Alexandros loves to explore. He climbed the sacred Mount Olympus, taught photography to children in Romania and tasted snowflakes in Istanbul. When Alexandros met IE at the Athens study fair, he was magnetized right away and flew to Madrid for the campus visit. Now a new student of the Master in Management program, he is impressed that IE brings together people so similar yet so different. Alexandros loves the lively vibe in Madrid, though he misses the feta cheese made only in Greece. A perfect summer day for him is to sit near the sea with friends and enjoy a big plate of fresh Greek salad, with a lot of feta of course.
By Wang Lin
Lin: How is your life in Greece?
Alexandros: My life has been nomadic since I was a child. I had to change cities, neighborhoods and schools every time when my father rotated his station as a military officer. But instead of sobbing in a new environment, I was always curious to explore. I wandered the streets, chatted with locals and picked up dialects. Very soon, I felt at home.
When I moved to Athens for university, I grew keen to explore the mountains. In 2014 I realized my childhood dream of climbing the Mount Olympus, the sacred house of the Olympian Gods. The climb was pleasant in the beginning, with beautiful lakes, exotic flowers and running squirrels. Gradually only tough rocks and winds accompanied us. At night, we made bonfires at huts and fell into sleep, exhausted but happy. When we finally reached the peak, the snow at the top wiped away the dust in our hearts and we felt peaceful. No Facebook, no phones. We were connected with ourselves, nature and Gods.
Lin: What did you do before coming to IE?
Alexandros: I studied Economic Growth and Regional Development in Athens and joined an intercultural project in Romania with four international students. At the local schools, we taught pupils everything from Greek mythology to dance, arts and photography.
In one photography class, we put down curtains and encouraged pupils to “draw” with flashlights. Everyone created his or her futuristic picture and we captured each creative moment with the camera. After we left Romania, we created a Facebook group for pupils to share photos. Even a roadside flower, a frozen stream and a broken bicycle can look so poetic through their lens.
Lin: What brought you to IE?
Alexandros: After I met IE officers at the Athens study fair, I was curious to find out more. So I made a quick decision to fly to Madrid for the campus visit. The more I talked to people and felt the vibe of IE, the louder my inner voice said yes! It is hard to articulate the logical reasons. It just feels right!
Moreover, the Master in Management program offers everything I want from core management foundations, cutting-edge specializations, to career enhancement workshops, consulting lab, trips to visit leading companies and a summer Spanish language program!
Lin: Now you are in the Spanish language program. What’s your impression?
“IE brings together people so similar yet so different! The people in my Spanish class are all open-minded, passionate and confident. They come from over 20 countries with backgrounds in business, arts, music, geography, history and even disaster management!”
Alexandros: And Madrid is fantastic! When I just arrived here, I was eager to smell, touch and feel Madrid. One night I went to the festival at La Latina and was blown away by the vibe. It was a lively river of people, lights, music and food. Amazing!
Lin: You look very composed in the Spanish class. What’s the other side of you?
Alexandros: Maybe there is a little boy living inside me. One winter evening in Istanbul, I was enjoying Turkish tea and mint shisha with two friends. Then snowflakes started to fall. We ran out with excitement to embrace the magic of nature. We were tasting fresh snowflakes and laughing like kids. It was a childhood fantasy come true!
Lin: What a lovely experience. What do you expect in the next one year?
Alexandros: I will specialize in Marketing and Sales and I am keen to apply my knowledge and skills to the consumer goods sector as a consultant. Where will I be next year? I will enjoy the flow and let it take me to anywhere in the world!
Lin: Are you missing something in Greece?
Alexandros: I miss feta. It’s a unique cheese made only in Greece from sheep’s milk. For me, feta is the soul of the Greek salad. I wish I could indulge myself in a huge plate of tomatoes, onions, peppers, cucumbers and of course feta on top with oregano and lots of olive oil. Yummy!
“In a typical summer day, we sit at a nice table near the sea with friends. The soothing waves, cool breeze, rustling leaves and laughter of kids become natural light music for us. In front of us, there are the fresh Greek salad, grilled fish, fried squids and the classic ouzo drink that every Greek loves. We eat, laugh and have fun. How lovely!”