FT MBA Diary: The real journey is about to begin

Written on January 15, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE, Live IE

olga-slavinka-small.jpgBy Olga Slavinka, IMBA 2007, published in FT.com

I now have my MBA diploma in my hands, the diploma for which I have worked so hard. Although the programme took only 13 months to complete, the sheer intensity of these five terms made me feel that I had been at IE Business School in Spain for far longer.

On the one hand, the idea that I no longer have to burn the midnight oil analysing business cases is quite appealing. On the other, I now realise that the unbelievably intensive academic experience was not only one of the smartest investments of time and money I have ever made, but was also amazingly, albeit exhaustingly, enjoyable. It may sound clichéd but I feel very well-equipped to deal with the real world waiting for me, although maybe I should add that Iâ??m acutely aware there is still plenty to learnâ?¦

Returning to where I left off in my last entry, in the summer I travelled for a couple of weeks after the core MBA courses came to an end, returning to Madrid in September with my batteries somewhat recharged for the fifth, and final, elective period. Whereas during the core terms classes ran from 9am till 3 pm, with a permanently heavy workload in the afternoons, the elective period seemed easier to handle. The schedule was not as structured however, with classes sometimes taking place from early morning till 10 pm to allow practitioners to come and teach after their working day was over. Read more…


Spain´s role in the relations between Asia and Latin America

Written on January 14, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Academics

1440.jpgJanuary 2008. By Gonzalo Garland, Professor of Economic Environment at IE Business School.

Some analysts believe Spain is playing a key role in building relations between Asia and Latin America. That may be so, but we need to examine some aspects of this role in greater detail.

Recently, certain analysts have commented on the possibility of Spain becoming an important player in the relations between Asia and Latin America. They talk about a “triangulation” between the three geographical and economic areas that can be compared with Spain´s role in the European Union in the relations between the latter and Latin America. To a certain extent, it could also be compared with the important role Spain plays in the region when the interlocutor is the United States. However, there are significant differences that question whether or not Spain´s role can be so relevant in the case of Asia as it has been in the past in the cases of Europe or North America.

No one doubts Spain´s importance in the region of Latin America due to its history, language and culture and to the presence of Spanish enterprises in the local countries. In the European context, this clearly gives Spain and Portugal a privileged position as interlocutors for these countries in the context of the Union. The idea of the Ibero-American summits followed by the creation of the Secretaría General Iberoamericana (SEGIB) constitute two indicators of this trend. We could say that even the geographical location of the Iberian peninsular in the context of Europe makes the relations “natural”. Indeed, some European enterprises with interests in the region manage their operations better from the Iberian peninsular. Read more…


Inside España – the newsletter about Spain for Singaporeans

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


The Spanish Tourism Board in Singapore started recently an own newsletter with the latest, hippest & hottest happenings that Spain has to offer to Singapore. Whether you’re interested in arts, music, fashion, food or the famous Spanish passion for life, be assured that there will always be something for everyone.

You can join the mailing list at http://www.insideespana.com

If you prefer to visit the Spanish Tourism Board just go to 541 Orchard Rd, Liat Towers #09-04 Singapore 238881.


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

IE Business School invites you to live the IE experience in real-time with a member of our world-class faculty. Enjoy a case discussion with Prof. Gamaliel Martinez, Professor of Operation Management with more than 20 years of experience in consulting in industries like Shipbuilding, Automative, Agrofood, Pharma. You can actively participate debating about the general management case Bushman Shipbuilding and gain in this way insights of the day-by-day of the Master programs at IE. As the aim of this case study discussion is not linked to any specific program, everybody is welcome.

Date: Sunday, January 20, 2008
Time: 18.00 â?? 20.00
Venue: Instituto Español, 25fl Vanissa Building, 29 Soi Chidlom, Lumpini, Bangkok 10330 (BTS: Chidlom)

If you wish to participate, please register at http://www.ie.edu/eng/sobreie/suscripcion_eventos_2.asp?id=5721.


