IE Business School Online Masters
Ram Parasuraman
April 27, 2010

Q7. Do you think that the GMBA option is working well for you as compared to IE’s other online programs like International Executive MBA? OR do the other programs offer something different or additional which is missing from the GMBA?

Answering this question in earnest could get me in trouble with my co-bloggers and cohorts from other programs. But let me take the chance. I say,  it all depends on what you are looking for. I reviewed both the formats and my profile could have fitted either program. In a way, I was like Harry Potter, under the sorting hat, wondering whether Slytherin or Gryffindor was the right house for me. Both programs have the same set of courses delivered in a slightly different mix of online vs presential events. But in the end, the GMBA was the only one I would consider at IE.  The IXEMBA was missing one key factor which I was looking for. It did not have weekly live sessions, this for me was the deal breaker.

The IXEMBA did have longer and more numerous presential events, but to me, it was not the same as weekly reinforcement. I wanted weekly live interaction with professors and classmates, not just as a way to keep in touch, but also to stay in syn’c and to “see” each other more regularly. An added benefit is, you learn via experience, on how to make effective online presentations. This is an increasingly sought after talent in today’s world of WebEx and Telepresence. You could argue that you can do the same via offline interactions, it is just that the GMBA suits my personality better.

Yes, by going in for the GMBA, I forfeited the opportunity to network with more experienced classmates in high profile, even C-level  positions. But I would be amongst the youngest in the IXEMBA, whereas in the GMBA, I would be smack down the middle of the age ranges. This was also another factor that influenced me toward the GMBA, as I could learn from people younger and older to me. As you can already see, it is no trivial decision and it involves a lot of personal circumstances. So, make your choice wisely and personalized to your situation.<p>

Q8. How does the GMBA stack up against its flagship International MBA program?

IMBA has younger applicants with lower experience, still more experience than equivalent US peers. They complete the program in 13 months, whereas we take 15. They spend a bit more time in their courses.  Students live in Madrid for the duration of the program, so they have live everyday access to their peers and can setup instant discussions for projects and case reports.

They form clubs, have access to IE facilities like its library, although we do have access to the virtual library and virtual IE communities as well. It is a comparison of Full time vs Part Time or Online, which is not a fair comparison. Obviously if you could do it, I would recommend you do a full time MBA over part time for the experience, the immersion and more complete and meaningful networking with peers. But if you are considering a part time program, IE’s GMBA and IEXMBA are both formidable options with the most rigorous curriculum and the most diversity you can find in a part time program.

Q9. What is your assessment of the Residential period(s)?

We have had one so far and it was nothing short of sensational! It was awesome meeting folks from 30 countries, getting to know each other, the program, the professors, IE, Madrid and much more. We had several short courses in Networking, Teamwork, Negotiation etc in addition to the first sessions of our first courses. We had a very busy week, but it was brilliant! Having this at the outset of the program was great! Relationships run deeper once you have put the “face to the name”. It is still the fondest period of my MBA. Just a Perfect Start!

Q10. You live close to the best MBA programs then why did you opt for IE?

I guess the reference is to University of California, Berkeley and Santa Clara University. Both are very reputed universities with long standing and well known programs. When I looked at the Candidate profile of UCBerkeley Haas school of business,  it did not have the diversity in terms of nationality or industry as my current class in IE. Most people attending the part time program in Haas seem to me as if they are from Silicon Valley or Northern California sponsored by their Tech company employers. So, there you go, it was regional and tech heavy. The amount I learn at IE had the potential to exceeds the amount I would learn at Haas part time, leave alone the time I need to take to attend class in Berkeley, find parking, etc.

Besides, two important and practical reasons: Duration of the Program and Costs, both were much lower with IE (1/3rd). So I saw a clearly better value going in for a Top 10 school with a reputed program. I do realize of course, that I am taking a risk with the lower Brand Equity and alumni reach of IE in the US. But hey, I am a believer and hopefully a trail blazer, being amongst the first GMBAs in the area!!

Wish me luck and I wish you luck!

Until next time, it is
(Goodbye in Malayalam, an ancient South Indian Language)


31 Comments

[…] original here:  GMBA Q&A with Prospective Students: The Sorting Hat! | Online Masters By admin | category: executive mba programs | tags: effective, emba, gmba, latest, […]

Hey Ram,

Very good answers on the Hass and Global over Exec MBA questions. Very helpful.

S Sharath

Comment by Sharath — April 28, 2010 @ 2:05 am

Thanks Sharath, Appreciate the comments!,
Cheers, Ram

Comment by Ram Parasuraman — April 29, 2010 @ 1:29 am

[…] time to get this Q&A series heated up as well! Prior Parts of this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 Now, on to Part 5… Q13. I understand that IE utilizes the Adobe Connect platform to […]

Pingback by Q&A with Prospective GMBA Students | Online Masters — May 1, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

[…] time to get this Q&A series heated up as well! Prior Parts of this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part […]

[…] 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 Goodbye Folks! Stay tuned for further notes on the everyday […]

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