16
Feb

The European Union again looks to the future

Written on February 16, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Academics, Go for IE

1460.jpgFebruary 2008 | By Dr. Javier I. García González, Professor at IE University

 

The recently signed Lisbon Treaty has brought new lifeblood to the EU after the failed Constitution, and now looks set to play a greater role in international politics.

We probably will not hear it referred to as the failed “European Constitution”, but the Lisbon Treaty aims to form part of our lives over the coming years. On 19 October, 2007, European leaders managed to finish a job they more or less completed in June, thanks to a successful German presidency. The reward for the current Portuguese presidency will be that the new document that will govern the life and workings of the European Union will bear the name of the country´s capital, where it was signed by the heads of government on 13 December, 2007. From that moment, a process for the ratification of the treaty by each member state began which, if all goes according to plan, will lead to the re-written text coming into effect at the beginning of 2009 (except for certain provisions that have been postponed until 2014), replacing the current Nice Treaty.

Hence we see the beginning of the end of a crisis that has not been the first and will not be the last, and one that has set the members of the European Union against each other on matters that are fundamental for defining its very nature, modus operandi and future. The now discarded “Constitutional Treaty” addressed many of these issues by shaping a European Union with a high level of integration, not only in economic terms, but also on a political, social and even symbolic level; however, the idea proved to be too ambitious. The history of European integration shows us that the Union has progressed better in short steps (albeit quickly at times) than in leaps and bounds and the misnamed Constitution was seen by many citizens as a large leap, beginning with its very denomination. In hindsight, the halt in the process for the building of Europe during these two years may even have helped a Europe that is growing in both size and complexity put its feet back on the ground, immersed in a world that is becoming increasingly small and interconnected. Read more…

15
Feb

IE provides internship possibility within its one-year MBA

Written on February 15, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Live IE

aditya-small.jpgSince last year IE Business School offers to its International MBA students the possibility to have a work period during their one-year MBA program. The program and its modules are redesigned in a way that gives a select group of participants the flexibility to pursue a working period during summer.

Please read this interview with Aditya Malhotra from India. Aditya started as a merchant marine officer in the energy shipping sector, he moved on to business development and Strategy with a shipping company accumulating work experience of about 7 years prior to the program.(at age 27). Completed his BS from BITS Pilani, a distinguished technical university in India prior to going for the IMBA. As a career switcher, he wanted to further his career in areas of Finance and Strategy with an ultimate entrepreneurial aspiration. After graduation, Aditya joined a financial services company involved in Reinsurance in Switzerland.

Aditya, in which company did you do your internship?
Adara Venture Partners, a Spanish VC firm based in Madrid.

What was your motivation to do an internship in such a short and intensive 1-year program?
As a career switcher, it gave me an opportunity to get my foot in the door for entering the area of financial services and making the most of my time by using the 6 weeks of vacation in a more effective manner. Having said that, it is a challenge to get an internship with the one year programme since people have far less time to put in for applications and interviews since the program starts in Nov and most internship interviews are in Dec- Jan when the workload is very high.

How was the online experience? Did you enjoy learning in this way?
The online learning was an interesting way to learn, something that I wasnâ??t used to. However it did prepare me well for the business world where today I regularly use virtual chat rooms to have discussions with different offices. You tend to learn how to listen and value people viewpoint through virtual sessions and text based discussions. It also gave me the opportunity to interact with people from different sections which otherwise would not have been the case. There were times that we could actually put our day to day business observations into the discussions and see what the professor and others had to say about it.

There were certain times when there are certain limitations to this methodology-based on the subject, or if the class size is too small and in case of presentations. It however does not work for courses with numerical requirements that well. On the whole it was an enjoyable experience.

How was your day-by-day during your internship period combining studying and working?
The workload changes on a daily basis and this is very clearly reflected in the discussion forums. When people are freer there tend to be more active postings on the forum whereas there are days when you are busy in the office and it does eat up on your free time to log in and read all the posts and make comments. There are times when you tend to feel left back and short of comments if you have lagged in the discussion or have not been regular. Thus, it does require a significant commitment on a daily level from each student who is part of this method.

Thank you very much, Aditya, for this interview and good luck in Switzerland.

14
Feb

Malaysia: Steady arrival of Spanish firms

Written on February 14, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Explore IE

garcia.jpgThis article was published on Feb 11, 2008 in The Edge Daily, Malaysia

More Spanish companies are coming into Malaysia due to the low cost of doing business here and as rising Spanish exports to Malaysia increase the demand for the countryâ??s goods and services. Spainâ??s economic and commercial counsellor to Malaysia and Brunei, Antonio García said compared to other parts of Asia, it was not especially difficult for companies to carry out its businesses here and the country was at par with Singapore and Hong Kong for the ease of doing business.

