IE Business School Online Masters
Inmaculada Valle Inmaculada Valle



Inmaculada Valle
June 3, 2009
The “demands” of an on-line master

Well, probably the worst part of being part of an online program is the time that you spend by yourself in front of a computer, is like going to work out by yourself: its not the same and it’s harder than when you go with a group of people. You know is for your own benefit and you know you are doing it because you want, nobody push you to it, but…, sometimes you will wonder what exactly crossed your mind when you decided to invest your free time in that… 

I have to say anyway, that at some point becomes a big part of your life, and in the same way that you feel “addicted” to the exercise after some time, you will also get addicted to check the discussion board (DB) to see what’s going on with the different discussions opened for that week. So, there is this point when you not only don’t mind to be such a long time in front of a laptop, but you really enjoy it! Just make sure that when you do it at work your boss is not around…, fortunately mine doesn’t mind 

Another “problem” is that people around you “don’t understand you” anymore . Why cannot you go out for dinner any time? or, take the whole weekend to go rafting?, or why the hell do you have to be connected a Friday at 4 am to internet to listen a videoconference? it’s like being teenager again, nobody understand what I am going through, only my fellows, but I don’t have then “here”, I don’t even live in the same continent that any of them!!

On the other hand…, we live in this fantastic era of technology, with email and telephone, but also with facebook, skype, msn… so actually, we are not “so alone”, you all know it

The other thing, is that actually, you don’t really need to be at home to be part of the class, you can be in a library, in a airport, in the park, having dinner with some friends while being a geek and using your iphone to send messages to the DB (personally, I don’t have an iphone, but I have a lot of friends who don’t mind if I borrow theirs  )

The last point that I would like to make with this post, is actually related with this “era of internet”. I work a lot with people who I barely see in person, or lives miles away from me, and we base our communication and our work mainly in phone calls and emails, so, in a way, this on-line master offers me an experience more “real” than going to class every day.  It is not only about the knowledge that I am getting about different subjects, but about the way you communicate with your peers through internet, and about the way you organize your work (personal but also team work) and deal with problems and deadlines in your group when you don’t have these people “face to face”. This is, to me, a competitive advantage of the on-line masters, but each person should consider their own situation an the added value of each option.

Right now, I have to say that even with all the “demands” of this master, I am happy I decided to do it and I am happy I chose the on-line MBM at IE, so far, so good 

 


Inmaculada Valle
May 18, 2009
the lack of contact of an on-line master (II)

Hi again!

well, well, let’s talk about how it is to start to work on-line…, the first presential period is oooover!!

it’s been so nice to be in Madrid, meet all these new interesting people, we work hard but we had a lot of very funny moments, I really like all of them, and we really enjoy being just students for 2 weeks, well…, now it’s time to back home…

In my case, I left Madrid one Tuesday morning, exactly the day we were starting with the discussions on-line, ummmm, how will be to work on-line?

I took my flight in the morning, after checking the discussion board (DB),….ummmmm, nothing there yet…., approximately 1 day later (subway-plane-cumstoms aggggg-plane-train-home!) I was again in front of a computer ready to connect with the DB, ummmmm, let’s see, let’s see what’s going on!!…., and….., my pupils get dilated, I stop breathing, my heartbeat is going crazy…. am I going to have an stroke? …200 posts! 200… posts?!! in one day? but… but we are just 11 people in the course this year… and I didn’t post anything yet…, 200? seriously?!! This must be a joke!!… well, you can imagine that whatever nice feelings I had for my classmates at that point completely disappeared… 

first thing to learn from this experience, don’t think that you will feel that you will be working just by yourself, you will weak up and you will go to bed reading your classmates and professors posts, you will eat in front of your computer and you will use every minute you can to check what’s going on in the DB…, you may not have all your classmates in the room with you, but you pretty much live with them every minute of the day…

after the initial shock, and believe that is really stressful at the beginning, little by little you learn to manage all this and actually, in my case if I open the DB during a weekend and I don’t see any new comment I feel weird, like if something is going wrong…, anyway, it doesn’t happen very often, and of course, never during the week

two moths have passed already, and we still keep a very high number of posts per week, some very serious, some very funny, some complaints, some to cheer you up,… every week a little bit of madness appears at some point to relieve stress and make things easier…, in this master you work a lot, you learn a lot, but you also laugh a lot, not a bad combination, not at all…

 


Inmaculada Valle
May 1, 2009
The lack of contact in an on-line master (I)

I heard about the Master in Biotechnology Management at IE during an MBA fair, ummmm, interesting: an on-line program that last 13 months.

