First week of my IESE MBA

I’m here! In Barcelona! It has started.

I arrived last week’s Sunday evening, just in time for the start of the Business Spanish Program (a 2 week intensive course for all the non-native Spanish speakers).

So what has been going on?

IESE

I met a ton of incredibly interesting people at the first day event, where we received our welcome and health care documents. Everyone is indeed very international and has lived or worked in other countries than his own. There are really a lot of impressive backgrounds on campus here. The atmosphere was very open – you basically walked up to everyone you saw, introduced yourself, chatted a bit about each others background and then tried to remember all those name.

Business Spanish Program (BSP)

After taking part in a 15-minute evaluation Spanish group discussion, I was placed in level 3 of 12. It’s a comfortable level for my previous merely basic Spanish knowledge base. So far I had a lot of fun learning Spanish the last couple days. My group is great and has people from Taiwan, Korea, U.S.A, Serbia, Greece, Netherlands and Germany in it. Many of those have then lived in different continents for a long time. We’re 10 persons in the classroom and are very openly discussing and speaking in Spanish. So far it’s very effective and has considerably lifted my Spanish speaking confidence. I have no problem speaking and practicing the language in taxis, restaurants or bars. I’m also pretty dedicated on getting this language up to a professional level now.

Housing

It’s done. I secured an apartment. With the help of my two soon-to-be roommates, who organized all the visits, I looked at a few apartments after the Spanish classes. We paid the reservation fee for a 130 sqm, 3 room apartment in the center of Eixample, exactly the area where we wanted to live. The only drawback: It’s only available in a month and each one of us has to find a place to stay until then. I’m still in the process of figuring out the best option. It definitely feels good to know where you’re going to live and that you don’t have to spend time on checking the apartments online and visiting them in reality anymore.

Social Events

There have been a couple of social events so far: Several lunches and dinners and a big Saturday night get together among most of the IESE first-year students who are already in town. It was good fun. I also played Beachvolleyball with a few guys and have football coming up tomorrow. The day is pretty much covered with the BSP, which goes until 18:15 every day, and doesn’t leave too much room for larger social activities. But I’m sure there is much to come.

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This is my Spanish group on the roof of the IESE North Campus.
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I went running up the Tibidabo, and this is the view you’ll get for that.

 

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Financial Accounting Pre-Course

It’s getting real. The first real assignment, directly from IESE is there – the Financial Accounting Pre-Course on Coursera.

IESE sent an email to all Class of 2018 students, requesting them to complete the course before the program starts, in order to get basic, crucial knowledge to be able to follow the Financial Accounting course, that will be taught in summer.

The course is public and can be viewed by anyone. It’s the first part of IESE’s Foundations of Management package on Coursera, which consists of 5 pieces. The material is free and only if you want to obtain the Course Certificate, and complete the quizzes, you’ll have to pay the 69 € per piece.

Have a look at the course here, and get a small perspective into how teaching at IESE could look like.

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IESE Financial Accounting Pre-Course by Marc Badia

I have just passed week 2 of 4, and will probably work through week 3 and 4 very soon. Each week’s assignment has a due date and the full course must be completed by August 11, 2016.

So far I really enjoy the learning experience, the course is easy to follow and very well prepared.


 Here is the course description:
Welcome to Accounting: Making Sound Decisions! My name is Marc Badia, Assistant Professor of Accounting and Control at IESE Business School. It’s great to have you here, joining thousands of other learners who want to know what accounting is all about.

No matter what line of work you are in, it is essential to have a fundamental grasp of the key concepts in this field. After all, accounting is the language of business. And that is precisely what I am here to do: to give you enough insight so that, by the end of the course, you understand basic concepts and feel comfortable reading, interpreting and discussing financial statements for decision making. I will start the course assuming you have no prior knowledge of accounting at all.

Have a look around the course website so you can see what’s ahead. The syllabus will explain what topics we’ll cover and the assignments I expect you to complete. Click Discussions to see forums where you can discuss the course material with fellow students taking the class. Be sure to introduce yourself to everyone in the Meet and Greet forum.

