Online MBA – a game for lonely players?

Written on September 4, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE

j0438770.jpgStudent X is studying his online MBA at the Y Business School and is very enthusiastic about it when he start the program.  In the first week he gets a big box by courier send to his home for the assignments in the first semester – cases, technical notes and additional reading recommendations for this period. After 2 months he gets promoted and is now in charge of a project overseas. No problem at all, he thought as he is doing an online MBA, he can study from his new city of residence.  After 6 months, nearly finished the first semester of his 5 semester course, he sends a letter to the program director to resign from the program. Until this moment, he has seldom be in touch with other classmates and he saw just once for some days a faculty member from Y Business School. X actually lost the motivation to study as in university alone submitting his tasks week by week and get feedback from his tutor assigned to him which was not the faculty member in this assignment.

Not all online programs are working in this way and seldom a student in the online programs from IE Business School is losing the motivation to drop out of the program. From Day One all students are working in teams through online forums and – in the Global MBA – through live videoconferencing. At least half of the week the students are interacting with 2-3  faculty members engaged in discussions about the cases in the different assignments which are running in parallel.

Each MBA should be about team work and exchanging of experiences with classmates and professors. It doesn’t matter of the way of delivery – either online or face-to-face. When IE started with its online program this was one of the most important factors when designing the programs: Interaction and network building. Nowadays the latter we do predominantly in social online networks  which is the best argument that also in an online MBA program with reduced physical interaction with classmates you can build strong and efficient networks.

Definitely, lonely players are not desired in IE online programs as they hardly contribute to the class discussion and therefore do not generate new knowledge for their classmates.


Written on September 2, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE

ie-by-night.jpgIE Business School holds 4th position worldwide and 1st in Europe in the annual ranking of MBAs carried out by leading Latin American business journal America Economia.

IE Business School has climbed 8 places this year to consolidate its position as one of the worldâ??s top business schools. In this yearâ??s survey Harvard headed the worldwide ranking, followed by Stanford, Wharton and IE Business School.

The criteria on which the América Economía MBA ranking is based includes the schoolâ??s prestige, networking potential, knowledge of the Latin American region, scholarship programs, international agreements and alliances, the return on investment offered by its MBA program and career progression of its graduates.

Gonzalo Garland, Director of External Relations at IE, sees the schoolâ??s position in the ranking as a result of IEâ??s work in the Latin American region over the last three decades. â??IE has offices in 8 countries in Latin America that provide support for IE students while serving as a platform for networking among our alumni and for building relations with institutions that play a key role in each country. We are proud that our MBA program has achieved 4th position worldwide and will continue to strive to attract the best candidates and top professors from around the world to meet the demands of the international business communityâ?. This year, the student body of IE Business Schoolâ??s International MBA program comprises young professionals from 57 countries, making it one of the most diverse MBA environments in the world.


IE participates in Australia MBA Fairs

Written on September 1, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE

mba-postgrad-expo-2008.jpgIE will be joining the MBA & Postgrad Expo in Melbourne and Sydney. This underlines the ongoing efforts to build a truly global classroom on campus in Madrid but also virtually in our online programs. Currently, our English-speaking programs are composed by 85-90% of international students from around 75 nationalities. If you wish to join the fair, please click on the image. Should you prefer a more personal approach, you can contact Dirk Hopfl, dirk.hopfl@ie.edu, to schedule your personal appointment in both cities.

Here are more details about the Fair events:

Date: September 16, 2008
Time: 12.00 â?? 19.00
Venue: Melbourne Town Hall, Cnr Swanston & Collins Street

Date: September 18, 2008
Time: 12.00 â?? 19.00
Venue: Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay Wharf


Be an entrepeneur!

Written on August 28, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE

IE Business School sits down with Meinrad Spenger, former International MBA student, to talk about his recent entrepreneurial project, the launch of MÁSmovil. He shares his views on his MBA experience at IE, and acknowledges the value of studying in a school that fosters the entrepreneurship spirit.


Written on August 27, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Academics

j0438951.jpgBy Miguel Hernández, Director of the Advanced Programme in Real Estate Business Management at IE Business School. Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

At times of uncertainty, such as the present, it is of fundamental importance to consider the basic principles and concepts on which real estate is based. We have had such frenetic years that daily routine has taken away our mid-term vision and perspective. I also remember where we have come from. Accordingly, I consider five questions and offer one thought on the current situation.