I started to take into account different things: on one hand, it is just one year, it allows me to work at the same time that I am improving my education, plus it is focused in the field that I want to work, so it’s perfect! On the other hand, (things are never black or white, of course) it is an on-line program …, am I really going to learn something? Will it be worthy? One year just me and my laptop …, what about the interaction with teachers and students? What about the network that we are supposed to create?, etc…, well, I am pretty sure  you get the idea …, I was having mixed feelings.

Well, the program starts in Madrid where it is hold the first of three presencial periods that form the course. You will be there for 2 weeks that are supposed to help you to meet your classmates and teachers and to create some kind of bonds that will make easier to work in groups when everybody goes back to home. Well, me personal experience during those 2 weeks went through this:

1st day: we have the introductions, everybody seem to be “normal” people… let’s see how it goes…

1st night: beer after class and we go from talking about the master, the different subjects that we have to study for… (“boring” stuff)… to: age, number of children, boyfriends/girlfriends, etc

1st week: I have spend ~14h/day with the rest of students, at this point most of us already have a nickname, I have laugh in these 7 days more than in the previous 3 months… and I am a happy person who smiles a lot : ), so that is something…

1st and a half week: we start to think that is going to finish too soon…, at this point we know a lot about each other, we have heard a lot of stories about each other life … some of them you wish you wouldn’t have heard them … : ))

2nd week: time to say goodbye : ((, nobody wants to leave Madrid, do we really have to go back to our jobs? Uffff, nooooooo,

in short: it was great! we work 24/7, but we had a really great time and the interaction with the rest of the people was just unbelievable good…

next time I’ll talk a little bit about how was for me the start of the online period….


Inmaculada Valle
April 22, 2009
Some thoughts about an online program

Hello everybody!

Well, I will try to give you an idea of how it is to do an online Master at IE from the point of view of an “insider”.

Let me start saying that I live in San Francisco, California. If your first thought has been something like: “cool! California, sun, beaches, warm temperatures, “Baywatch”,…, well, let me tell you that probably you haven’t been in San Francisco, and if you are planning to visit “us” during the summer you better bring with you a nice and warm coat.

Why am I saying this? Because, in the same way, if you are thinking something like: “puf, an online program, this people don’t really work to get the degree they just pay for it and they learn nothing”, once again, let me tell you that you don’t have any idea of what it means to do an online Master with IE.

When I started to think about doing a master that was one of the main issues that I considered: quality. It is very convenient for me, but is going to be good enough a master online? Will it be worth the investment? I can tell you that so far it is. I am learning at an unbelievable pace. You cannot stop a moment, you work all the time so, you start to see results very soon (during the next posts I will talk to you a little bit about how it works the system online). From the very first day it become really clear that this is not a game, this is a very serious and highly demanding program, but let me tell you, that at the same time you will have a lot of fun with your “classmates” and also with the professors. This takes me to another point: the interaction with other students and with the professors. Probably, as I did, you think it cannot be very close because is not face-to-face, well, one more time I have to tell you that nothing further from the reality. I still don’t know how it is possible, but you will create very close relationship with these people, maybe because you will spend most part of your time talking with them (emails, chats, forums, skype…) and maybe because the program is so demanding that you need to share your worries and problems with the “only” people that can understand you: your classmates, who are in the same situation you find yourself.

In the next posts I will try to give you examples of my experience so you can, in a way, sense how it is to do an online program at IE.

 

C u!

Inma


 
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