On day 1 of his International MBA, Prasad Dalvi, started writing about his life at IE and in Spain – so far, every day one post and he aims to continue until all the 416 days of his program are over… Follow his journey on his blog 416!
Luckily, he took some time to answer some questions for this blog and talks about his first couple of months in Madrid. Enjoy!
What have been the most exciting moments of the program so far?
Life here at IE has been an exciting one from day one up until now, and I can’t wait to experience all of what the coming days will offer.
The Grandeur of Opening Ceremony, where emotions, excitement and anticipation was radiating overwhelmingly all around me – the day when we all made it – to one of the finest MBA programs in the world, the day when we all met our future classmates for the first time, the day when we were introduced to the roller coaster ride that is the International MBA here at IE. Wow!! That is one day, memories of which, I will always cherish.
And then, every day of the program brought along its own excitement. To list a few: Winning the IE Net Impact Weekend – the biggest Social Entrepreneurship Venture event organized by MBA students, Meeting Miss Edurne Pasaban [the first woman to climb all Eight-thousanders], John Clendenin and many such stalwarts during the LAUNCH program, facing the raging baby-bull in CAPEA day, jumping off from a plane at 4000 meters along with my fellow classmates, tasting cuisines of different countries, dancing to the tunes of all nations at IE GLOBAL VILLAGE; the list just goes on and on .. and there is going to be more to look forward to.
How do you cope with the workload and writing your blog on a daily basis?
I have been blogging since last 4-5 years and on a variety of topics. When I came here to IE, I knew that this is “once-in-a-lifetime” kind-off experience and I wanted to cherish the everyday little moments associated with this experience. The natural choice I made to achieve this was to writing a blog – one post per day for all four hundred sixteen days that the program is for. So, this blog for me is more than a hobby, and it is this motivational attribute of the blog which has kept me going during all these days.
As for the mechanics of it, during initial days, I used to write the daily post at end of my day, just like people wrote their diaries. But, as I realized that I am going to spend more and more time of the day in School, and I may not have enough energy to go back at 3 AM and then write something, I started making use of the pre-dinner/post-dinner time, when my study or work group usually takes an extended break, for scribbling the posts.
How is your Spanish? Can you get around with only limited knowledge of the local language?
Well, I did try to learn some basic words of Spanish before arriving to Madrid, although it was not much. My experience here in Madrid is that around the School Campus, all shops have an English Menu, and most of them have at least one person speaking English.
Having said that, we don’t really need too many words in our vocabulary to survive in restaurants, shops, supermarkets and bars, etc and there is always Google Translate at our disposal. Hospitals and House-Agreements may be some places where we need to be fluent, but then there are so many friends here, who speak native Spanish, and there is IE Student Office that helps us translate official documents in English; overall, I didn’t face any real trouble for not knowing fluent Spanish.
For those, who are keen to learn Spanish anyways, IE conducts a weekly Spanish learning class, and it’s pretty good. And for those, who don’t wish to have any confusion in restaurants, while ordering their food, go check out the very basic prototype of “The Menu” APP in Google Play Store, which my Entrepreneurship Management group is currently working on.
Madrid claims to be one of the most vibrant cities in Europe. Can you confirm it?
I can confirm it 1000 percent. Madrid is a City where you can just wake up at any hour of the night and be sure that there will be at least a dozen pubs and clubs open; a city which offers food of so many different countries, a city which enjoys a long afternoon siesta, only to come alive at nights; a city where pathways lit up at night for fine outdoor dining experience; a city with museums and gardens and history, and of youth and fashion and football. And one of the best parts of being at IE is to be in a campus right in the heart of this city.
Any tips for prospective students from Asia?
Yes, a couple of them.
One – Come here for the MBA experience, the unique IE experience. Don’t come to IE hoping that it will serve as your passport to be a European Citizen; and don’t reject IE just hearing all the talks about ‘Europe-in-Crisis’. This international experience is much more than any of the above things.
Two – You will be choosing a one year MBA over two year MBAs. It does not reduce the amount of teaching that IE has to offer. Hence, come prepared to give your 200% to this program, as the program will take your 200% anyways. Having said that, come to IE not just for studying, but also to experience many unusual things, because at end of the year, we will all have learned accounting and management and stuff anyways, but we won’t remember our long study sessions, what we will remember forever is our madness.
I just quoted these lines two days back to a friend – let me throw them here as well “At IE, we go home only after closing the school building on weekdays; and closing all the bars and clubs on weekends; and all this happens only after 3 AM. Work Harder, Play Harder – is our mantra.”