Hi Alexandre! Thank you very much for taking the time to share some of your IE experiences with us. Why don’t we start by you telling me a little bit about yourself as a small introduction?
Of course, no problem! So, my name is Alexandre Zinsli. I come from Lausanne, Switzerland and I have a bachelor degree in Engineering and Management from the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HEIG-VD) with a specialization in manufacturing management. Before coming to IE I also worked as an assistant of the project manager in one of the major manufacturer and operator of railroad machines in Europe.
Great Alexandre! So, can I ask why chose to come to IE?
Well, there are different reasons that made me choose IE. Firstly, the “diversity” of the student body is impressive at IE. Indeed, we count 48 different nationalities only in our intake, which creates a truly unique atmosphere in class. Another aspect that was critical in my decision process was the size of the class. The fact that during my specialization period for instance we are only 24 students enables every student to participate and to learn in a much more efficient way. Finally, the opportunity to travel for one week to San Francisco and to visit companies and discuss with managers from Google, Facebook or even Skype is a great networking opportunity and a unique way to get a better understanding of these leading companies.
As I said, I am currently in my specialization period – I chose International Business. This specialization is extremely interesting, especially if you want to acquire a better understanding of companies’ interests and risks in a global economic market. I am personally really interested in business strategy which is why my favorite courses are “Corporate Strategy” and “Business, Government and Society”.
Thank you Alexandre! So, how would you describe your IE Experience so far in general and what were some things that you will always remember or that stood out so far?
I will use two words to describe my experience here at IE: Rewarding and Intense. Rewarding in the way that I have not only increased my academic skills during these last 6 months, but also developed relationships that I will keep during all my life. This is why every minute I have spent in IE was worth it. Moreover IE is an intense experience. I wish sometimes that I would have more time to enjoy every single opportunity as during a standard week at IE you have the normal classes from 9am to 3pm plus the Executive Insight Series (conferences) plus other external conferences that you can follow plus some activities with the IE clubs; and all this is without taking into account the dozen of hours of group meetings. Everything combined makes your week very busy and as I said, you often wish that you would have more than 24 hours per day. This is probably also why this master is so exciting and makes time fly.
So Alexandre, looking back at the master at this point what would be some of the things you would recommend to prospective students?
I think the most important thing at IE is to be open-minded, to be receptive to other ideas and to try to build on them. The IE experience is more than simple courses given by excellent and very knowledgeable professors; it is a program which prepares you for the professional life. You will often meet colleagues who will talk to you about business ideas they have and ask for your advice and opinion. IE is a platform full of opportunities and it would be too bad to miss them.
Very good Alexandre! But what were some of the difficulties during your IE master?
Probably the most difficult part at IE is to manage your time. Since, as mentioned before, the program is very intense and demanding, sometimes it is difficult to have a balanced life. However everybody is so motivated that it creates such an atmosphere that makes you surpass your own limits and grow.
Last question, I promise. Alexandre, what are you up to now and how do you think what you have learned so far at IE will help you accomplish your future goals?
One of the most important skills that I learned in this program is how to manage and to work within multicultural teams. During these last six months I have worked with two different groups of six students each. It was an amazing experience to work on so many different projects with them because I have learned a lot from every single person I have worked with. In addition, I now know better than ever where I want to work after graduation which is due to the insights I received through all the different company conferences that have been offered every week. To conclude, the Master in Management here at IE has enabled me to feel ready and well prepared to face the very demanding working life.