Caraline has been working in the Francisco Bay area for the last 10 years. She has developed vast experience in Technology companies, working at Twitter in Product, System Implementation, Sales Operations & Strategy. She is currently working at Pinterest in Sales Partnerships, Strategy & Operations.
She also has experience in different startups, including an online trading platform startup where she worked in the product, marketing, and recruiting areas. She is also member of a First Round Expert Network, a carefully curated community of over 100 experts across domains who are available to advise First Round companies to help solve their biggest problems.
Why did you choose IE?
I wanted a change, to leave my current type of work and bias towards the US. The concept of a non-traditional Business School is something that attracted me, as I have interacted with MBAs from Stanford and other IVY League Universities in the US, and I knew that I wanted something different. IE appeared to me as the best choice due to its focus on two things that are very important to me: Entrepreneurship and Social Responsibility. I came to IE as I would like to start my own business, and wanted to learn more about the fundamentals I need to know to make this happen.
What do you like the most of living in Madrid?
Madrid is a city rich in culture, you can feel this while having a picnic in Retiro Park or while having some tapas in any tavern. The food is amazing, ranging from seafood, serrano ham to the best paella I have ever tried. I believe that Spaniards have an amazing Lifestyle and attitude towards living and enjoying life as opposed to the US mindset I am more used to. Another important feature is that Madrid is very well connected with the rest of Europe which makes travelling around very easy, as I can choose to go Skiing or to the Beach and everything is only a couple hours away.
Now that you have spent almost six months at IE, what is your opinion about the IE experience?
The academic experience is very good, as we have top of the line professors in every subject. We also have a professor with unconventional methods which I liked very much, and which I don’t think that can be find in most of the US universities. However, my biggest surprise and joy came from my classmates, as I was able to become really close to people from all over the world, from Bahrein to Uruguay. I believe these long lasting relationships are key as I truly believe that I learnt from my classmates as much as I did from the professors. Extra-curricular activities are also a big thing at IE, which is good to meet people that are not in my own class and increase my network. I had the opportunity to initiate Clubs that did not exist before, such as the recently created Charity Club.
What are your future plans? Do you plan to stay or go back to the US?
To be honest I have no idea where I will be in the next six months when I finish the MBA. I have always been keen on international expansion work, and I believe IE could facilitate some interesting opportunities within Europe or even in some emerging markets such as Africa, Asia or Latin America. I am currently working on a start-up idea with some classmates which I truly believe in, so who knows? Maybe I will stay in Madrid for much longer than expected working on it! I am for sure talking advantage of the Spanish classes in case this becomes real!