IE Business School Online Masters
Ram Parasuraman
May 4, 2010
You've got questions.. we've got answers! Yes, it is finals week on our 2 courses, things are heating up as usual… but I understand that admissions are a stressful time too.. so here we go… Pls don't mind if the answers are a bit succinct, I will come back and add more details when I get time.. so keep refreshing your browser with bated breath… stay tuned 😉

Prior Episodes of this series:

 Part 1, Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5

Now, on to Part 6…

Q.18 The whole program– do u find the program is it Stressed or it is at ease?

A.18 Let me be the first to warn you. It is extremely stressful, don't let anyone make you believe otherwise. I spend no less than 20 hours each week on MBA work. The average is more or less 24-26 hours per week. So, you see, it is a near full time effort. Since the program is compressed in duration, i.e. 15 months is wayyy below average for a Part time MBA.. so you commit to intensive delivery. You barely have time to breathe between courses or sessions. So, look forward to a roller coaster ride. But like Speed-reading, the learning stays forever. They reinforce it throughout the course.

We learn along the way on how to balance time juggling work, family and the MBA. We were much more rusty and haphazard when we began than we are now. Of course, once in a while professors do keep you on the edge when you run helter-skelter, but we try to "manage" those. Time Management is not within the scope of an MBA, but it does give you plenty of practical experience to master the art. 

When we get through these two courses and I have some more time to reflect, I will post a "Day in the Life of a GMBA" post… in that you will see how time is split between activities.
Q.19 How do you find the program? I mean its syllabus and the format?

A.19: There are 2 components, synchronous Live Videoconferences and asynchronous online discussion forums. The videoconfs are trivial, all classmates connect to the same virtual classroom as the professor, spanning 30 different countries or more. Professor has a lecture component as well as your team will make multiple presentations over many courses. It is fun and is no different than real classes in my experience. Technology has enabled this big time!

Actually I have covered format a lot of this in my contributions to this blog. You can read about Forums here, about Professors here, about Transition Weeks here and a new way of applying senses here .

The discussion forums were the part I was a bit skeptic about. Read my blog post: "In Forumal learning" — it will give you all the details. As you perhaps know, MBA is mostly about collective learning via Case Studies and class discussions. The Professor does not teach you as they do with engineering courses. They guide discussions and you learn from your and your classmates' learning. The discussions are dynamic, you are on your toes and get to express your opinions in a very meaningful written format. The learning from this format is tremendous! Youtube, PDFs, Newspapers and Journals complement the learning.
Q.20 How are the group exercises you are involved in? How are groups formed and what level of diversity and projects do you get involved in?

A.20 Groups are formed by the program committee, i.e. Alvaro and others. Our class has 2 batches consisting of 65 students from 30 countries. Most of us were born in one country, lived in another and have worked in a third or 4th countries. We have spanned many roles ranging from Chocolate Factory supervisors to Space Scientists. Work groups contain 6 or 7 members per group. No nationality is repeated twice, no functionality is repeated twice. Of course, this all depends on your class composition, but usually IE is known for its massive diversity.

During an MBA course, one thing you are guaranteed is group projects. These take the shape of weekly homework, presentation, contests and others. You are constantly in touch with your group without which the MBA would not exist.

Wow! I thought we could keep this to 20 questions, but looks improbable now! Let us see if we can keep it to 25 questions! 😉
That's it for this post folks… catch y'all later in the final 2 parts of this Q&A! Ciao!

The IE Global MBA from Sunny California


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