Posts Tagged ‘China#8217;


IE through the eyes of a Chinese student

Written on May 19, 2014 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

Interview between two Chinese students of IE, Shanshan, who studies the Master in Corporate Communication at IE School of Communication and Cindy, who studies the International MBA at IE Business School. Listen to what they have to say about studying at IE and living in Madrid.

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The MBA is about inspiration and electricity!

Written on June 29, 2013 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

Germano Air ChinaSome of IE Business School’s most outstanding alumni are working in Asia, and this week Joël McConnell, IE’s Director of International Development for Asia Pacific, caught up with Germano Rollero: an International MBA graduate based in Beijing who is currently working for one of China’s major civilian aviation companies.

JM: What brought you to China, and what are you doing professionally right now?
GR: I came to China because I’ve always been fascinated by this country, so much so in fact that I chose Chinese as my Major subject during my undergraduate degree. Not surprisingly the majority (I’d say about 90%) of my professional career has taken place here in China.
Currently I’m part of the Global Corporate Accounts team at Air China International, the most important Chinese carrier. Air China is a state-owned enterprise and it has been one of the most profitable airlines in the world for each of the last 5 years. Consequently, the company is ambitiously growing beyond China’s borders. It’s very interesting being part of a company that is growing globally so quickly, it almost feels like I’m a pioneer, or better said: part of a team of entrepreneurs at a start up that has 25.000 employees.
In my everyday work I supervise the efforts of our offices around the world, with the objective of improving our service and growing our revenues from primarily global Fortune 500 corporate clients. I do also business development globally to find new corporate clients, signing global deals with them. Our team is at the forefront in making Air China a more global airline.

JM: How did your MBA experience at IE Business School help you get to where you are today?
GR: The MBA helped me because it made more confident and outspoken. I am not a finance major, I was not working in investment banking or in strategy consulting before the MBA, but some of my classmates covered these topics. At the beginning, I was kind of more reserved when expressing my own views about the cases discussed in class and our work groups because my classmates had more knowledge about these subjects. After some time though I realized that my fresh take and views on the cases were adding a lot of values to the discussions, actually many times much more value than the views of my more experienced peers. I gained more self-confidence and I became more capable of establishing a vision and of instilling enthusiasm in others.
My MBA experience helped me at Air China, in fact in addition to my day-to-day job I am asked to attend many other project team meetings related to the future of the company, because of my ability to express new ideas and points of view about complicated problems and unclear situations.

JM: What do you remember most fondly about living in Madrid?
GR: Without a doubt the friends I made at IE. It was great to be surrounded by so many wonderful people full of enthusiasm and creativity. You feel so much inspiration and electricity on campus, and Madrid helps you to bond with them, given the many opportunities to network and have fun in the city. Furthermore, after the MBA you become even closer with all your peers. Even though they’re scattered around the world, you know you can count on them should you need to ask them for help.

JM: Any tips on applying to the program, especially with regards to the admissions application?
GR: Focus on your dreams and on what you want to achieve after the MBA, and you will find the enthusiasm and the motivation to go through all the steps of the application. It’s tough, but the MBA experience at IE is worth it!

JM: Where do you see yourself in 2 years?
GR: I see myself in an overseas assignment with Air China, leading globalization efforts in foreign markets to help Air China to become one of the best airlines worldwide.


How to reinvent your company

Written on May 30, 2013 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

Zhijian CuiProfessor Zhijian Cui will be travelling through Asia in June to talk about “How to reinvent your company”. He will address questions like: Do companies lose their innovation drive? Why are start-ups more innovative than multinational companies? Can innovation be structured and institutionalized?

Cui’s highlights the importance of innovating business models and developing a framework on guiding firms on how to innovate their business model from both the demand and supply side. Through comparing several successful and non-successful business stories, you will learn about several key roadmaps of business model innovation, the recreation or reinvention of an existing business.

Have a look and register at our IE Event Page for the details of the events in Taipei (June 4), Hong Kong, (June 5), Shanghai (June 6) and Beijing (June 8). In the meanwhile, enjoy the short interview to know him better:

How did you come to IE?

I joined IE as a full-time faculty in 2011 right after the graduation from INSEAD. Before that, I visited Madrid as a tourist for several times and was quite impressed by the city. I know that I will like this city as well as the life in Spain. When I went to the academic job market at the end of 2010, IE naturally became one of the top choices on my list. Clearly, IE Business School is a great school with high international reputation and a promising environment providing opportunities for faculties. Therefore, I declined several offers from other schools and decided to join IE.

