7.30 a.m. My phone alarm wakes me up. Although I believe I hardly slept but somehow I feel fresh and top of the morning for a Monday. Maybe my body has found a new ‘comfort zone’. Well, it has been almost eight months, about time now.
I reach our fortress, Maria de Molina 31 (MM31 hereafter), get my ‘Simple to go’ coffee and the day’s edition of FT and make it to my classroom ten minutes before class. As always, instead of reading the news, I catch up with my classmates and find out what’s new in the country/region/sector.
My class has people from each continent and ice between us melted way back in April. A lot of us expected that having so many different people would make people from particular communities stick in their respective groups. However, the IMBA team deserves credit in the way the course is structured, the time we spend with each other and the way they create our workgroups. In the first term itself, you realize around you just one community, ‘IE’.
Our typical class day starts at 9 and ends at 3. With three sessions of a little over an hour, an hour long workgroup session and a forty minute Starbucks break as we call it. Well, that’s what the ‘schedule’ says. Almost every professor here has not only a PhD in his subject but extensive professional experience. The course is designed in such a practical way that it is not focused on US or Europe but the world. From Airtel or in India, Chiquita in Latin America, to Rare Earth Elements in China, we learn about the current trends and practices in the world in addition to the classic MBA cases of Apple, Cola wars of Pepsi and Coke among others.
By now, we are accustomed to the late Spanish lunch time of 3 in the afternoon. Time spent on lunch is inversely correlated with the workload for the day/week. We return to MM31 and work with our groups till we finish/get thirsty/hungry or sometimes it is time for MM31 to close (3 a.m.).
Yet, it is not all about work! Career fairs, career advisors meetings, company presentation, Individual Club Events (Finance, consulting etc.) and of course Bar Of The Week (BOTW) keep your diary full. MBA starts with management. Well, you won’t have a subject with that name but everything you go through and do during the program teaches you management in detail.
All of the above along with course work to me are equally important and my experience here has taught me to be resilient and balance all of it together. It is difficult at times but the sooner you agree to get out of your comfort zone, the better off you will be. They say the glass is always full, half water and half air but we at IE believe there is always room in the glass, you just need to push your limits.