Many prospective students usually ask me why I chose to do my MBA at IE. Well, I have to first tell you a little bit about myself so you can understand the reasons why I decided to come to Madrid.
I am originally from Costa Rica, although my name is completely Polish. My Grandfather was fleeing the war in Europe and landed in Costa Rica around the early thirties. I was born and raised in Costa Rica and after high school I decided to do my undergraduate education in the US. I graduated from Tufts University in 1994 with a dual degree in economics and International relations. After working form more than 5 years in various industries in the US, Mexico and Costa Rica, I decided it was time for me to do an MBA.
Immediately I thought about going to Europe to get this degree. I felt I needed the European component in my education and also in my resume. In addition I felt I wanted to experience life in Europe since I had been studying and working in the US for a while. I knew I did not want to get my MBA from a US University.
I started researching the various business schools in Europe. I looked at the numerous rankings and concentrated only in the top schools. In fact I went to visit all those schools that appeal to me. Although all of these schools had something interesting to offer, at the end it was a combination of factors that made the decision easier for me. I really wanted a one year program. I felt it was not necessary to spend another 2 years in school if I could get the same education in an accelerated format in one year. At the time when I did my MBA the Euro was still not the currency in Europe, so that made the Spanish peseta much cheaper to the US dollar which was the currency in which I had saved for school. And finally, I wanted to be in an urban setting and off course Madrid had always been one of my favourite cities in the world.
My advice to any of you looking at different MBA programs is “do your homework”. In other words, if you are going to spend all this time, energy and money into an MBA program, really research well what you are getting into. If you can, try to visit the schools, do the campus tour, meet with current students and professors and really feel if there is a good fit between you and the school. This was the case for me. When I visited IE, all the people I met during my visit were very nice and friendly, it really felt right for me. It is hard to explain it in words but you know when something is right for you!