IE Business School Online Masters
Borislav Kiprin
February 13, 2010
Reflections on the last weeks of Masters in Digital Marketing

Time passes. And so I find myself 5 weeks shy form graduation. So do the my classmates. We tangle between reality and insanity on daily basis now. And to tell you the truth, it is not easy. We found ourselves so wired juggling between job assignments, our Master’s ones and trying to have a sort of a personal life. The latter one however, proves to be the hardest task. Nonetheless, we are all faithful that this manic rhythm will bring us to the next level – a better understanding of how to develop marketing strategies in the digital environment or managing an e-business platform.

Anyways, let’s give a little perspective concerning the second online period, by offering you a situational analysis of everyone’s weekly agenda:

  • The Master – well, this really is a doubled weekly assignment. One one hand we have the 2-3 subjects we need to discuss every week. This basically means reading, posting, researching and considering. To this you might want to add the preparation for next week’s subjects – again 2-3. So, to sum up  you got 4-6 subjects to work on weekly.
  • The Job – well, you gotta make a living, right? So, no matter if you work for a company or you are a freelancer as some of the team are, you still have your daily duties. And let’s face it, you are doing that for the better part of the day.
  • The Startup – As a person about to graduate from IE’s Master in Digital Marketing you are expected to team up with colleagues and work on a business plan that will prove that you deserve that MBA degree. And this requires research, marketing strategy, financial calculations, operational plan and assumptions and last but not least a devotion. I mean you gotta do it right. After all, IE makes sure that, if you do your job right you might get funding and a ticket to the game of the big guys.
  • The Personal Life – hmmm… Some of us can hardly remember what that feels like. We all have put our hobbies aside for a year. Others created a daily agenda including only important family duties and feel like kids in Disneyland when they get a holiday for Christmas or Easter.

Now, if you are turned totally off by the previous lines, you have to keep something in mind. It is not about getting into one of the best b-schools on earth. You need to be organized, smart and a very good team player. Not only for yourself, but for the whole class. Actually, this is the essence of learning under the conditions of using an online platform. IE’s online programs are nothing like the offline ones we all have experienced. On the contrary of sitting in a classroom, here you get the chance to really prepare for the sessions and further dig in the topic, simply because you are not limited with 1.5 hour class. And to add to that, when you have a dozen individuals doing the same, it kind of pushes you towards working harder. Lurking is simply not a option.

You ca definitely judge by this post that I am a bit stressed. But this does not change the fact I believe that me joining the Master in Digital Marketing was the best decision I made so far in my professional life. And I promise you that, if you decide to do the same, you won’t be feeling different. You will certainly discover traits and abilities in you that you never saw before and you might just be proud of…


Borislav Kiprin
December 21, 2009
Master in Digital Marketing – Studying Online

Well, folks, I know that it has been a while since the last blog post. Truth be told, the last few weeks were extremely busy at the Master in Digital Marketing 2010 with wrapping up individual and group projects, finishing the Digital Communication & Awareness course, posting for the forums and last but not least working on yet another section for the business plan for Entrepreneurship.

It is not easy. I am working on this Masters with an average pace of 12 hours/day everyday. And it is frustrating… I can only imagine how my colleagues that have day jobs feel and moreover how they manage to be prepared for the forums and participate. I must say that everyone is stretching it to the limit and manages to come up with great content and ideas. But to understand that, you probably need to know how the online studying is structure.

  • Each and every week, we have 2 or 3 courses
  • We shall prepare for, come up with either an individual or a group assignment report
  • Than we go into discussing it from Monday to Friday posting answers to professors questions, expressing views or simply giving insights based on personal experiences.
  • Usually, every class session is wrapped up by the prof and served as a summary of key points for the topic discussed.

It might all seem too much for many of you, but to tell you the truth it is not much different than working in a  highly paced working environment. However, great discipline, focus and prioritization is required for succeeding in following it all. At first this might seems impossible, but soon after the start things get to the point that one realizes that it is possible. After all, your colleagues are just as much as you aware that this is a team. they show readiness to help, motivate and support when you find it difficult. And I should know.. I have been blessed with great team players in my group.

That’s all for the Year 2009. I wish you all Happy Holidays and all the best in 2010!


Borislav Kiprin
November 20, 2009
Masters in Digital Marketing – Face-to-Face Periods

As promised in my last blog post, this week I will be focusing on the way the program works and especially the offline face-to-face periods.

IE’s Masters in Digital is based on online forums 11.5 months out of the whole 13 ones. For that 1.5 months or 5 weeks, we have to be present in:
•    Madrid – two weeks kick-off period
•    London – one week presential period in the most digital city in the world that will conclude the end of first semester and the start of the second one
•    Madrid – two weeks wrap-up with exams, business plan presentation and naturally getting that piece of paper that would matter less then than it mattered when you decided to join the program. And it is mainly to the fact that you will treasure the experience through the past 13 months much more than your diploma.

Make no mistake, face-to-face periods are tough. You are expected to be on top of things from the very start. Most of us did not expect to be in for such a treat and we started our days at 7 am and finished them in 3 am the next day for most of those 14 days. And although it sounds too much and very demanding, I can not think of a single colleague of mine that complained or felt demotivated. At the end of the day we all had tremendous fun battling the assignments and getting to know each other.

