Three weeks ago, on Wednesday, April 18, we had the pleasure to host our fellow colleagues from London Business School. Although the unexpected rain tried to ruin our plans, we managed to get to know each other, have some delicious food and, of course, a few drinks, at the welcoming cocktail at IE. That is how our Global Immersion Week Exchange – two beautiful weeks of learning, networking (and some partying) – had started!
During the week in Madrid, we attended an “Opportunity Workshop” taught by Prof. Peter Bryant, from which we learned how to identify and create entrepreneurial opportunities while brainstorming on renewable energy problems and developing solutions for them. Although it was very useful and interesting, I am sure that during the last few minutes of the workshop, everybody had their minds set on the fancy flamenco dancers and the tasty plates of paella that were waiting for us in the evening. We indeed had a great time at the Las Tablas restaurant, but what left everyone speechless was the final dinner at Real Café – a first-class restaurant in the middle of the VIP area of Santiago Bernabeu, with the stunning, unimaginable view of the whole stadium. I am personally not a Real Madrid fan, but the level of excitement and importance I felt up there is hard to describe – the place is truly amazing! What was even more amazing was the food we ate and the open bar during dinner. We finished our Madrid part of the exchange with a big party at the newly opened Le Boutique nightclub.
London was classy! We attended three excellent speeches. Michael Skapinker, FT editor with a weekly column on business and society, talked about his career development and about FT’s core values and principles. Helene Rey, currently one of the best economists in the world and a financial advisor to the French prime minister, made us aware of global macroeconomic issues countries are currently facing. Finally, professor and entrepreneur Eli Talmor presented his venture, SunRay (solar power) and gave a thorough description of renewable energy and private equity industries. And that was not all!
In the meantime, we visited EBRD headquarters and learned how such an important financial institution operates. We witnessed the London Metal Exchange closing madness – people
screaming, jumping and shouting on each other, communicating with the famous hand gestures and generating millions in profits or losses in just a couple of minutes. In the evening we tried to forget about all that professionalism by having drinks at the Proud Club (a former barn) in famous Camden Town – quite rare, but interesting experienceJ. The last day we visited the Southbank Center and attended the above-mentioned Eli Talmor’s presentation. The exchange ended with a private cocktail party in the special hall on the last floor of the Tate Modern Museum – wine, appetizers and the sunset view over the Themes River, Millennium Bridge, St. Paul’s cathedral and beautiful “City” of London.
In sum, the places we saw, the things we learned and the people we met during this exchange make it an unforgettable experience.
Check out last year’s exchange here!