What is your background?

I was an engineering student before. In 1995, I left my hometown and went to Tsinghua University in Beijing. After spending five years in Tsinghua, I joined Siemens and became an engineer. In 2001, I went to France and got my first Master in Management degree from Euromed Marseille School of Management. Then, I spent four year in US, including one-year study at Pepperdine University to get an MBA degree and three-year full-time work as a plant manager supervising 300 workers in California. In 206, I returned to France and continued my study for PhD. After five years full-time study, I graduated from INSEAD with PhD in Operations Management in 2011.

Why are you so passionate about what you teach?

At this moment, I am offering several courses at IE Business School, including Operations and Supply Chain Management core course, Strategic New Product Development elective for MBA and Master of Management programs, as well as Principals of Operations Management for PhD program. I am quite passionate about the topics I am teaching due to two reasons. First, as an academia, I believe that the topics of Operations Management and New Product Development are extremely important for the success of a business and are probably one of the foundations of all know-how in business school. Operations Management helps firms achieve efficiency and reduce cost, while New Product Development helps firm distinguish it from the competitors. I strongly believe that this knowledge will bring value for the business. Second, as a former practitioner, I was excited to see how change could truly happen in a business by implementing the knowledge of Operations Management. I am passionate about the implacability of everything I teach in classroom and the possibility to do good things for the business and the society.

What do you learn from IE students?

IE students come from different countries with quite different background. From them, I on one hand get a lot of specific managerial examples from different industries. This will for sure enrich my teaching and research materials. On the other hand, I, as a faculty, see and experience the challenge of managing a highly international, diverse pool of people. By talking with them, I learn how to communicate with different type of people.

Professor Cui Zhijian is also featured on The Other Side, a blog about IE faculty.


IE Venture Day in Shanghai

Written on May 20, 2013 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

IE celebrated this week its 3rd Venture Day in Shanghai. The program was made up of 12 IE startup projects from the Global Executive MBA and Executive MBA+ programs presenting to a Jury of 10 local and international investors, including James Tan from Beijing, Casey Wahl from Tokyo and several local Chinese investors and venture capitalists. The winner of the morning session was a “Curly” (Global Executive MBA), a new hair salon business model (see picture of winners Normen & Stephanie with Paris de L’Etraz).

In the afternoon the top three IE projects competed against 6 local Chinese startups. The winner in the afternoon was also an IE project, Aphelion Energy (Global Executive MBA) which develops renewable energy solutions in Africa for small villages. Over 200 people attended the event at China’s top Accelerator, Innovation Works in Shanghai.


Guanxi – the art of relationship

Written on December 18, 2012 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

The Master in Management lets you live not only the international environment in Madrid, but also takes you out to one week explorer trips to different destinations in the world. Tamara Zeidan, student of the February 2012 intake, relates her experiences:

Being involved in the unique Global Immersion Week program organized by IE Business School has been one of the most outstanding experiences I’ve lived so far. The following description tries to grasp a small piece of an experience that can only do it justice if you ever visit.

Having read and heard so much about Shanghai my curiosity of discovering this city had been growing and growing. My interest grew even fonder after the Shanghai World Expo in 2010. Many similarities have been drawn with New York; “the city that never sleeps”, “the skyscraper city” or “the financial hub”, but Shanghai is not only that. It also has thousands and thousands of years of history behind it that deeply shape it. Shanghai represents a melting pot between Western and Eastern cultures, between the futuristic skyscrapers and old Shikumen, between a modern generation Y and the old traditional generation and last but not least a blend between Western customs and Chinese traditions. These clashes are the result of a modernization of the city and that is why, I believe, it makes it such a fascinating place to discover.

During our time there, we were lucky enough to visit very interesting companies such as Touch Media, Maersk, Tristate Holdings Ltd and Spring Airlines. We met successful accomplished business people who gave us insights on the main challenges when “Doing Business in China”. They shared with us the reasons why an expanding company, such as Best Buy or Ikea etc., could be unsuccessful or fail upon their launching on Chinese soil. An important cultural aspect in China is that the trust and respect is more important than anything else, sometimes even more than being legal. As John Chan (Managing Director at Streetsmart International Inc.) explained to us, we need to adapt to Chinese markets while respecting their values to successfully conduct business in China and for that, Guanxi (= relationships) are key! If they don’t trust you they can’t do business with you. Basically “There has to be respect and trust in everything you do.” Guanxi, is a complex concept that goes beyond just creating a mutually beneficial relationship; it involves respect, trust, credibility and reciprocity. What is also fundamental in order to establish “Guanxi” is the knowledge and understanding of years of Chinese history. Therefore, one could call Guanxi the art of these relationships.