Now when I have went through the first and the second periods I am more inclined to think that one can always find the time. Most of us have jobs, personal life involving dear ones or even families and this is all very demanding. But for the face-to-face period this all is put on pause in most cases and the focus is not only on the studying but also in socializing and adding up to that glue that sticks up together.

It won’t be fair to say that those periods are only about studying. They never truly are, you know. There is also tons of fun while sipping from your morning coffee or lunching/dining with your new found brothers and sisters, and not to leave behind those Friday and Saturday nights in metropolitan cities like the Spanish and UK capitals. Offline is also just as important as Digital is… 😉

The nature of Instituto de Empresa is to foster entrepreneurship. It is a core value and you get to see it from day one. Some of you will be finding their future business partners or start-up buddies exactly at this place and the time spent together will add tremendously to your judgment and potential spotting.

Well, folks, this is all for this week. Remember that if you have any questions, this is the place to take advantage and get some answers…

Next week, I’ll be focusing on online experience… Till then, have a good one living digitally!


Borislav Kiprin
November 13, 2009
Finding the Masters in Digital Marketing

As a first post, I think it is only normal to explain how I got here at Instituto de Empresa studying Masters in Digital Marketing.

If you are reading this blog, you are obviously interested in doing a Masters in Management or an MBA and second to that you might be also thinking of doing online, as yours truly does. So, in the following lines I will be laying down my approach to picking up this degree and enrolling for it.

•    Researching is a major point of a such endeavor. You are about to spend enormous amount of hard earned cash or actually get a loan from you bank. In both cases this is motivating you big time. What I did can be summed up in the following bullet points:
•    I figured out that a general MBA won’t cut it for me, because of the number of graduate available and the fact that I already did my Bachelor in Business Administration
•    I started researching online for a Marketing degree that focuses mostly on Digital, but also includes traditional approach.
•    I talked to friends that have done their MBAs in Top 25 schools. Asked many questions and got some valuable answers.
•    Got on FT.com, WSJ.com, BusinessWeek and Economist and checked all the rankings. I personally think that this is not a major think, but you will be surprised how many hiring manager pay attention to that, if of course you don’t know that by now.
•    Once, I got to know IE and their program, I didn’t even want to apply to the previously envisioned universities. I went strait to talking to the guys and submitted my application.
•    To my surprise I got an answer, plus proposal to enroll within two weeks. All done in a very professional and enthusiastic way (and I am not talking about my approach here)

Everything happened so fast that I was only able to believe it when I got to Madrid for my first face-to-face. Before it all seemed like an illusion.

Well, this is for this week. Next post I will be sharing my initial impressions of the program and hopefully answer some of the questions you, as a reader, might have.


Michaela Götze
November 18, 2008
The truth about your weight during the Online Master

 

 

Ok I did it again last night.

Around 4 o’clock a voice waked me up which said:

 “Go in the kitchen Michaela, go and get the chocolate out of the cupboard.”

And I went.

 

 

This is the only leftover… OOPS

 

 

Did you ever try it?

Getting up half awake (still dreaming) getting a small peace of your favorite chocolate letting it melt in your mouth and fly back into your dreams – Indescribable yammi- happiness everywhere.

I love doing the Online Master it’s a lot of fun especially with my group. But it will bring some strange habits out of you – I tell you 😉

 

The problem is that you usually work 40-50 hours per week and than you come home and start working right away on your Online Forums. At least I do because I realized that I don’t sit down on my desk if I first start to do something else.

Forget about the 20 hours you estimate- at the beginning you need more.

The first months of the Master I invested around 30 hours per week. This means you sit between 60 and 80 hours per week and don’t move. And I mean even the discussions are really exciting you don’t move with your body you only move with your brain.

And than one morning you get up and look at yourself in the mirror trying to fit in your favorite dress and realize the truth: It does not fit anymore!!! Ouch!

 

But it’s worth it – I swear!!! I learned so much during the last months that I don’t care about the 5 extra kilos. I will get rid of it after the studies are done.

 

I have to admit that I started the chocolate night orgies in February soon after I started with my master (Digital Marketing). I think it’s a kind of outbalancing the pressure. Because this is something you have to be aware of right from the beginning- there will be pressure from everywhere:

  • Pressure from your work- because you have to leave on time otherwise you will sit too long in the evenings reading and answering the forum questions.
  • Pressure from your friends because you are suddenly not as flexible anymore to go out during the week or only for the price of working doubled the next day and you learn soon that this is not a regular option.
  • Pressure from your family because instead of coming home and making love with your wife or husband you are making love with the IE-campus or the books or the case studies.
  • Pressure from your group members to participate more in the case study work.

 

But I tell you as well it’s only at the beginning. The first months are tough. You will sometimes ask yourselves why you did this. You have to find a way to organize your private, business and school life still having fun and being nice to everybody.

But you will find your way to get through this- you get used to all of it and you will find your own structure, your own way to cope with it. I will give you some tips in my later posts how I did it and I hope this will help you too.

 

So what is the executive summery of this post?

With the Master you gain a lot of weight but it gets outweigh by the knowledge and the fun you gather and the people you meet and the development you realize on yourself.

It’s worth it! I promise…

 

So if you make up your mind and you decide to go for it (and I strongly recommend it) than stop running and enjoy – it’s just 13 months (depending on your Master). See it as a kind of “diet brake” to your normal “I cannot eat this because otherwise I don’t fit in my dress again live” and enjoy getting fat.

It’s fantastic.

 

Greetings from Switzerland

Michaela

 


 
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