IE Business School Online Masters
Carlos Olguín Carlos Olguín
I was born and raised in Mexico City where I completed my major in Industrial Engineering.

I started working for the German multinational Siemens AG right after; specifically in the Sales & Marketing department for Industrial Automation Systems.

After receiving a corporate scholarship I moved to Germany to pursue a master degree in Service Management and Marketing. It was an enriching experience where I got a deep insight into the German culture and language. After completion, I continued my professional development in the Headquarters of Siemens’s Industrial Automation Division in Nuremberg, where I have been working for the last 3 years. I am currently studying the Global MBA from this weather-challenging and beer-friendly part of the world.

Carlos Olguín
March 31, 2010
Global Networking – Part I

When you find out for the first time that there is a possibility to earn your master degree from a top business school in an innovative format that doesn’t require you to quit your job and move to another country you can’t help but wonder how it works. At the beginning you have more questions than answers but once you do your homework and learn about the effectiveness of the online environment and tools, the quality of the program, the professors and in general the whole academic side, the “open issues” part of your checklist reduces considerably. Nevertheless, there is still a whole different section in that checklist labelled: Networking Opportunities.

This isn’t, in my opinion, less important because let’s face it, regardless of your individual professional objectives a fact remains constant: networking matters and matters a lot. Unquestionably an important part of the value you get when studying at such a recognized institution is the access you have to valuable professionals with different backgrounds, life experiences, cultures, etc. to continue building your network for the future.
The inevitable questions are:

• Can I really develop my network in a virtual environment?
• Which are your networking opportunities when doing an online master?

The answer after a 6 months immersion in the Global MBA program would be:
It is entirely up to you! The opportunity is definitively there and while it will require you to make an extra effort to achieve it, you can definitively develop strong relationships with your classmates if you choose to do so. Here I must warn you, the easy path given your time constrains is to focus only on the academic side but if you go that extra mile to develop meaningful relationships with your classmates you will find the results extremely rewarding and the bonds created, strong.

I would like to tell you more about the specific networking dynamics in an online master in subsequent blog contributions. I’ll try to answer in detail the two questions raised above based on my own experiences hoping that it will be of your interest.

Stay tuned and take care.

Carlos Olguín
March 1, 2010
The meaning of intensive

Hello everyone! This is my first contribution to the blog and I’m glad you are interested in reading a little bit about the unique experience of studying an online master at IE. Before entering the program I did myself some extensive research (the decision of making such an investment is not an easy one) and I found the experiences of former students in this blog useful. So here I am now, writing about my own experiences, hoping they can be useful to you.
It has been 5 months since I started the Global MBA. If you want to get a general idea of how it is, well the best description in one word would be: intense! Here are two of the factors that make the point in question:

Sessions are tightly scheduled from week to week, leaving no time for breaks (except from the official ones like the Christmas break). This means that when we finish two topics; let’s say Fundamentals of Marketing Management and Financial Accounting a Thursday, on Friday (or maybe even before) we have to prepare already for session 1 of the next topics that begin on Saturday, lets say Cost Accounting and Strategy. Two new topics, new tasks, books, professors… There is no time to recover, to look back or catch your breath. The ball is rolling and it doesn’t stop!

The workload
In the full workload weeks we have business as usual: book readings, individual preparation for the sessions (of the two topics at hand), team discussions and preparation for team submissions as well as group discussion in the forums.
In the crazy over the top workload weeks we have all the latter, plus some extras, the cherry on the top. This could be for example a group presentation in our Saturday class, one or two exams (which requires  reviewing the last sessions), a final individual submission or a combination of some of them. All of that of course, parallel to your daily job.

So yes it is intense, but at the same time engaging, challenging and great. You’re not alone and your teammates help a lot to reduce the stress exchanging experiences, jokes whatever is necessary to keep the team moving forward.
5 months gone and still surviving, it’s amazing how motivation (and a little bit of adrenaline) can keep you on going. I’ll let you know if my survival skills sufficed to stay in the game. 😉

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