IE Business School Online Masters
Ihab Robert Barsoum Ihab Robert Barsoum
Upon finishing highschool in Cairo, I moved to New York to study engineering. I then started a career in construction in NY, and moved from construction to construction management, then to project management.

I worked for a multitude of clients on several large scale projects, including airport terminals, school expansions and hospital complexes ... In late 2006, I moved to Paris to join an architectural firm to manage the design of several airport projects in the Middle East. I currently work for Jacobs Engineering (An American engineering firm with offices in France) and I manage design projects for mostly international clients.
In my spare time, I play tennis, squash and run ... I just ran my first marathon in Paris, and plan on running more (maybe after completing the IXMBA marathon!). I currently live in Paris with my wife and 2 boys.

Ihab Robert Barsoum
July 27, 2010
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

Hi All, I’m still alive! And amazingly have gone through this program with very little bruises! Graduation was last week. Full of emotions and camaraderie! Would not trade those moments for anything in the world! …
First, let me step back for a second and tell you about my final project preparation: We had to get into teams of 2 or 3 maximum to do a final presentation in front of a jury, during the last presential period in Madrid. Although we knew what we had to work on a month in advance, most people did not do anything until the weekend before the presentation! … Well, readers of this blog already know it: There’s simply no time to do things in advance! … My team and I had a couple of day-long jam sessions, where we dissected the case, implementing everything we learned, from company valuations, to SCM to HR, considering different strategic scenarios and their implications. It was a lot more than what I’m used to experience in design sessions at work because we covered a broader array of fields. Those sessions revealed how far we’ve come along since 14 months ago … It was simply a really enjoyable intellectual moment! … A special shout out to Sean and Fernando! Thank you gentlemen!
Now back to the graduation … and the parties! 🙂 … It’s amazing how human nature prevails and adapts … although the duration was short, at the end we were still capable of making great friends (for life of course!)… I’m pretty sure the group won’t be able to get together in one place again, given that we’re dispersed in more than 15 different countries, but we now belong to the club, and I know wherever I go in the world I’m guaranteed to find an IE friend to have a beer with!
It’s been a fantastic and enriching experience; the acquired knowledge goes far more beyond the description of the courses listed in the curriculum. I know we’re a lot stronger today than we were 14 months ago, and ready to conquer the world! 🙂 … My wife and kids are very happy to get me back … and I’m thrilled at the thought of being able to go back to a “normal” life!
Be well, and “bon courage” to all of those in the program … enjoy the moment!

Ihab Robert Barsoum
September 9, 2009
What are you getting out of it?? …

… This was one of my questions that I was asking alumni when I was researching for an MBA course … I guess if you’re asking the same question, it’s important to first analyse what you’re looking for in an MBA: is it change, enlarging your network, financial/accounting knowledge, practical management tools, expanding your horizon, or a degree to add to your CV?
When I decided I wanted to go for an MBA, I was looking for short-term intellectual stimulation (as I did not consider I was challenged enough in my job) and a long-term change in career path. I didn’t want to leave my job and go for a full-time program because, although not challenging at the time, my job provided this very interesting thing called “salary”! … Of course in a typical Murphy’s Law fashion, I’m now all of a sudden busy and “intellectually stimulated” on all fronts!
IE Business School’s alumni seemed to have the best answer to my question: It depends on what you (the candidate) want to get out of it! … And I’m experiencing it now. Although I still have 11 months to go, I can say that I can already see some change: I have a close network of professionals that I would consider a bit more than “colleagues”, and the network and friendships are growing; I’m learning a lot of new things every day (and I can already understand what’s reported in the FT!!!); I analyse things a little differently … and the list goes on …
It’s great, fun, intense, disappointing (What? Surprised? I’ll talk to you bit more about that in future posts), exciting, unsettling, overwhelming, encouraging, and of course … EXHAUSTING (I know, I promised you a descriptive of the forums … soon)!
Till next time, take care,

Ihab Robert Barsoum
August 3, 2009
First Impressions

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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