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

IE Business School invites you to live the IE experience in real-time with a member of our world-class faculty. Enjoy a case discussion with Prof. Gamaliel Martinez, Professor of Operation Management with more than 20 years of experience in consulting in industries like Shipbuilding, Automative, Agrofood, Pharma. You can actively participate debating about the general management case Bushman Shipbuilding and gain in this way insights of the day-by-day of the Master programs at IE. As the aim of this case study discussion is not linked to any specific program, everybody is welcome. This event will be jointly organized by IE Business School and Times Educational Services.

Date: Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Time: 19.00 â?? 21.00
Venue: Times Education Services, 11 Unity Street, #02-14/15 Robertson Walk, Singapore 237995
Schedule: 19:00 – 19:05 Welcome
19:05 â?? 19.20 GMAT Presentation by Times Education Services
19:20 â?? 19:30 IE Introduction
19:30 â?? 20:30 Case Study Discussion
20:30 â?? 21:00 Q&A

If you wish to participate, please register at http://www.ie.edu/eng/sobreie/suscripcion_eventos_2.asp?id=5723.


Written on January 8, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE, Live IE

JP Morganâ??s Good Venture CompetitionStudents from IE Business School, Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Hamline University have won the second edition of JPMorganâ??s Good Venture Competition. The competition focuses on developing philanthropic non-profit organisations.

This year 77 socially responsible teams from 48 universities and business schools pitched for $25,000 of direct funding from JPMorgan. Ultimately nine teams were selected for the final round, having submitted funding proposals for existing organisations to demonstrate how the financial investment would yield discernable social returns. The SKIP (Supporting Kids in Peru) team, comprised Teresa Escardo Etchenique, Brent Latham, Amanda Phillips, Alfredo Vaghi, was the only team from outside the US in the final.

The SKIP project supports the development of educational opportunities for disadvantaged children in the areas of El Porvenir and Alto Trujillo in northern Peru. Working with a number of educational and institutional partners on the ground, SKIP provides funding and resources to enable children to enter the education system. As well as working directly with the children they also provide a framework of support for the families, which include a micro-enterprise loan system to help families generate their own income.
Alfredo Vaghi commented that winning this competition was a huge moment for Supporting Kids in Peru. â??This grant will have a tremendous impact, allowing SKIP to double the population it serves over the next two years. A combination of aspects led to the win: not only does the SKIP project have a great mission and implementation method that yield impressive results, but also the approach plays a key role in increasing organizational efficiency, which in turn leads to greater social impact. Moreover, due to the diversity of the team we were able to highlight both the financial and social outcomes of the project, leveraging our learning at IE and our personal experiences.â?

For more information on JP Morganâ??s Good Venture Competition 2007-08 please click here.


FUND MANAGEMENT: Real life gets in the way of BSM certainty

Written on December 20, 2007 by Dirk Hopfl in Academics

The following article was published in Financial Times on December 10, 2007 and written by Pablo Triana, Director of  the Centre for Advanced Finance at IE. If you wish to learn more about our finance related programs, please visit http://www.miaf.ie.edu/.

The recent debate on the Black-Scholes-Merton options pricing model continues to make waves. Research by veteran option traders and authors Nassim Taleb and Espen Haug claims that BSM was not really an original invention, that its real-world popularity has been greatly exaggerated, and that there may be no mathematical models behind option prices, with simple supply-demand interaction claiming authorship instead.
Such bold statements, while a welcome contribution to the search for truth, may deprive us of something that seemed valuable. BSM, for all its flaws, offered quantifiable light where before there was only unknown darkness. By “losing” BSM, we would lose such certainty, albeit misplaced.
The most obvious certainty that the model offered was a precise number for the value of an option. This it did in a quite ingenious way. Everyone would tell you that an option should cost money because it gives you the right to enjoy a potentially large pay-out while limiting the possible losses if things do not go your way. But who ensures that that right has value per se? That value is supposed to come from the probability assigned to the option expiring in-the-money. So who guarantees that the probability of making money on the option is non-zero? Who can honestly claim to know the exact distribution governing financial assets? Pricing options based simply on probabilistic assumptions sounds a bit fishy.

