By: Rebecca Taylor (Current Fellow of the IE Women Initiative)
Culture is a buzzword that is seen everywhere in the business world presently, and with good reason. The culture of a company or educational institution will define a person’s experience and have a significant impact on either success or disappointment. Paula Robles, Executive director of the MBA program at IE, understands how influential culture is and that is why she and her team are working hard to craft a culture that is nourishing, productive and collaborative at IE Business School.
While discussing the culture at IE Business School, specifically in the full-time MBA, Paula kept circling back to all the traits she sees and admires in the students. “Students are very humble, fun, and diverse. I also see there is a strong level of collaboration, with a less competitive edge.” Paula continued to emphasize “In the MBA class there are poets and there are quants, the quants help the poets, and the poets help the quants. You just need to put your hand up and say, can you help me?”
When asked more specifically about the role administration plays in the culture, Paula stated, “We are here to support our students, IE is a supportive environment. If there are things, we can do to make the student’s life easier; we go the extra mile to do that.” Throughout the interview, it was apparent that she had regular and frequent interactions with all the IMBA students. She expressed how students come from all different places in their lives and have different demands. “We have students who are mothers, who are fathers. We have current students who are pregnant or have given birth during the program. We need to take care of the needs of different students and ensure they can succeed.”
Paula emphasized the fact that sometimes students think possibly an MBA is too hard or demanding, and they don’t apply because they have other priorities, “but it’s a shame as the IMBA program is very much built for young men and women with a proven track record and a desire to grow further or shift their career.” The IMBA team at IE Business school works hard to craft a culture that is welcoming and inclusive, but also something every student, professor, and staff member can be proud of and thrive in.