Learning through consulting

Written on July 13, 2010 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu in General

The IMBA students’  experience of the Global Consulting Practicum (GCP)

The GCP sees five International MBA students from IE and five from The Wharton School in Pennsylvania join forces to develop a strategic plan for a Spanish company looking to enter (or consolidate) in the US market.

This year three companies took part: ZINKIA (creator of the Pocoyó brand), INCOSA (engineering consultant) and EOLINCYL (wind turbine developer).

Students from Wharton travelled to Madrid in January for a period of face-to-face meetings with IE students and the companies involved. The large majority of the collaboration over the duration of the project was developed online with students connecting regularly via videoconferencing. The GCP concluded with all involved meeting at the Wharton campus in Philadelphia for the final presentation sessions last May.

Those companies involved coincided in their view that the GCP has been of vital importance in guiding their entry decisions and that they now have the necessary information and recommendations to make their entry into the US market a success.

Aside from the obvious benefits to the companies taking part, these projects also provide great value to students as GCP faculty member Professor Nestor Miranda comments:  “From the learning perspective this is truly a unique experience and allows students to put into practice the tools they have acquired throughout their MBA. They have the opportunity to strengthen their network with Wharton students as they work together to develop a fully implementable market entry strategy.”

Todd Lombardo, recent International MBA graduate and member of one of this year’s consulting teams reflects: “This is a real consulting role with a real client that has real needs. It was a roller-coaster experience I certainly will not forget as it was one of the best experiences from my time at IE.”


Entrepreneurship classes at Shanghai Expo 2010

Written on July 13, 2010 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu in General

Students of the International Executive MBA had the opportunity to present their business plan in the Spanish Pavilion

Overall the residential period was a wonderful experience where students & faculty had a chance to reconnect after six months of communicating online.

Shanghai is an incredible city and it was a real experience to be part of both Expo 2010 and the IXMBA 2009 November intake.

Also for Ignacio de la Vega, IE professor of Entrepreneurship, this experience was very interesting. The Pavilion opened its business center for us, bringing the students the opportunity of presenting their work in a totally different environment, far from the classrooms and closer to a seek-for-investors venue.  After the session, and with high spirits for having done a successful job, the whole class was invited to take a tour of the Spanish Pavilion and celebrate in many other country sites that did suit the diversity of the Class. Great Job guys!!”


A personal introduction through the web

Written on June 28, 2010 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu in General

Lessons learned from “Markets E-research” Professor John Griffiths.

The Master in Digital Marketing is the kind of master where you can put in practice all the new digital trends for the online methodology, and one of them is, of course, Youtube!!. As this is a blended program which combines short face-to-face periods with online periods some of the courses start directly online and finish face-to-face.

Professor John Griffiths in order to introduce himself starts his online classes in Markets e-Research & Product e-Marketing right away with a “homemade” video in his hometown London. As he mentions: “This is just a short introductory film I made down by the river Thames.”

Students like the idea of watching a video with his very self style as an introductory to the syllabus and the course, as one participant mentions:

“This is a really innovative way to start an online session.  All of the documentation is in campus, but to have the professor explain it, and put it in context in a short video really adds another dimension to the experience.”

After a few months teaching online students will meet Professor Griffith when they join his class in a “real world experience” at the face to face period in London.


IE Business School Students Explore Change in Action

Written on June 28, 2010 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu in General

Thinking outside the Oil Barrel to Ensure Sustainability.
Between the first and second core periods of the International MBA curriculum, IE Business School students take part in “Change in Action” – a weeklong event that investigates the challenges and opportunities of discontinuous change.  This year’s topic Future beyond Oil: Thinking outside of the Barrel to Ensure Sustainability, analyzed the politics and global business of the world’s oil dependency through a series of presentations from outside experts, online simulation, scenario planning workshops, group work, and role playing.

The weeklong event kicked off with a series of panels focused on the future of energy.  Topics and speakers included:

The Future of Fossil Fuels

Innovation and Game Changers in the Energy Industry

The Politics and Geopolitics of Oil

Alternatives to Fossil Fuels

Oil and Clean Energy Investments: How the crisis will impact the energy sector

After listening to various experts discuss the future of energy, students prepared a group presentation analyzing the impact of two possible energy scenarios in 2030 on one of five sectors: Oil & Gas, Automotive, Electric Utilities, IT, and Urban Development. Their main deliverable was to analyze the potential positive or negative effects of cooperation or total lack of coordination on the future energy needs of these industries.

“Change in Action underlines the innovative and internationally-focused curriculum that makes the IE MBA program truly unique and prepares students with a global vision that is not just about the bottom line but also future sustainability,” said Waya Quiviger, Director of Special Projects at IE Business School.”

In order to see the student´s experience have a look at this video.


Controlled chaos and the vision of a business school

Written on October 9, 2009 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu in General

Students of Architecture from 9 different countries redesigned the AZCA District in a workshop led by IE School of Architecture and the Architectural Association School of London.

IE School of Architecture (Madrid/Segovia) and Architectural Association School of Architecture (London) organized from 16 to 25 of July a summer course to work on the remodeling of the AZCA financial district. In this workshop 20 future architects from 9 different countries from prestigious architect schools like Harvard, Basil and Glasgow participated. The objective of this intensive course was to underline the importance of the emergent urban ideas, the experimental design strategies, the process work method and public hybrid initiatives to improve the public life in big cities.

Like Javier Quintana, dean of IE school of architecture mentions: “Although both schools have different backgrounds, our attitude is experimental. It´s international, it´s innovative.”