What is understood by the â??real estate sectorâ??
In recent years, the sector has become so sophisticated that the activity related to real estate has very different focuses when seen from the viewpoints of product, location, operators, capitals and demand.

What may be a crisis for developers is an opportunity for demand and, what is seen as the contraction of finance opens up the door to higher profitability for own resources. There are areas in the world where cycles come to an end and there are others where they begin. There are product segments that run out and others that offer better investment possibilities.

In short, we can speak of a residential crisis in Spain for developers and banks, but there are also high levels of profitability to be gained from investments in Russia or Turkey in the development of low-geared shopping centres.

Can we speak of only one â??real estate sectorâ??
Does an apartment developer, a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) trader or a listed company analyst speak about real estate? Of course they do, but the part of the sector in which each one is interested is completely different. Everything is related, but there is a â??level of technologyâ? that is so specific for all the operators in the sector that it is almost impossible for the information on each area to be consistent. Indeed, work is carried out independently.

This graph shows investment outlooks by asset type and reveals the numerous alternatives by product, geographical location and investment format. Read more…


Did you know? – Facts about Madrid I

Written on August 25, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE

ES Madrid - Itâ??s Madrid! Monthly MagazineApart from many arguments to come to study at IE Business School, one you will repeatedly hear is MADRID, Europe’s second largest city and definitely one of the most vibrant ones!

IE is located right in the heart of Madrid in the famous Salamanca district, being the most prominent residential areas surrounded by Embassies (the US and the Japanese Embassies are in broad terms our neighbours) and right along the Salamanca Street which is the equivalent to Champs-Elysées in Paris, 5th Ave in New York or Orchard Road in Singapore.

Madrid city has a currently population of about 3.2 million inhabitants which grows until roughly 6 million if you consider the Madrid Community. In a European perspective this makes Madrid the third largest metropolitan concentration after Ã?le-de-France (Paris) and Greater London. In terms of size Madrid city doubles the population of Barcelona, it’s sentimental rival not only in Football.

The GDP per capita in Madrid Community is around 32.000 Euros, or around US$ 48.000 at current exchange rates, which makes it similar to that one in Singapore and surpassing most of the GDP per capita in the world.

Madrid is the political and financial capital of Spain. The biggest business concentration of Spain (500,000 companies) is to be found in Madrid. One out of five companies set up in Spain have headquarters in the city of Madrid. Furthermore, 72% of the 2,000 biggest Spanish companies, have their main office located in Madrid and roughly 4% of the Latin-American GDP is originated by Spanish companies.

More facts are to come…


Students must think out of the box: IE Dean Iniguez

Written on August 21, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE

Interior of IE Business School facilities in MadridThis article was written by May George and published at South China Morning Post on August 16.

Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degrees exist in abundance worldwide. They are there to help business executives and entrepreneurs learn the rudiments of finance, accounting and management. But the dean of the IE Business School in Madrid, Santiago Iniguez de Ozono, feels that business schools, while teaching management skills, are neglecting to teach their students creativity.

One distinctive feature of our MBA programme is entrepreneurship,” said Professor Iniguez. “It is not just us who talks about this but also recruiters and students, who talk about this entrepreneurial verve in our graduates, regardless whether they work for a large corporation, a family business or create their own company. This is something very distinctive. We ask core participants to create their own businesses. We also have a venture lab. We also tell them about the many opportunities on the web and what opportunities the new technological environment will bring them.”
Professor Iniguez feels that business schools should take more responsibility in ensuring their students learn more creativity in their studies; out-of-the-box thinking that adds value to the set subjects that every other business school teaches.

In Hong Kong, Kevin Au Yuk-fai, associate professor at the Department of Management and associate director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at Chinese University, agrees. He said that one of the distinctive features of the Faculty of Business Administration’s MBA course was entrepreneurship, allowing students to think for themselves and create business scenarios while sometimes working in a multidisciplinary team.

“I tend to agree with [Mr Iniguez]…

It’s quite difficult for a lot of the business students to be creative. Thereâ??s been a long debate in business schools on whether business schools should be professional schools or a research school. In recent years, it looks like the research school side has been dominant. To a certain extent the schools are looking for ranking and research is something that the ranking system will look into.” Read more…


How critical are GMAT scores for the application?

Written on August 20, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE

gmat.jpgThis is one of the most asked questions when applying to business schools. To be frank, it is a very good question and very difficult to answer as the GMAT score is an indicator on how you tackle difficult situations under stress – and during a Master degree program at IE Business School you will experience plenty of these situations.

