Emma Lotz (MiM Class of 2020) describes her experience at IESE so far. It's more than she ever expected.
Did you consider other programs apart from the MiM at IESE?
Apart from the MiM at IESE, I applied to the Masters in Analytics and Management (MAM) at London Business School (1-year program), the Master in Management and the Master in International Management at Bocconi University (2-year program) and to the MSc in Strategic Management at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam.
Why did you decide to do a MiM?
I decided to pursue the MiM program at IESE because I was not sure in which field I wanted to specialize. Having studied International Business for 4 years, I learnt a lot about business, but I still felt like I needed more. I thought that using IESE expertise in management and the case method would help me gain an even deeper knowledge and understanding of a wide array of disciplines such as Finance, Business Analytics, Operations Management as well as Communications, Marketing etc. I did not want to specialize in just one field because I realized I lacked knowledge in business and that I really wanted to have a more complete background when I start working. I only had very basic classes on Business Analytics, Operations Management and Technology. The fact that the program allows students to choose a specialization during the last period of the program was very appealing to me, since it would give me some time to learn about each discipline and then choose the field I want to specialize in at the end of the program.
Now that you are doing the program, how do your expectations before starting the program compare to your actual experience?
When I accepted the offer for the MiM program at IESE, I expected a lot, as I would from any top business school. I had very high expectations of what the program would bring. Now that I have completed half of the program, I can say that the program has clearly exceeded my expectations.
The program is even more intense than I expected, with many different classes that cover all major subjects in business management. I expected to learn a lot from subjects I hadn´t study before. After my 4-year degree, I knew a lot already about finance, economic, and marketing so I thought these subjects would be more or less a review. However, I am very pleasantly surprised to see that I am always learning new concepts and ways of approaching problems. I believe that the use of the case method for teaching highly contributes to the learning potential of students. Here at IESE, I am not just taught one way to think or make decisions. By sharing my opinions with my classmates and hearing theirs, I learn how to think critically and analyse situations from different point of views. I really enjoy that this method is applied to absolutely every subject taught at IESE.
Moreover, the quality of the teaching community is outstanding. The professors are extremely good at managing in-class case discussions and include all students’ inputs so that everyone can learn from each other. The reading materials proposed, and the cases selected for discussion are also top notch.
The class is divided in teams of 6 students from various academic and professional backgrounds and nationalities. In the beginning, I did not realize how much I could learn about teamwork in this type of setting. Before doing the MiM, I thought I already had a lot of experience working in teams thanks to my previous studies and internships. However, the big difference in my experience at IESE is that I have one team for the whole year. I discuss the cases daily and do all the assignments with this same team. It is not like I was used to working, I used to have one assignment with one team and then for the next assignment the team would usually change. Here with my team assigned for the whole year, there is no emergency exit, which pushes you even further to work together. You need to make sure the team works productively and develops a professional working relationship. This experience has increased my ability to work in teams and I believe I will see the benefits of this very early in my career.
What exceeds my expectation above all also is my own personal development. I heard a lot about it during my application process and I can clearly see now the effort IESE puts in to helping students develop personally. The first week of the program focused on careers and on finding which career path would best fit each student. They encouraged us to explore our values, passions, convictions and attributes. From the very beginning of the program, I was pushed to think about what is truly important to me and how I want my life to be, combining professional and personal success.
Moreover, each period there are one or two subjects taught about soft skills and knowledge that is slightly different from what one would expect from a business school. These classes such as anthropology, organizational behaviour or energy, have given me a deeper understanding of business as a whole.
About careers, I am pleasantly surprised of the availability of the careers team to help students in any career-related activity. The system in place to book counselling meetings is very easy and there is always someone from the IESE team to help, no matter the industry or function I might have questions about. Also, I was a bit worried about the relations with Alumni since we are the first MiM class but actually I have had very good contacts with Alumni so far and the ones I reached out to were very willing to help and share their experiences.
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