García said Malaysia also offered the perfect gateway for Spanish companies to tap into the Asean and other Asian markets. To date, there were more than 20 Spanish companies with a stable presence in Malaysia, with the three most notable making investments totalling close to RM200 million since their arrival here, he told The Edge Financial Daily.

He said Roca Corp Empresarial SA, the worldâ??s largest sanitary ware manufacturer, which in 2006 acquired Johnson Suisse (M) Sdn Bhd, had invested RM100 million while Acerinox SA, the third largest steel producer in the world, which had set up a service centre and storage facility in Johor, had invested an estimated RM40 million. In addition to setting up a Malaysian subsidiary, Acerinox had established an associate company with Yick Hoe group, a Malaysian steel stockist and distributor, he said. â??The business is going very well and they can still increase their investment in the future,â? García said. He added this was reflected by iron and steel products ranking second among Spainâ??s exports to Malaysia. Meanwhile, electronic developer and manufacturer Fagor Electrodomésticos S Coop had established a storage and manufacturing plant here for around RM25 million, he said. He said with the level of exports from Spain to Malaysia rising steadily annually, the number of Spanish companies coming to Malaysia was also expected to rise in the next few years.

He said Spanish exports to Malaysia were expected to rise to RM1.3 billion in 2007, from RM951 million in 2006, adding that the top five exports consisted of ships, boats and floating structures, iron and steel, plastics and plastic products, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances and parts, and tanning, dyeing extracts, pigments and colourings. Spain was also one of the largest foreign investors in the world, and with the worldâ??s eighth largest economy, Spanish companies were keen to do business in Malaysia, García said. He said the Embassy of Spain in Malaysia organised a trade delegation of 100 companies here annually. â??Every year we receive about 100 Spanish companies and we organise meetings for them with Malaysian companies. We receive about 200 trade or investment enquiries from Spain every year.â? He said the companies may be interested in service-based sectors such as telecommunications, banking, infrastructure, energy and environmental technology. The country also promoted some of its leading industries under â??Technology for Lifeâ?, which explored business opportunities in Spanish technology, such as in aerospace, agricultural machinery, irrigation systems and the automotive industry, he said.

Although Malaysian companies currently did not have a large presence in Spain, García said the companies could offer its expertise in auto components manufacturing and the oil and gas sector. Spanish companies may also be interested in working with Malaysian counterparts in producing bio-diesel and other forms of clean energy, riding on Malaysiaâ??s production of crude palm oil, he said. â??This year International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz will be taking a trade mission to Spain for the first time. I think this is going to help a lot because we need to promote Malaysia more in Spain,â? he said.

If you wish to learn more about successful Spanish brands, please go to a previous post in this blog

13
Feb

IE launches the High-Potential Leaders Program

Written on February 13, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE

hplp.jpgThe Executive Education Division of IE Business School just launched the High-Potential Leaders Program (HPLP). This is unique international learning experience aims to prepare talented young professionals for their career development emphasizing in vision, skills and management capabilities required to meet the many and diverse global challenges business organizations are facing today and will face in the future. This program provides participants with the knowledge of how to create value in their organizations by presenting them a global overview of the business´ fundamentals, to successfully face higher levels of management responsibilities within their organizations in a near future.

HPLP has specifically been designed to teach its participants to be more effective leaders and team players in todayâ??s highly competitive global business environment. During the program, participants will meet other talented professionals from different culture, geographic and organizational backgrounds. This shared experience will be a valuable learning tool for participants to manage diverse relationships in a multi-cultural environment. The program is structured in two separate in-class modules and one back at the office module where the program participants will apply their knowledge directly at their organizations by developing a real-life corporate business plan. The topic of the business plan will need to be agreed upon and supervised by their superiors.

This program is aimed at young professionals who are in the early stages of their careers and have or are about to take on more responsibility within their organization. They have been recognized by their companies as high-potential individuals who are driven to succeed. Candidates must have a minimum of 3 years of relevant working experience. In the HPLP program they will embark in a journey of great self-awareness, effective decision-making and strategic understanding.

For more detailed information, please visit
http://www.execed.ie.edu/hplp

12
Feb

The 'cool' factor

Written on February 12, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Academics, Go for IE

1462.jpgFebruary 2008 | By Pablo Triana, Professor and Director of the Centre for Advanced Finance at IE Business School.

Although recent chaos in the markets brings back memories of past investment fads that ended in tears, this time itâ??s different. Hedge funds and derivatives have had some positive effects on finance markets and the economy.