In some occasions candidates leave the GMAT test center with a very unsatisfied feeling as they thought they could perform much better and some external factors had influenced too much their concentration on the actual test: the aircon was too strong or too loud, too many people were around, heavy workload at the job, bad food on the day before – or just too many nerves while doing the test. So, are all chances gone to enter into the desired top business school?

Certainly not! The GMAT is a relevant factor to take into account while reviewing applications at the IE Admissiosns Committee but there are much more factors than just the GMAT. The IE Master Degrees underlying principles are based on individual academic performance but also in an important part on the exchange of experiences, on the class discussions, and in general on the interaction between the class members. In consequence, we value during the admissions process much more things than just only test scores and academic results. Of course, those are important as they provide a feedback on individual features like academic performance, steady learning capabilities and analytical skills. However, they do not provide information on the ability to lead a team, to communicate, to express the ideas clearly and coherent, to work in teams. There might be candidates with impressive resumes and academic / GMAT results, nonetheless they are not able to integrate well in teams as they prefer to work on their own or they struggle to structure well their thoughts and arguments in public.

For this reason, the GMAT is of course critical to your application and the better your score, the better it is – but we are looking much more into a balanced application and for candidates who excel as a well-rounded persons in which some features of the application might compensate others. So, a GMAT of 800 does not guarantee at all the admission to any of the IE programs. In contrast, a candidate with a GMAT within the 80% range with suitable professional experience and well developed soft skills, might have much more chances.


Javier Quintana, Dean of IE’s School of Architecture, explains the rationales behind the structure of new BA & MA in Architecture at IE University. More detailed information you can find here.


How flexible are online Masters?

Written on August 14, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE

Prof. Nestor Miranda teaching onlineWhat is the first thing which comes up to your mind when you think about online MBA or online Master programs?

Definitely it’s about flexibility. You’re not in a packed classroom at 8 or 9 am in the morning awaiting anxiously the professor. Will he ask for a quiz or will he ask me to do the presentation of today’s case, I really had no time to prepare because of the birthday party last night at a friend’s home?

You can decide when you connect to the online platform to join your team in preparation of the next presentation or to discuss in the forums with the professors the latest case on CSR in a MNC.  You are free to start the quiz which suddenly pops-up on your screen within the next  24 hours. But, of course, within limits!

An online Masters program at IE Business School, either the MBA programs International Executive MBA or the Global MBA or the specialized programs in Biotechnology Management, Sports Management, Digital Marketing or Supply Chain Management,  provides you with such flexibility but you also need to expect academic rigor and you’re expected to bring in a lot of self-discipline.

All of our online programs share a common platform where you can use blackboard, discussion forums,  virtual library for your team and class discussions. The access is 24/7 and as participants are coming literally from all around the world you most likely will find somebody online to discuss the cases. Yes, we follow the case study methodology as medium of instruction as well as we do it in our face-to-face classes. To make this methodology work we split the classes into teams who discuss the case during a couple of days before taking their conclusions to the class discussion with the professor and the other teams. As you will have team members from different regions in the world, you discuss with them asynchronous, i.e., you post your comments whenever you have time to do so and your team mates will do the same. The team leader of each case will coordinate the consensus before getting into the class discussion. In the class discussion you work under the same scheme but individually discussing with the whole class about the topics suggested by the professor.

Of course, everything is done within a certain time frame (one week per case and you might have up to 3 cases in parallel per week) but taking into account this time frame, you’re flexible to connect and post comments at any time. Within a week you have enough time to review your technical notes (provided with each case) and make your own research on Internet adapting this dedication to your professional and personal commitments.

In the Global MBA we also added live video conferences each Saturday as this program has less stipulated face-to-face periods. It certainly goes against the flexibility of the program, but it is a perfect way to be in touch with your classmates and interacting in real-time with the professor and your class. Also you might be the person to run the presentation through your web cam. Ever done that?

As mentioned previously, self-discipline is another important character of online programs – and, to be frank with yourself, most likely the factor which makes it more difficult to step headfirst into this exciting new learning experience. You have to be constant and very few excuses are valid not connect on a daily basis to the online platform to at least follow the discussions of the cases. However the appealing and intense exchanges on the cases and the continuous contact with your class mates, nearly makes forget you that you’re in an online program.

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