GIW 2018: Shanghai, San Francisco, South Africa or Berlin

Between June 11th and June 15th 2018, some MIM students embarked on a very special opportunity: The Global Immersion Week. Every year, MIM students have the opportunity to go worldwide destinations to have exclusive insight from world-class academics and to network with managers and key companies in their area of interest.

This year, the MIM students could choose from 4 different trip locations, each one with their specific business focus: Shanghai, Berlin, San Francisco and Johannesburg. I spoke to some students that went for the different locations and they shared with me their personal impressions of their eventful and exciting week abroad.

We asked each participant why they chose their destination for the Global Immersion Week and to tell us a bit more about your experience there. Below the feedback we received from Henri Chao about Shanghai; Anya about San Francisco; Joost about Berlin and Kostya about Johannesburg.

The Global Immersion Week is not only an extension of the classroom, but it is also an opportunity for students to develop cultural awareness and an appreciation for cultural differences. As the leaders of the future and part of the IE Community, the Global Immersion Week gives students the opportunity to have a well-rounded MIM experience.


Henri Chao, Shanghai trip

“Shanghai is considered as the oriental Paris and it is the richest city of China.  I had some experiences there before since I studied last year at Jiaotong University and I was able to discover many things during that time. Choosing Shanghai was the perfect choice in order to understand more the Chinese environment and discover new companies.

My journey during the global immersion week was intense! I didn’t have a lot time to sleep but it was worth it! It was interesting to meet companies from several industries and hear them giving some insights of their success.”


Anna Marmyleva, San Francisco trip

Now, we can see AI, IoT, 5G, and other popular tech acronyms here and there. We speak about them at class, discuss their future opportunities, and fear their possible negative effects. We read articles about Google, Amazon and other global leaders, get amazed receiving the news about some crazy startups that are about to disrupt traditional industries, but do we really understand what makes all this innovation happen? How do those companies work, how do they communicate with each other and with other parties? What is the secret of their success and what is hidden behind the scenes? In order to answer all these questions, I applied for San Francisco, California, for the Global Immersion Week and ended up gaining an amazing experience.

Our group visited a range of different companies in Silicon Valley, starting from giants like Google, Facebook, Tesla, and eBay, and finishing with successful startups like IFTTT, Forward, and Zendesk. We also discussed the “hottest” topics with different accelerators, advisory firms, and VCs that connect both sides in the Valley.

As a result, we truly dived into an exciting environment of creativity and innovation where ideas become reality and investments are paid off. This trip has taught us how important networking and community are, as well as motivated us to continue exploring the digital world and ultimately find opportunities for our future careers. Thanks to this week in San Francisco, we have also got to make new friends within each other and explore an absolutely unique city that combines the Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial spirit together with American culture and disadvantages of a fast-path urban life. For me, this experience has been one of the most valuable and special ones in the whole Master in Management programme. Big thanks to all the program management and our coordinators’ team! We will never forget this week!


Konstantin Sennikov, South Africa trip

“The reason why I decided to choose South Africa for the Global Immersion Week was the purpose of the trip.  The trip to South Africa provided me with an opportunity to get immersed into social work in this country. Apart from a chance to visit the country I have never been to, the goal of the trip appealed to me. I have always wanted to make our world a better place to live. Thus, I almost did not hesitate and chose this destination.

In order to better understand the life, the decisions made by the leaders of South Africa through the history, we visited the Apartheid Museum. The visit helped us to understand the reasons of racial segregation and the consequences of it on the future of South Africa. We also went to Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct where we met young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. That was a brilliant experience because we had a chance to act as consultants with our own vision on their projects. On Wednesday, we went to Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct where we met young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. That was a brilliant experience because we had a chance to act as consultants with our own vision on their projects.

On Thursday, we met Thulani Madondo, the founder of Kliptown Youth Program. We saw poor conditions in which black people live. Personally, that was a cultural shock. But what fascinated me most, was the work which is being done day by day in order to create opportunities for these people. Thanks to KYP, children get a chance to make achievements in sports, arts and computer literacy. On the last day of the program, we went to Diepsloot and talked to businessmen in informal settlements. We learnt about the challenges of doing business there, wholesalers, safety, etc.”



Joost Dyckerhoff, Berlin trip

“I chose Berlin for the GIW not because I wanted to travel, more because I saw an actual opportunity to connect with people, companies and eventually even to find a job in my desired industry. Moreover, I wanted to find out if Berlin as a city suits me or if it is just too big and anonymous.

Finally I am back to Madrid with a lot of new insights and knowledge. This trip was even more enlightening than expected in every terms. I haven’t found a job yet but the trip has guided me to the right direction. Also I am convinced that the city is ideal for me. Furthermore, I was able to extend my network and landed through the people I met during the week some interviews at fast growing startups. I am super glad to had this opportunity, to bond with my fellow students and to show friends my home country.”


By Arthemis Siqueira
current MIM student