Investors who seek fashionable products have been successfully persuaded over the last few years to invest in hedge funds and credit derivatives. Although the chaos that currently reigns in our markets reminds use of investment fads that went wrong in the past, this time there is a key difference, namely the fact that recently promoted strategies had a positive impact on financial markets and the economy in general.

In recent months, we have been bombarded by headlines like “Disappointing hedge fund returns”, “Hedge funds collapse”, “Problems with CDOs”, “Losses in CDOs”. If you allow me a certain amount of nostalgia, I feel myself transported back to 1989 (when I was a bit of a wild teenager) or 2000 (when I was a postgraduate student who wanted to continue being a bit of a wild teenager). In those days, as today, investments that appeared to be unquestionably “cool” suddenly became a source of misery. The must-have assets (junk bonds and dot-coms) became a death-trap for many of those who blindly obeyed the dictates of fashion. In their desperate attempt to become a member of the cool set, those investors paid a very high price.

Hedge funds and credit derivatives symbolise the trendy investments that were the (partial) disasters of our time. The modern, chic destination for your money. Unavoidable for those who did not want to be pointed out as old-fashioned and off-track. In recent years, the prevailing atmosphere seems to have been one of glorious exaltation of those with sufficient vision for transferring millions to increasingly complex financial structures and funds, together with the unlimited ridicule of those who, inexcusably, failed to jump on the train of new trends. Not very different from the days of junk bonds and dot-coms. In much the same way that a young woman is made to feel uncool if she does not buy her clothes in Zara or Prada, investors have been made to feel desperately off-track if they did not have positions in hedge funds and CDOs. Read more…

11
Feb

3rd Spanish Film Festival in Singapore: Feb 15-26

Written on February 11, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Explore IE

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The Embassy of Spain in collaboration with The Arts House present the 3rd Spanish Film Festival in Singapore. Spain has successfully produced a good number of movies categorized under the term film noir. A selection of famous movies where the crime fiction and intrigue are accompanied by the extraordinary sensuality of their protagonists it is found in this Festival. We hope the 3rd Spanish Film Festival will provide you an excellent opportunity to know better the Spanish Cinema and culture.

Screening Schedule
All films are in Spanish with English subtitles
Friday 15 7.30pm (NC16) La caja 507 (Box 507)
Saturday 16 7.30pm (NC16) Las horas del día (The Hours of the Day)
Sunday 17 2.30pm (R21) Son de mar (Sound of the Sea)
4.30pm (M18) En la ciudad sin límites (The City of No Limits)
7.30pm (R21) Tierra (Earth)
Tuesday 19 7.30pm (NC16) La vida que te espera (Your Next Life)
Wednesday 20 7.30pm (R21) Tierra (Earth)
Friday 22 7.30pm (NC16) La caja 507 (Box 507)
Saturday 23 7.30pm (M18) En la ciudad sin límites (The City of No Limits)
Sunday 24 2.30pm (NC16) La vida que te espera (Your Next Life)
4.30pm (NC16) Las horas del día (The Hours of the Day)
7.30pm (NC16) La Caja 507 (Box 507)
Tuesday 26 7.30pm (R21) Son de Mar (Sound of the Sea)

Venue:
Screening Room – The Arts House
1 Old Parliament Lane Singapore 179429

FREE ADMISSION
Reservations: tel: 65 6332 6919, email: tickets@toph.com.sg, www.theartshouse.com.sg

11
Feb

IE Business School pioneers in Second Life

Written on February 11, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE

ricardo-perez.jpgProf. Dr. Ricardo Perez Garrido talks about how IE faculty and students of IEâ??s Master in Telecom & Digital Business, as the pioneers in business schools, explore new ways of teaching and learning in virtual social networking platform Second Life.
Prof. Dr. Perez is the Program Director of this Master which is supported by companies like Accenture, Cisco, Nokia and Telefónica.

Prof. Dr. Perez, what are reasons behind IE’s initiative to use virtual platform as alternative teaching method?
We want to be ahead of the game in terms of understanding the link between technology and society, and given the growing adoption of these type of platforms for leisure and work, we cannot be left out of this trend. In fact, we want to be able to lead this challenging environment as we have done in the past with other collaborative technologies, and help companies, communities and society in general understand its relevance, impact and feasibility as learning and sharing tool.

How does IE promote and facilitate teaching on a virtual platform?
We have created an island and provided professors with the technical help needed to explore this virtual world as just another platform for their teaching. In fact several training sessions of the Master in Telecom & Digital Business have already taken place in this environment with great results, at least in terms of identifying potential and limitations of the platform.
During this process, what are reactions from students and teaching faculties?
This is completely new for all. For now, only a small percentage of students are part of Second Life or other online virtual worlds, and the same case applies for faculty. But in fact, given the identification of this phenomenon as a global trend, both students and faculty are eager and willing to try the new tool and accept the good and bad things that being a pioneer means. Read more…

10
Feb

¿Hablas español? – Do you speak Spanish?