If you have questions about course content, please post them in the forums to get help from others in the course community. For technical problems with the Coursera platform, visit the Learner Help Center (http://learner.coursera.help/)

Good luck as you get started. I hope you enjoy the videos and assignments. Above all, I hope you finish the course with newly-acquired proficiency in accounting to help you go further in your career.

See you soon!

[Shared post] Dear Incoming Class of 2018…. (IESE MBA Blog)

I want to share an interesting post from the official IESE MBA blog with you. Achint Kaur, an MBA Class of 2016 student, writes about his 2-year experience and gives helpful advice for future students. I found it a good read, as it summarizes, what I have already been expecting from the MBA.

It really looks like life will be tough during the first year – but I’m ready! I’m thrilled to experience all of this myself.

Dear Incoming Class of 2018….

I am writing this letter to you just as I have finished packing the past 19 months of my life into two suitcases. And it suddenly dawns upon me: game over. The endless lamenting about cases and jobs, cortados on the patio, beers by the turtle pond, tapas by the beach, BoWs and team meetings are all over. It made me reflect upon my journey at IESE and I would like to share my musings with you.

Leaving the familiar and throwing yourself into a new environment requires courage. By deciding to come to IESE, you have already exhibited that you have that aplenty. I am not going to lie to you: the mental strength will come in handy. The first year is academically and socially strenuous. There are three cases to do almost everyday. You start at 8:15 am, if you are the chosen ones. You might have Spanish lessons in the afternoon, which I strongly recommend. There will be team meetings, assignments, projects and exams. Add to that the hunt for a perfect internship: networking, interview prep, multiple iterations of the same cover letter, perfecting your resume and putting your best foot forward at company events. Then add to it, social obligations.

After all, all your admissions essays were about ‘creating a global network’ for yourselves, weren’t they?  Give your loved ones a picture of yourself on a magnet to put on their fridges and tell them to forget about you for that one year! In the second year, things taper off a bit and you have more time to focus on landing your dream jobs.

Academics aside, IESE gave me the chance to form lifelong friendships. And this isn’t marketing propaganda. With friends at many top business schools in the world, I can personally certify that the spirit of collaboration and community that exists at IESE is unmatched. Any business school can teach you about 4Ps of marketing or McKinsey’s 7S framework. But at IESE, I also learnt about many different cultures, traveled the world, and developed the finer skills needed to become a truly global leader.

It is not a smooth ride. It isn’t supposed to be. The MBA is the time for you to challenge yourself, to throw yourself into the darkness of the unknown, to push the boundaries of what you think is possible, to stretch yourself to your limits, to face disappointments and after all of that, emerge stronger.

The past nineteen months have been a whirlwind and it is bittersweet to leave. IESE gave me a lot and for that, I will forever be grateful. As the youngest in the MBA, I came in with the least professional experience and thus, am leaving with the steepest learning curve. They say if you are the smartest one in the room, you are probably in the wrong room. I made sure I was in the right room at all times. I hope you will to.

For what its worth, my advice to you would be simple: keep an open mind. Whether it means discovering job opportunities, meeting people or simply trying exotic food. You never know where you find your calling.

Good luck and make this experience count!

With love from Barcelona,

Achint Kaur, IESE Class of 2016

***Achint graduated today!!!

The ambiguity is over: IESE ‘2018

iese_1The choice has been made! I will attend the IESE Class of 2018 and spend the next two
years on the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi Campus in Barcelona.

I am super excited to start this chapter of my life. It will surely be a transforming experience.

Since the school decision is history, I can finally concentrate on the administrative things that are coming up:

  • Research and apply for scholarships
  • Find housing in Barcelona
  • Get a moto
  • Arrange tuition payments and check for possible tax deductions

We’ll see what else I’ll have to add to this list – I’m sure there’s more to come.

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IESE South Campus