Today I am writing from London. As I look out the bay windows of my studio apartment, the sun is shining, but it’s raining. The tiny place is absent of a desk so I am sitting cross-legged with my computer on my lap reflecting from my lofted bed on how exactly I ended up here. It’s been an intense year to say the least.
My family’s MBA journey started from Seoul, South Korea. My husband and I are American, and we were living there while he filled a military assignment in his previous career as a United States Army officer, and I worked as a Magazine Director. We had both spent a lot of time internationally through our previous professions, but knew that this transition was going to be a big change for us.
A change that was made easy by the strong community that makes up IESE. When transitioning into life at IESE as a partner, I was able to acclimate quickly thanks to programs open to partners, like business Spanish and the Families and Partners Club. This is why I have taken on the role of IESE Families and Partners Club president. I believe this club is a great platform for IESE families to connect and encourage one another during the MBA experience. I know that the relationships I’ve formed through the club have shaped my first year in Barcelona and helped me form an identity in a new city.
Our club is a group of very unique individuals that share at least one thing in common, being in transition. We all have left our current homes and lives, as we knew them, to help our partners pursue an IESE MBA. We are left in a new city with a limitless array of options at our fingertips and the big question…”What am I going to do with this opportunity?”
This year I’ve been inspired as our club has tackled this question together. What started as a group of individuals from over 40 countries with an array of different backgrounds, has transformed into fast friendships and many new identities. This year I’ve seen business women become therapists, medical professionals become surfers, lawyers become artists, secretaries become bosses, many masters degrees obtained, languages learned, families growing, and many many extremely strong friendships made.
I hope all of the incoming partners will take advantage of the opportunities IESE offers them alongside the students. Whether it be diving into the language through intensive business Spanish classes, signing up for the buddy system, attending business and cultural sessions or joining social events like our COWS (coffee/cocktail of the week). Becoming part of the community will surely make your year impactful.
More than anything, this year, I’ve come to understand that the pursuit of the MBA hasn’t just been a learning opportunity for my spouse. Although we moved to Barcelona for him to attain his MBA, I can confidently say that I have gotten as much out of this experience, thus far, as he has. I’ve watched other partners create many of their own opportunities, and achieve their personal goals. The IESE Families and Partners Club has been a great platform for us to build relationships, share ideas, learn skills, and have a lot of fun together!
We second year partners are all looking forward to the upcoming year and getting to know incoming students and partners! We have lots of activities planned and are looking forward to additional contributions that new individuals will bring to our club.
Moving to London for the summer, we came to a city we knew previously only as tourists. We quickly made ourselves at home through the IESE network that was already present here. If our life can be measured in the relationships we form, then maybe an IESE MBA has much more to offer than the degree. Whether life takes us to London for a rainy summer or elsewhere, I feel that maybe it is a smaller world after all. Now we know that we can find a home anywhere thanks to our big IESE international community.
IESE Families and Partners Club