Current IMBA student Ieva Tikuisyte from Lithuania answers some questions about her IE Experience, as part of the November 2013 intake. The interview was conducted by Ram Akers, another current IMBA student from Canada:
Q1: Ieva, what is your professional background?
I hold a Bachelor’s in Business Management from Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne (international hospitality management). During my studies, I carried out two internships – one in a restaurant and one in a Banqueting department of a luxury hotel. This provided me with the group-work skills and a customer-focused approach to work. I use these skills in working with my classmates at IE every day.
After graduating university, I have stayed in Switzerland and worked in Strategic Marketing department for a cosmetics manufacturing company during 4.5 years.
Q2: Why did you choose IE’s IMBA program? What parts attracted you most?
For me, choosing IE came through a process of deduction. I preferred to study for one year instead of two and that eliminated a lot of Business Schools from the list. I also wanted to learn another language, so Spain was a perfect destination. I met IE representatives at an MBA Fair in Geneva and after talking to the admissions staff, I felt that IE brought together most of the factors which influenced by decision. I was also accepted by another Spanish school, but their MBA class is much less internationally diverse than IE’s. A quality international network is important for me and it is another reason why I chose IE Business School.
Q3: How has your experience been so far? Please feel free to highlight some examples that you feel really added value.
Before I started my studies, I knew I wanted to make the most of this year in a sense of learning, enjoying a new location, networking and developing myself on a personal and professional level. I have attended the intensive Spanish classes before the IMBA program started and there already, I met a lot of people who had just moved to Madrid and were in a similar situation as myself. Our language teacher did not only teach us the words that would help us get by and order a glass of wine on a terrace; they also introduced us to the specifics of the Spanish way of life and helped us to understand the culture we would be surrounded by for the next year.
We have started “networking” and mingling amongst 400 of our classmates the very first day of the school and have not stopped since. We organize class section mixers almost every week in order to get to know and learn from each other.
I am also involved in the Women in Business, Volleyball and Net Impact Clubs where we share, learn and collaborate with other students on wonderful and interesting projects that benefit the whole IE community. I personally find the opportunities to get involved and to focus my energy rewarding.
Q4: How do you feel IE will prepare you for the future?
If you had asked me this question in December last year, I could not have told you about my impressions. We have a lot of schoolwork and optional extracurricular activities, that I have not even noticed the time in Madrid passing by. It seems that we have started our lectures just yesterday.
We are now in our second term, which will last till May and I am enjoying the courses greatly. The subjects bring together many areas of the business from a strategic and operational perspective and I am able to draw the parallels and identify the links between many areas of a variety of businesses.
We are undergoing a variety of courses ranging from the basics in accounting, marketing and quantitative analysis to strategic and operations management, organizational behavior and financial investment analysis. In addition, the courses and workshops in the areas of public speaking, leadership development and the like create a well-rounded approach to business management.
Doing an MBA for me is an opportunity to take a step back and look at the big picture before taking the next decision about the direction I want to take my career in. I feel that when I started, my view of work was operational and focused on day-to-day tasks, whereas the IE IMBA program has provided me with many different viewpoints on a higher level or a larger scale so to speak. This will most definitely be an invaluable experience for my future career.