancy. Indeed, the updated longer-term projections we published last summer, suggesting that China could overtake the US by 2027 and that the Brics collectively could be as big as the G7 by 2027, still look decent bets to me.
At some stage in the coming months, once it becomes clear that Chinese GDP growth is safely back above 8 per cent, policymakers will allow for some tightening of financial conditions again, possibly led by the exchange rate.
In the next two years, China is very likely to overtake Japan to become the second-largest economy in the world. Some say that China might get old before it gets rich, but it is getting bigger and richer, that is for sure. One or two of its ageing G20 partners may wish to take a closer look at Chinese economic policy to see how it’s done.
Jim O’Neill is chief economist at Goldman Sachs


由国际三大管理教育权威认证体系之一的AMBA与浙江大学管理学院联合举办的“MBA质量战略与创业教育国际研讨会”暨“AMBA中国会议”于2009年 3月19日-20日在在浙江大学隆重举行,对外经济贸易大学国际商学院院长助理王智慧教授、MBA中心主任赵贞老师应邀参会。来自全国20余所MBA培养院校的近50余名院长、主任与会。
会议邀请AMBA认证机构负责人Robert Owen先生和AMBA认证中国现场认证组长Dixon教授将出席会议,详细介绍AMBA认证流程、认证标准、认证要点等,并进行AMBA认证方面的咨询与培训。


11th Asia-Europe Young Leaders Symposium in Madrid

Written on November 10, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Explore IE

In the frame of the Asia-Europe Young Leadears Symposia, Madrid will host this week the 1st Asia-Europe Young Urban Leaders Dialogue with the active support from IE Business School amongst others. This symposium aims at promoting better understanding between Asian and European societies by intensifying intellectual, cultural and social exchanges between the local, urban and metropolitan representatives of both regions.

The Asia-Europe Young Urban Leaders Dialogue final objective is to forge solid and long-lasting relationships through those exchanges and experiences, from the creation of personal and institutional ties and connections that involve new generationsâ?? interest in sharing the social reality that surrounds our cities.

This event will foster the creation of a space for transferring and exchanging knowledge, as well as analyzing experiences that contribute to having urban experiences based on the commitment and participation of everyone involved and to favour a know-how transfer between the cities of all ASEM member countries through a permanent and continuous debate.

During this intensive week, participants will discuss about “Connected, competitive and sustainable cities”,  “The Human factor in urban development”  as well as “Leading Cities in the management of infrastructures and urban services” which will be moderated by Prof. Gildo Seisdedos, Director for the Forum of Urban Management at IE Business School and Director of the  â??Madrid Globalâ?? Urban International Strategy Chair.

Being Madrid the host, of course, cultural aspects of this meeting shouldn’t be missed: a visit to the Prado Museum, a Jazz Festival, a flamenco show, a visit to Toledo and a must visit to a football match with Real Madrid completes the agenda.

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