Read more…


Happy New Year 2008

Written on December 19, 2007 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE

On behalf of IE Business School, the Asia-Pacific Blog team wishes you a merry X-mas and a prosperous and an even more successful 2008.

Thank you for reading this blog and please keep on visting and posting comments on this blog!

Happy New Year 2008


Did you know? – Famous Spanish brands

Written on December 14, 2007 by Dirk Hopfl in FAQ

Are you aware that some of the brands you see on a daily basis are acutally of Spanish origin? Most of these brands are also connected to IE:

  • You will discuss about these brands or their owner’s company as some of the 300-500 cases you will see during your Master program at IE.
  • Some professors are working or have worked in these companies and you get first hand experiences apart from the actual case study.
  • Some companies are actively involved in IE activities such as Telefonica as co-sponsor of the Master in Telecom & Digital Business or Santander and BBVA (the two largest Spanish banks) as well as, again, Telefonica as co-sponsors of the Master in Marketing Management.

Just click the images and find out more about some of Spains most famous brands. Of course there are much more, however most of them you can see here have direct business relations with the Asia Pacific region.

SantanderBBVA TelefonicaCamperChupa Chups

Marques de CaceresReal MadridFC BarcelonaLladróTorres


Massimo DuttiZaraWomenâ??s Secret


Dual Degree with MIT: interview with Roman Korchagin, IMBA 2006

Written on December 12, 2007 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE

Roman Korchagin at MITThis is a second interview to an IE graduate who participated in the IE Dual Degree with MIT. Roman Korchagin (Russia) finished his Dual Degree this summer is now back to Russia. Before his International MBA at IE, he worked for 10 years in distribution industry in business development and as Head of Sales. Roman went to study his Dual Degree with MIT in Cambridge.

Roman, why did you decide to do the Dual Degree with MIT?
I think that the Dual Degree gives an excellent mix of a general business education and a deep knowledge in one particular subject. My previous working experience was mostly in sales and I wanted to change my career and gain an expertise in another function. Thus the Dual Degree program was a good choice for me.
Although I didn’t have a direct experience in logistics before, I had a lot of interactions with a logistics department and participated in cross-functional logistics projects.
I was also attracted by the flexibility of the program and the MIT learning environment: in addition to the required courses I could take any courses from MIT Sloan School of Management or Harvard. When I came to MIT I learnt that most of the required courses are also thought to MIT Sloan students. And although the intake was only 33 students, we had an excellent opportunity to interact with MIT Sloan and Harvard Business School students, and PhDs from both MIT and Harvard.
The last reason was a chance to compare European and American cultures and the lifestyles.

How was your day-by-day at the program â?? similar to what you experienced at IE?
MIT and IE programs were similar and different at the same time. I can state that the quality of classes and teaching, especially if we compare the best professors, is equally strong at IE and MIT. I am grateful to IE for a solid base of business knowledge. From the other hand I experienced a great deal of flexibility at MIT. For example, I could try and drop many courses and was much more in charge of my learning path and workload.
I also did my first real research at MIT when I worked on my thesis project. That research was very practical since it was sponsored by a company (General Mills) and I worked in close cooperation with them and visited 3 times the headquarters.
I could also visit much more events, company presentations, and meetings with famous businessmen and politicians (Jack Welch, Steve Ballmer, Carly Fiorina, Edward Kennedy).
I can mention that students at the MIT program don’t represent such a big diversity of countries as at the IE program, but at MIT we also had a lot of PhD students taking the same courses and worked with them on projects, which was a very valuable experience.

How did you finance the additional year at MIT?
I received an International Logistics Fellowship from the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics and covered the rest of my tuition and living expenses from personal savings.

What has been the main motivation to choose your MIT campus (Cambridge or Zaragoza)?
I decided to go to Cambridge because MIT could provide me with better learning experience: MLOG is a part of a huge university with hundreds of students from different departments and schools.

Thank you very much, Roman, for your enriching contribution to this blog!

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