For many IESE students, the internship and job search extends far beyond the Barcelona campus. In November over 120 first and second year students travelled to London to participate in various career treks across different sectors. In particular, for the IESE Marketing Club, the London Marketing Trek is one of their hallmark events. What exactly happens during this three-day trek?
For the organizer, the trek is the result of months of planning and coordination with many companies. All students are welcome to apply for a limited spot on this trek regardless of their experience in this field, as the goal is for them to broaden their exposure and to network for potential job opportunities. Fabio Rodriguez Santiago, President of the IESE Marketing Club explains, “We need the trek to cater to all our student base. We have some participants with very strong marketing experience in big firms like Coca-Cola whilst others are career changers with little previous exposure to the industry. We plan the mix of companies and content of visits in such a way so that it is enriching regardless of your marketing knowledge.”
One key aspect of this career trek is that it is primarily student driven. This means that every year, the companies that are included could change depending on student interest. On this occasion, the Marketing Club had a chance to visit large corporations like Unilever, GSK and American Express, leading advertisement agencies like Grey as well as fast-growing start-ups such as Olapic and Cake. Not only did the students learn trends from industry leaders, they were able to participate in discussions on current projects involving gender equality and sustainability. The Club also organized a panel with young entrepreneurs at the LBS campus, who shared their experiences about the marketing challenges faced by starts-ups. Of course, no trek would be complete without Happy Hour to wrap up the busy day.
All the participants appreciated the experience. First year student Nikos Stamatiou from Greece enthused, “overall the trek proved useful to me. Coming from a non-marketing background and looking into potentially moving to a marketing role, it helped me gain a 360 view of the business.” For Jose Soules from Venezuela, “it was a unique experience to learn about a company, not from papers or pictures, but from the recruiters and employees. It was amazing to be in their work environment and to see the passion they have for their work.”
From the companies’ perspective, the trek gives them a chance to interact with IESE students in a more intimate setting and to hear their ideas. According to Fabio, “the companies shared was that they were very impressed by the energy and inputs given by IESE students.” Oana Damian from London Midnight Runners, one of the start-ups the Club met with, said “Presenting to the IESE and London Business School marketing clubs was really exciting. For me, it wasn’t a class of MBA students, it was a community of really cool, curious and eager individuals. I am very thankful for the insights gained from such an international audience.” In the words of Maria Isabel Kossmann from Brazil, the trek was “inspiring, informative and fun” for everyone.
Ultimately, every trek is only as successful as the efforts put in by the students. For those first year students who missed out on this year, there is always next year.