viet-ha.JPGViet Ha just moved from her home town Hanoi to Spain’s capital Madrid to start the IE Master in Marketing Management. Read her first experiences and impressions about Madrid, IE and her program.

As you just recently moved to Madrid â?? how different and similar is Vietnam to Spain?
As I have always been living and working in Asia, I have been experiencing a whole new life in Spain, which is totally different from Asian cities such as Hanoi, Tokyo, Singapore or Hong Kong where I’ve lived, or have been to through business experience.
The most surprising thing for me in Spain is the different lifestyle, especially regarding the hours people conduct their daily habits. Particularly, it has taken me much time to get used to the meal hours here. In Vietnam we usually have breakfast at 7:00am, lunch at 12:00am and dinner at 7:00pm, and thus in the beginning at IE, I had a big trouble managing my lunch time and faced some health problems.
As many other foreign students, Madrid by night is a fantastic experience for me, I’ve never seen such a vivid night life anywhere else but here. In other Asian business cities such as Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, the night life is also exciting but I always felt that was more of “business excitement”. In Madrid, I feel that the night life is an “outside-the-work” excitement.
In my country Vietnam, life is also very different, without much night life. A normal day starts at 5:00am and ends at 10:00pm when all shops, restaurants or entertainment places are closed. Therefore, for me, Madrid also means a change in my lifestyle.
However, there is a similarity between Spain & Vietnam that I can see clearly, which is, people in both countries tend to spend much time enjoying themselves, and take much care of their personal life and people always look very happy. In the morning time when I get on the train to go to school, I do not see stressed or worried faces, people tend to look very relaxed and that often gives a pleasant start to my day.

What do you like most so far about the Master in Marketing Management?
Most students in MMMM are very young and many have not yet been experienced in the real business world. This sometimes is an advantage, as these students tend to be very curious and enthusiastic about knowing about the business world that they are going to enter, therefore they ask many questions and participate a lot in classes. Moreover, I can see that students of MMMM seem to be extroverts with high interpersonal skills, they are very open-minded in knowing more about other cultures, which I highly appreciate. I believe that in today’s global business world, understanding and knowledge about other cultures play an important role in business success, as we will do business with many countries.

How would you describe the student life at IE?
I am amazed by the liveliness and richness of the student life at IE. The Bar of the Week activities are very interesting and I get to know many friends from different programs as well. I am also very contented with the service and assistance that the Student Office or our Program Managers or coordinators have provided, they are very professional and kind. What captures my interest the most is the IE clubs, this year I have joined 13 clubs. I believe that more than academic classes, I might remember better what I do with the clubs throughout the year. I have made many friends with students from other programs of IE in the clubs, and the clubs are the places where I learn about other cultures the best. I have been appointed Vice President of Cooking of IE Gourmet Club, Vice President of IE Asian Business Club, Vice President of Communications of IE Emerging Markets Club and Secretary of IE Japan Club. I would like to contribute to creating a better image of my region to IE students from other parts of the world, as well as to make the one year at IE one of the best learning times of my life. As committee member of IE Asian Business Club & IE Emerging Markets Club, I would like to work on expanding the business network and investment chances between Spanish companies and Asia, which is also the career I would like to pursue in the future.
I also admire the various activities that students of 2008 have carried out with the clubs, and I always try to attend as many speeches that are arranged by academic clubs as possible. They are adding very much value to my experience at IE and I feel very contented to have been part of the IE community.

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