This post first appeared on the IE Alumni News Blog.
This past May, 350 International MBA Students dedicated a week of their studies to help IKEA address the following challenge: What should IKEA change in order to become a more customer focused company?
Aside from IKEA being a successful multinational company that students can identify with, the highlight of the collaboration was to have two IE Business School Alumni dedicated to the development of the Challenge Week. Ramón Ramos (MBA, 1989) & Eric van der Does (MBA, 2000) were approached by the International MBA Team about a potential collaboration and, as they are both dedicated to improving the customer experience, were eager to tap into the talent pool of IE. The week was a great success, in that students had the opportunity to get out of the classroom to work on a real-life opportunity and IKEA was presented with out-of-the-box ideas from 54 different groups. In fact, the week was so successful that select students will continue to work with IKEA in the development of implementation strategies. Challenge Week forms part of the International MBA curriculum, where on two occasions during the their studies students are dedicated solely to the development of solutions to an opportunity presented by a company. This unique aspect of the curriculum helps to set IE apart from other top schools, as rarely do students (let alone 350) have the opportunity to showcase their talents in a project developed exclusively for their school by a top company.