IE Business School Online Masters
Belén Fernandez Belén Fernandez
I have been working in different positions and industries in England, France, Spain and Japan always with a common denominator: international environments and challenging assignments. When I was working as HR Supervisor and Projects Development for online educational companies in Osaka, Japan, I decided to pursue the IE IXMBA to stretch my managerial skills. I can already say without any doubt that it has proved to be a very good decision.

Now that the first period is over, I am already amazed at how much I have learned in this comprehensive, intensive, sometimes with really crazy workload, EMBA. And lucky us…we still have some more months of pretty amazing learning ahead.

In my spare time (ahem…before this MBA) I love hiking, scuba-diving and, in general, any outdoor activity, just Nature…for sure I will reward myself with some “active prize in Nature” after graduation.

Would you like to know how are going to be the last 4 months of this outstanding IXMBA? Stay tuned!


Belén Fernandez
July 23, 2010
Graduation!!!

Today is our MBA graduation!!!

As one image is worth one thousand words, I leave you with the link to watch it from 12.00,  Madrid time.

http://www.ie.edu/graduaciones2010/

I cannot explain how we all feel about it 🙂

All the best to my peers, professors, and the managing team of the MBA.

And all the best to you, the ones assessing the possibility of pursuing a MBA at IE.

Belen


Belén Fernandez
July 4, 2010
Online lessons are over!

On Friday the online lessons were over…we only have the third face-to-face period in Madrid left…and we will graduate!

Feelings are mixed (at least in my case): on one hand you feel relief: “finally… it is over… ;-)”  and on the other hand you feel the pressure of the final stretch: “oh dear…final presentations, final reports and final exams are too close!”

Only one week to prepare everything…not enough time…again.

Then, I start to organize how I am going to spend this wonderful week (without classes means extra time) so I am able to review everything (I think: literally impossible), to do the group reports I am assigned, to do my individual reports and to prepare everything to go to Madrid (hopefully I currently live close to Madrid…I cannot imagine people who has a 15-hours flight or even longer to Spain)

Hmmm…it looks like I will need to follow this advice from one of our Professors (Mark Fritz) who send us weekly “encouragement”. I quote literally (so all the credit goes for him, as it should):

“NOT IF, BUT WHEN – 9th July

There are two mindsets within people, with one making things happen, and the other hoping it happens. It’s summarised with “if or when”. You have the “if” people who hope it happens, but don’t take any action. The “when” people know it is only a matter of time, and they take action in order to make it happen sooner rather than later.”

Good…feeling energized now. I will do my best at scheduling when I am going to “attack” the different assignments and hope (ahem, there is still a part of me that needs to hope, he he) that “my best” will be good enough.

I will let you know how this ends….but for  now I wanted all of you to have a realistic view of how good your “time management skills” will be at the end of your MBA :-). Of course, if you have any suggestion….please, don’t be shy and bring it in 😉

Belén…getting mentally ready for the “final meters” in this “MBA marathon”. As the Spanish soccer team usually says: A POR ELLOS!!! 🙂


Belén Fernandez
May 30, 2010
The power of a diverse, but collaborative team.

This week we received the grades of one of our subjects and I just can’t stop thinking how powerful a diverse and complementary team is.  One of the greatest things I experienced in this MBA is the various dynamics of different groups. You probably have heard that we have to work in teams for many group reports and presentations. Well, you will discover (or confirm in some cases) how great is variety and diversity of backgrounds when organized to produce a common output that benefit all group members.

How important is to respect and value skills in others! Especially those I don’t possess. These combination of different skills and personalities are invaluable assets in teamwork.

So next time you encounter a person very different from you, instead of thinking “Pff, we don’t have anything in common”…it might be better to pause and think: “Great, that person is so different from me! In which areas and how could we complement each other?”.  Just focus on each person strengths and do your best to collaborate in producing something in common, trust me, the result can be outstanding!

Remember this if you are embarking in an IE MBA. 😉 You will “see” it for yourself. The sooner you deeply recognize the value of diversity in others…. the sooner you will start discovering the real power of diverse, but collaborative teams.

As an exception this weekend we have to submit individual reports…and I cannot stop thinking: Pff, only having my input…it doesn’t look good enough! 🙂


Belén Fernandez
May 12, 2010
A little story about some frogs…

I would like to share a thought I had the other day.

Are you familiar with the little story about some frogs that were in “warm” water? It felt so good at the beginning. Then, the temperature was increasing very, very slowly. The frogs didn’t realize they were being “cooked” and all died at the end. O_O

Why on earth are you talking about frogs when this blog is supposed to be about the IXMBA experience? (I know what you are just thinking now… he he).

Ok, I explain myself: I just realized that the workload in this MBA is increasing slowly but steadily. I am a pretty organized person, and checking what I have to do this week (and what I should have done last week too) I just “saw the light”. The MBA’s first period is aimed to align different backgrounds and experiences to a same level of theoretical knowledge (at least this is my perception). Now in this second online period, once we get used to the “temperature” of the first period…the workload is increasing continuously…as it is the complexity of the cases we are studying.

Of course, this phenomenon has two possible readings: A positive one, in which we all are becoming able to face increased pressure and becoming more efficient (achieving more in less time), or a more negative reading, in which all of us will be “dead” by July, hehehe. Hoping it is the positive one!

So, if you are thinking about embarking in this International IXMBA, yeap, you should know that you will become much more efficient… if you survive 🙂

Belén


Belén Fernandez
April 18, 2010
IXMBA Carpe Diem ;-)

If you are one of our readers…have you already realized how difficult is for many authors to even find time for their first post? He he, you are starting to get it: Time management is key for success in an IE IXMBA.

Don’t worry, you will learn how to “maximize the available time” every day… After several months of hectic workload, I have developed a deeper understanding of the meaning of Carpe Diem from Horacio (Odas, I, 11) or “Seize the day”, although it has acquired a slightly different connotation 🙂

We are now on the second online period of our International Executive MBA. I’ve learnt how to read cases remembering key points (so I don’t need to spend another hour reading the case again in order to answer the online questions in the forum), I have polished a “sixth sense” for hints when reading, i.e., “mmm… it looks like this doesn’t fit in this context” (and I quickly highlight it in a different color)…And then, often it is a key point of the case, as I discovered later in the class forums. All these little tricks will save you time and will mean that you are becoming more efficient in your use of time.

If you are thinking about earning an MBA…be aware of your great opportunity of discovering another perspective of the Carpe Diem concept…how to make every minute count in your 13 intensive-learning months 😉

Of course, you will have ALL your “after-the-MBA-life” to return to the universally known concept of Carpe Diem, he he, the one that includes “real free time” and enjoying your personal life again!


 
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