As a student of the summer school stated: The most important in a workshop is the experience…


Prince of Asturias Award teaching a master’s class

Written on October 9, 2009 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu in General

MIT’s Dr. Robert Langer teaching the Master in Biotechnology Management in Boston

The students of the second intake of the Master in Biotechnology Management attended in Boston, from September 7th to September 12th, to the second residential period of this program. During this week they had the chance to attend different classes at Harvard Business School, visit different companies involved in the pharma and biotech sector such as Amgen, Novartis, Genzyme y Schering Plough and as a perfect finale the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT.

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After an intense week, the students were welcomed in his MIT’s lab by professor Dr. Robert Langer, widely regarded for his contributions to medicine and the emerging fields of biotechnology. He has received numerous awards, including the Millenium Technology Prize, considered like the Nobel Prize for technology, and the 2008 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research. All students agreed that this was a perfect finale for a great week.


Virtual team building between different Masters programmes

Written on May 25, 2009 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu in General

Oswaldo Lorenzo, professor of Operations Management, uses an innovative pedagogical approach between Masters

The Master in Marketing Management and the Executive Master in Global Supply Chains joined together for a special project. While the Master in Marketing Management is a full-time programme with participants with an average age of 22 to 25, the Executive Master in Global Supply Chains is an online programme with face to face phases in Madrid and Shanghai, with an executive profile and an average age of between 28 to 40. Students from the executive programme have been participating as the
leaders of a virtual teams composed of 4 to 5 members of the junior programme. In total, 10 of these mixed virtual teams were set up. The teams worked together on improving the supply chain of the team leader´s.

The leaders had to define the goals and the deliverables. The duration of the project was 2 months, with the virtual teams presenting their results at the end.

A synchronized online seminar by Professor Mark Fritz on managing virtual teams gave the teams a theoretical background, which they could put into practice in their teams. The entire project was supported by the online learning environment of IE, via videoconferences and forums. The students were really satisfied with this
interdisciplinary way of working between different Master programmes.

For Oswaldo Lorenzo this ambitious project is really the key to forming future managers with expertise in the virtual work environment, which is seen as the future of most professions.

IE faces the challenge of distributing this new pedagogical approach over the whole range of Master programmes, with the hope of becoming a reference in the area of virtual leadership.


Basketball is a tool that teaches (launch program part III)

Written on May 25, 2009 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu in General

Professor of Team Building, Pablo Martínez implements the Basketball experience in the International MBA


Since 2005, Pablo Martínez, ex professional basketball player from Estudiantes Madrid, has been developing a team building activity with the International MBA programme. In 2009 it was included for the first time within the “Launch programme”, (mentioned previously in this blog).

For two hours students trained in the basketball court, trying to connect the basketball experience with their Master programme. Every student tried to develop their own abilities whilst at the same time being part of a team with the common goal of building an effective team.

After the exercises on court, a 90 minute debrief was provided by the facilitators, in order to give the students the chance to reflect on the activity and try to translate it into a methodological approach for working in high performance teams.

As some of the students mentioned: “We only knew the colleagues’ names. This was really the first time we worked together. It was impressive how we discovered in a single hour the team improvement on the court. This worked due to collaboration between each other.”

For Pablo Martínez this really shows that Michael Jordan was right with the phrase”basketball is a tool that teaches”.


The “Fiat Stilo” class, a role playing simulation

Written on April 29, 2009 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu in General

Professor Miguel Costa and other professors from the Marketing area implement the Fiat Stilo multimedia case in their classes.

Fiat Stilo is a multimedia case study that has been designed to show the analysis that should be followed for positioning a new company product. In the case there are two opposing positions: the marketing department point of view and that of the sales department.

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Before the preparation of the case, the professor divides the class into two groups: one half takes on the role of the sales director and the other half take the role of the Marketing Director. Depending on the role adopted, students’ decisions will be different.

The first few minutes of the class are used to discuss the problems that Fiat is facing at that particular moment; both sides of the class generally agree with each other about this stage. However, as the class progresses the two roles start to emerge and different points of views/interests start appearing, provoking a confrontation of ideas and achieving an excellent debate. At the end of the class, professors guide students through the conclusions.

As Professor Miguel Costa comments, “this experience allows us to analyse a product launch from a wider perspective, to develop the positioning concept with interactive tools and playing with different scenarios, to understand two different points of view (Sales Department and the Marketing Department) of the company and how all these things will condition the decision making of the launch. The case allows students to take two different roles, to practice with the different possibilities of specifications and optional equipment, and to defend them in class. On top of all this, students love it.”

Students also appreciate the value this case brings: “I particularly liked being able to play the part of one of the directors and then compare how I did with the other results. The possibility of role play (Sale Manager vs. Marketing manager) helped me in defining my positioning strategy”

As many students commented, it brings them closer to real life; not only through the decisions made but also because of the way the class is structured.



Visit to Google in Madrid

Written on April 29, 2009 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu in General, University


Master in Digital Marketing online students accompanied by professor Manuel Alonso Coto, went to visit Google installations in Madrid last March 09.

The visit was divided in two different sessions, introduced by Isabel Salazar, Associate Product Marketing Manager of Google in Spain.

As Manuel stated: “In the first part we came to know the way Google approaches its own marketing efforts. Our students realized how, despite their frequent statement of not spending a single dollar in advertising, they really have a very solid grasp of the best marketing practices and put them to work; for instance they deal very well with all the publicity issues of their communication; the use or their doodles was a perfect example.”

In the second part of the visit students had the opportunity to discuss Youtube’s possibilities from the advertising standpoint. It was clear that branded channels offer good perspectives in terms of crowdsourcing as long as they can be very useful for brand building.

Students really enjoyed the opportunity of sharing with professionals of Google the new business opportunities and also the future of the Digital Marketing.

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