We also had a great time exploring the city and its cultural attractions when visiting monuments such as the Shanghai museum, the YU Gardens, the old town, the Confucius temple, the markets.. and also the deep water port in Yangshan.

Overall, it was a very enriching experience at every level; personal, professional and cultural. It is the kind of experience that makes you think a lot, not only during but specially afterwards…

To be able to understand how “indescribable” this city is, I hope you will have the opportunity to go to Shanghai within the next three years. This city grows at such an exceptional rate that one year in Shanghai is almost like three years in a western country!

This post was first published on the Master in Management Blog.


Liberal Arts meets Management: student views

Written on December 7, 2012 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

Learn what Greg, current student from the IE Brown Executive MBA, and Mary, graduate from this program, have to tell about their experiences and take-outs of this journey.

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Q: Hi Sharon, welcome to the Dual Degree program! Can you tell us briefly about yourself?
Born and raised in Tucson, AZ in the United States, I am Chinese-American, a middle child, and extremely competitive. At UCLA I switched to Business Economics with a minor in Accounting when I was told it was the most competitive major/minor combination. The logic was similar in my pursuit of investment banking – why be a public accountant when you could be a “ballin’ banker.” In my penultimate year at UCLA I was a summer analyst at Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. (Citi) in its investment banking division working primarily with financial sponsors. This led to a full-time offer post-graduation. I was with Citi for about two years when I forewent an opportunity to join the investment banking technology team to try something completely different. In the time away from Citi, I split my time between my own M&A advisory sole-proprietorship, in which I sold my father’s business in a multi-million dollar transaction, mentored high schoolers, and applied to IE business school.
Q: Can you tell us why you chose IE´s Dual Degree- International MBA & Master in Advanced Finance over any MBA in Finance in the United States, where you are from and where you worked before joining IE. What is it about the DD that appealed to you?
My motivation for IE’s Dual Degree (International MBA & Master in Advanced Finance) was three-fold. First, I wanted an international experience. Given my established American network and the increase in cross-border transactions, I felt I would benefit the most from a European network. In the States, most business schools have less than 25% of their student body as international students. Hence, I only considered European business schools. Second, IE’s Dual Degree would allow me to attain two degrees for the price of one in both monetary and time costs. My thought was that the specialization in finance would further differentiate me from the plethora of other MBA graduates. Lastly, I wanted to go to a top 10 business school.
Q: Now that you have finished the IMBA and starting the 1st semester of MIAF, could you tell us about your learning experience?
In December 2011, I finished the International MBA and started the Master in Advance Finance in the beginning of 2012. Although the MBA experience was excellent in expanding my operational and general management skills, my experience in the Masters in Advance Finance has been incredible! The level of education and the network I am experiencing continually amazes me. With highly established professionals and active practitioners as my professors, the knowledge gained is not simply academic or “theoretical” but very practical. Many times I feel as though I am being taught best practices that would have impressed my old managing director and saved me a lot of “on-the-job trial and error.” The specialization of the academic content, the high quality of my peers, and the network I am gaining has made the value of this experience much higher than my expectations.
Q: Which values do you think that IE’s DD is going to add to your personal growth and professional development?
IE’s Dual Degree has added 1) an international professional network with top managers in the industries I am interested in and 2) the academic skills I know I need in finance given my previous experience. During my business school application process, I sought an academic experience that would open the doors to goals that, at best, could only be quantified as dreams. Now, after attending IE’s Dual Degree, these dreams are becoming reality. In closing, a quote from Benjamin Franklin comes to mind, “If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

Thank you very much Sharon for the interview and we wish you all the best luck!

This post was first published on the International MBA blog.


IE celebrates the Chinese Dragon Year Festival 2012

Written on February 15, 2012 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

IE China Club hosted the Chinese New Year event on 19th January 2012, celebrating the Year of Dragon.