Written on February 10, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE

Even though most of the Master programs at IE Business School are taught in English, being based in Madrid, Spain’s vibrant capital, knowing Spanish is a big advantage. Not just only to get even more immersed into the local culture but also because:

  • more than 500 million people speak Spanish around the planet
  • Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world and the second most international after English
  • Spanish is the thirds most used language in Internet, after English and Chinese
  • Spanish is the official language in 22 countries and in the UN as well as the European Union
  • Spanish has become the second language in the USA and this country is already the fifth largest Spanish-speaking country in the world.

So, it’s not just only to have more fun during your time in Madrid but also it can be a major asset in your resume knowing Spanish and a value added in your professional life.

In this post we would like to introduce you to 4 different options to learn Spanish. Of course, there might be much more options and by no means this pretends to be an exclusive list, since personal perceptions might differ.

spanish-pod.jpgspanishpod.com is a free online provider where you can download podcasts for different levels and you just need to sign up in order to get regularly updates.

laslilasschool.jpgLas Lilas School is a Spanish exclusive language school run be Spanish people who decided to move to Singapore. Teachers are all natives and courses are offered on different levels.

instituto-espanol.jpgInstituto Español is a private language school with a lot of Spanish oriented cultural offerings in Bangkok. You should try out the typical Spanish food in their cafeteria.

ic.jpgThe Instituto Cervantes is the official Spanish language school with a mayor facility in Manila for South East Asia. They have also some smaller activities running in KL, Jakarta and Hanoi. Other IC Centres you can find in Beijing, Shanghai, New Delhi and Tokyo.

8
Feb

“不得不吃”的火锅

Written on February 8, 2008 by Yan Huang in IE News

“吃火锅”现在在IE的中国人学生中好像成了“去中餐馆“的代名词。
过去是因为吃火锅有气氛,10多个人的聚会火锅是最理想不过了;还有就是马德里中国炒菜的“本土化”之彻底,实在让人折服的不得不选吃他国菜系。这次年夜饭,本来我们都是要吃炒菜的,可是老板却要求我们吃火锅,因为他们生意太好,瓦斯不够,火锅是最快的。虽然很是不情愿,老板的态度和理由也让人大跌眼镜,可是她“不吃这家你也没其他地儿吃”的自信彻底把我们征服了,最后我们“不得不吃”火锅。可怜我们中IMBA Section 1的Vera, Sean, Fiona周五还要跟他们班40个老外一起再吃一次,说是要发扬中国文化,咳咳,只能祝福他们“好胃“了。
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给“孔府家酒”做的带有80年代怀旧风的免费广告,咳咳。
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过年,讲究的是“热闹”“亲情”和“不拘小节”,都是“饮食男女”,就不要对这满桌的“杯盘狼藉”见外了哈。
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总会有媒体唯恐天下不乱,炒作“日韩誓不两立”,你看人家韩国的郑镇硕和日本的 Yoshimoto不是很有“哥俩好”的意思嘛。

8
Feb

关于张家港(Zhang Jia Gang)的一点点介绍

Written on February 8, 2008 by Yan Huang in IE News

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好吧,既然前面介绍了学校去张家港 的事,这里附带介绍一下这个江南小城。
张家港在90年代中期的中国曾经红透大江南北,被誉为中国“精神文明”和“物质文明”双丰收的典型。一是因为快速发展的经济水平使得其人均GDP在当年大大超过了同级别甚至更高级别的行政市;二是因为当年“严惩重赏”树立城市文明新风的决心和措施确实创造了一个近乎“一尘不染”的新小城。于是,几乎所有的国家重要领导人都来了,还一度被国内媒体炒作成中国的“新加坡”,咳咳。
不过这个位于“江南渔米”之乡的小城确实也不负众望,小城人民自创了一个口号“团结拼搏,负重奋进,自加压力,敢于争先”的精神,凭借着其得天独厚背靠“黄金水道”长江的优势,以及活跃地对外贸易活动,小城不仅牢牢树立了其经济发展水平居全国县级市前三位的牢固地位,而且还是中国首家国家环保模范城市,中国首批国家卫生城市,先后荣获“国家园林城市”、“国际花园城市”和“中国优秀旅游城市”等多个国家级奖项。 2006年又成为全国第一批生态市,并荣获中国人居环境奖。

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