IE Business School Online Masters
Ihab Robert Barsoum
August 3, 2009

Hello everyone,


First post … I’ve been struggling to get this one out! … I thought I would write to you about how busy this MBA has kept me for the past month, how exciting and intense it is, etc., but I guess there are enough posts that cover this subject … When I was researching for an MBA course, and I read the IE blog, I was struck by the amount of posts talking about the there-are-not-enough-hours-in-the-day-to-get-things-done-since-I-strated-this-MBA syndrome that I thought ‘can’t you people talk about anything else?” … Well, a 5 weeks into the program, and all I will add to this topic is BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ ABOUT THE LACK OF TIME!


OK, now on to my first impressions: Let’s start with some stats: My class is 41 students, 22 nationalities, who mostly don’t live in their country of origin. We were divided into 2 groups, and each group is divided into 3 teams. Each group is following the same curriculum, but on different schedules. Groups will change 6 months into the program, and consequently teams will change too. We generally cover 3 subjects during a given week (plus preparation of 3 subjects for the following week). For most subjects each team has to prepare a group report for the upcoming week’s topic and send the final report to the professor by Monday before the online discussions which start on Tuesday (till Friday evening). Confusing? … I’ll tell you a bit more in future posts about the forums … Let me tell you about my team: We’re 7 people of 7 nationalities and 7 professions! … Just imagine the amount of intellectual wealth around the (virtual) table! … Each one of us brings in something different, and it’s not always just about content, but it’s about our perception of things, how we take on tasks, how we interact in a group, etc … we work together very closely throughout the week (and on weekends!). When general forum discussions start, it’s even more fun! … That alone is an exhilarating experience, because I feel like I have not only the subject professor to learn from, but 20 other “professors” who bring in real life experiences and debates that enrich the discussions. For instance, we have this brilliant guy in the group who has started a trend of answering questions with simulations (supply chain diagrams, spreadsheet calculations, etc.); and his method had a “viral effect” on the group … all of a sudden people started doing the same. You imagine reading 60+ a day of these postings (CRAAAZY amount of reading, but as one of our professors said, “This is the beauty of online learning!” You get the best of all worlds: Classroom interaction and time to prepare really well-thought answers!


One of things I was looking for when I decided to go for an MBA was intellectual stimulation … today I can confirm that I’m a 100% satisfied customer!!!


Back soon for more talk about the forums.


Take care!


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