The Ambassador of China to Spain, Mr. Zhu Bangzao, has attended as the Guest of Honour delivery the opening speech for this event. Around 80 corporative executives from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Caja, Telefónica, BBVA, IBM, Loewe, Peugeot España, ZTE, BMW, LAVINIA, Hotel Ritz Madrid, Organe, have participated the event.

The IE Chinese Dragon Year 2012 event is organised by the world-class institution’s China Club was been held at Serrano 99. The event has featured by cultural events which include performance such as Lion Dance, Martial Arts, Face-changing, Pekin Opera, Chinese musical instrument and vocal performances collaborated with Ouhua News agency (El Madarín), the only official Chinese news agency in Madrid, and VIP cocktail reception with LAVINIA.

The event is sponsored by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, ITC , YouMobile, Casa Asia, China Club Spain and Ouhua News, the largest Chinese press in Spain.


1月19日下午4点至9点,IE商学院(IE Business School)和IE中国会在西班牙马德里Serrano大街 99号 的户外空间隆重举行 IE 中国龙年活动庆典2012。旨在认识并了解中国文化,以精湛的文化活动和东方美食鉴赏,中西合璧为契机,本次活动不仅面向学校来自全球90国超过1000名管理精英中推广­了中国正宗”年”文化,而且将作为一系列以IE商学院为基石的商业合作和创业论坛的起步,积极地和国内顶级商学院和大型企业和企业背后的管理巨人资源进行交流互换。



Where are you from?
I am from Shanghai, China.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I am an INFJ (introversion, intuition, feeling, judging) ever since high school. How can an INFJ appear in a business school?

Why did you choose the Master in International Management at IE Business School? What do you find to be the most attractive component of the program?
I chose the Master in International Management because it covers all kinds of business courses which will facilitate me to work in a multinational environment. Why IE? Top school, great location, good timing, and nice people!
Diversity is the word. The program is composed of people of 48 nationalities. I have talked with my friends in other top business schools in Europe or in the States, and I’m pretty sure none of those schools have a class profile as diverse as IE has. When I am in the classroom, I feel like being in the United Nations. Obviously, I can learn a lot from people with different cultural and academic backgrounds.

What new things have you been learning the past month?
Learning to be awake until 3am or even 7am! For those who are thinking of applying to IE, you should ask to yourselves whether you’re ready for the heavy workload, or the better term is “work hard, party hard”. Madrid is a cool place to live, but it’s a dangerous place to study. Imagine working on Financial Accounting all day along and then going to Pacha for the MIM welcome party till morning! Time management is an additional course at IE.

You have only just started the program, what is your overall impression so far?
IE might be the best fit business school for me. The students are smart, the faculty is really strong, and yet they are overall nice human-beings. IE takes pride in its emphasis on entrepreneurship and Cooperate Social Responsibility, which are key factors in today’s business success from a long-term perspective.
Ambitions? To tell the truth, I don’t know. I am open to any possibilities though I would prefer to work in my hometown Shanghai, which is a most dynamic city with increasing opportunities. The most practical ambition may be to help IE establish a high reputation in China either by building strong alumni network or by organizing more activities/events between IE and China.

First published on IE Master in International Management blog.


2012: the BRICs will take the growth lead

Written on September 30, 2011 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

IE Business School survey reveals that expectations for economic growth in 2012 are focused on the BRICs. The highest growth rates in 2012 will be found in the BRIC countries. So say 94% of the directors who participated in the 2012 IE Global Alumni Forum (GAF)  survey of the world economic outlook for 2012.

Some 827 directors from 61 countries in all five continents took part in the survey, drawn up by IE Business School in the lead up to its Global Alumni Forum – GAF Madrid 2011, set to take place on September 30. Speakers include Ángel Gurría, General secretary of the OECD, who will be examining the world economic Outlook, together with Guillermo de la Dehesa, President of IE’s International Advisory Board de IE.

According to participants in the survey the BRICs are the countries with the greatest potential for growth in 2012, with Brazil being the country most expected to have the highest rates (40%), followed by China (39%), India (17%)  and Russia (5%). Meanwhile, 91% of participants think that the Latin American region will either maintain its current rate or grow faster. The survey results point to a generally held belief that the Latin American countries with the best future potential were Brazil (58%), Chile (17%) and Peru (10%). With regard to Europe, 77% feel that the European economy will stabilize or grow in 2012. Sixty two percent think the same about the EU. Within the EU, 64% consider that Germany will have the best growth rate, followed by Poland (7%) and the UK (5%). Read more…

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