IE Business School Online Masters
Ertan Uzundemir
April 7, 2010
The IXMBA experience


…287 after having joined the blog, I finally managed to hide away from professors and fellows to share my insights with you. I guess that tells something. But lets start from the very beginning…

As I wanted to change my to date career path I was thinking of taking a concise next step through education. I fought my way through MBA books, journals, ratings, accreditations, and incredibly insulting offers until I finally decided that the MBA at a major European school was what I wanted.

Why IE?

The reasons why I chose IE are easily explained. I wanted a top academy with a flexible program offered at a reasonable price. IE offers various Triple Crown accredited (AACSB, EQUIS, AMBA) programs in a flexible online format with however important face-to-face periods and was competitive in tuitions and side expenses. The only things I needed: apply, pass the interviews and lift off. Said and done!

Is it really that hard?

I don’t remember precisely, but I think the program director’s opening line was something like the following: “Welcome to hell and thanks for trusting us in making you suffer”. And one thing I can confirm is, these people are very innovative and well trained for this discipline! Joking aside, the program is very intense. It turns one’s life upside down and requires all it can get from the student (and its environment). Days turn into nights and nights again into days and I find myself surrounded by books, notes, case studies and 25 open browser screens yet not having finished my weekly contributions. The only thing that keeps me going is counting down the days that remain until graduation (116 by the way).

If you are intending to have an easy life while doing an MBA, I would not recommend any of the top-notch academies. If you want to participate in a challenging and life-changing experience, want to pressure-feed yourself with condensed and state of the art business know-how, want to be amongst the top-class alumni, IE is the place to go. The program is structured in a way which allows you to fit work, private life and IE into 24 hours. Who the hell needs sleep?

What is the IXMBA (International Executive MBA Online)  like?

The average week encompasses three parallel courses and of course requires their prior preparations, usually readings from books or scripts, some case studies plus the related assignments. From Tuesday to Friday vivid discussions for the weekly classes (1-3) which are guided by the professors require one’s participation and add value in multiple ways. Here is where theory turns into practice, where experiences are being shared, points clarified, most ideal ways to tackle business problems are battled or one’s scope broadened by the many plausible arguments on how to cope with real work situations. For the week after? Guess what, it is as you were Bill Murray in Groundhog day. Speed and intensity remain and the entire process repeats itself, over and over again.

Case studies provide an excellent way to practically learn how small to big companies have turned their business over years with an amazingly broad range of topics covered mostly in Harvard Business School case studies.

What do I appreciate the most of the program?

There are many aspects which are ground-breaking. The program is like a walk in the sun, where IE is your shadow. You simply cannot get rid of it. It is like climbing the mountains and being overjoyed to reach the summit at the week’s end, while having a glimpse on the even higher peak’s ascent.

One is ad-hoc able to apply the learnings on the job, while the scope and intensity of the program change habitual ways of approaching and tackling day-to-day’s problems. Analytical and conceptual skills are drilled and on the course of the program, the puzzle is becoming complemented and provides a more thorough and clear picture of how the world outside really turns. The IXMBA can help – and I will keep you posted on that – to boost your career, but beside that it does much more: it makes you comprehend how the building blocks of our professional envionment relate and interfere, how problems can be tackled and mastered and how you can gear yourself consciously towards higher returns from your job environment, namely satisfaction, recognition or career. Last but not at all least are the fellow students, who not only enrich your learning experience, but share these moments of torture, pain and enthusiastic delight with you.

What are the presential periods like?

The initial presential period in Madrid was a real awakening. Just having collected the books and study material, we were demanded to prepare for the following day: only 200 pages to read while my watch was telling me I yet had 6 hours to go before the class started! I don’t remember much from Madrid but being extremely tired and krackered when I arrived back home. However, the first presential period managed well what it had to do: you immediately familiarize with the programs intensity, get to know your fellows and swear your group into the pact for the succeeding 6 months.

Shanghai  in January was an amazing experience. The exams, the excursions and of course the parties well paid tribute for the previous months of austerity. There was nothing greater to meet again with the fellow students and nothing more sad to need to leave back home after such a great time.

Would I do it again?

Straight off: yes! The reason is simple. The program allows to take a wild ride while being seated in a employment. IE does only ask for your discipline, time and effort while showing and guiding you on the path through the course. The professors are very cooperative and luminary academic staff. At the bottom line: it is one year of intense battle with yourself, which pays off with more than a diploma. You learn, you make friends and you carry your head high when having survived this experience.

Anybody who is interested in more details is welcome to approach me (

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



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