Life after IE

Written on February 5, 2014 by MEA Team in News

A word from Funmi Odushola:

Since the MBA, I moved to Nigeria and I am in charge of New Product Development for a large diversified conglomerate in West Africa.

Funmi Odushola

I am involved in 2 business divisions of the company – Household Goods and Building Materials. My typical work day involves: evaluating product opportunities, product redesign & testing, developing a product roadmap and liaising with my team in Asia. It involves managing and owning a full critical path of a product’s lifecycle. I supervise over 1000 product SKUs and it keeps growing.


Prior to the MBA, specializing in a one role function was an issue for me. I worked as a financial analyst at The Coca-Cola Company and at Oikocredit. I moved on to marketing and branding in a well-recognized pharmaceutical company. Most recently, I interned with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) where I focused on the launch plans of new products and opportunity analysis in African markets. The MBA degree has frosted these various experiences, allowing me to choose and successfully combine the many roles I enjoy.

With this new position, I get to enmesh Accounting, Marketing, Sales, Product development, General business management and Entrepreneurship; all in one role.


Unsurprisingly, my extra-curricular lifestyle after graduation has diminished but not lacking. At IE, I was the Goalie for the female football (soccer) club and part of the winning team of the Grassroot Soccer tournament, 2012. I have since stopped playing football mainly because there is hardly time to. However, I stay active by running at least thrice a week with a group of friends. We plan to conquer the longest bridge in Africa, the Third Mainland Bridge, in about 3 weeks. I also started playing squash after work hours. I incorporate quality time with friends into my calendar and organize a monthly get-together where we enjoy the exquisite array and global cuisines that Lagos restaurants have to offer. I also try to keep up with the weekend barbeque with family and short get-aways.


Lagos is an eccentric city to live in and this is a good time to be in Nigeria. Lagos has one of the fastest growing development sites in the world and it gives no time for the ennui feeling predicted to befall MBA graduates. There is so much capital inflow and budding ideas resulting in strong economic growth. Nevertheless, I miss Madrid. Madrid is one of those cities that once you call it home, it will always be home. Most of all, I miss the bunch of Spaniards and Guiris from over 60+ countries in the world, that I was privileged to study with. Los abrazos y besos a todos!

Until Next Time



IE Africa Club Dinner

Written on January 30, 2014 by MEA Team in News

africa club dinnerOn Friday January 23, 2014 the IE Africa Club held their first African dinner of the New Year, welcoming more than 60 of their classmates to the Ethiopian restaurant Hannan in Madrid. The goal was to bring a group of IE students together to better understand and enjoy some of the great food and culture that the African continent has to offer. Students from both the November and April IMBA intakes were in attendance along with a handful of MIM students.1798702_10152256413359714_1577248157_n

The night kicked off with traditional Ethiopian appetizers. During appetizers and drinks, guests were welcomed to participate in an African trivia game, which tested their knowledge of both cultural and geographic aspects of the continent. Diner was served and included an array of shared platters that held a sampling of several different Ethiopian dishes. The winning trivia team was invited to participate in a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony following dinner, where the coffee was freshly roasted and consumed.

1798795_10152256413259714_217232206_nThe IE Africa Club focuses on raising awareness of the African continent, with a particular focus on business opportunity. On February 25, 2014 all students and faculty are welcome to join IE Africa Club for the annual Africa Day event. This event will bring together those interested in conducting business on the continent for an afternoon and evening of executive keynote speakers and a panel discussion on the changes necessary to sustain and improve growth in Africa. The current guest list includes several representatives from global multinationals and consultants with operations in Africa, as well as representatives from African embassies and consulates based in Madrid. We hope to see everyone there.1622631_10152256415759714_1447732342_n

For those interested in trying Ethiopian food, Restaurant Hannan can be found here in Madrid at Calle de la Ventura Rodriguez 3, Madrid, Spain.

– OctaviaUntil Next Time



Here´s to the Blended Programmes!

Written on January 30, 2014 by MEA Team in News

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Tranversing Unchartered Territories

Written on January 29, 2014 by MEA Team in News


It was a great pleasure and productive experience conducting a mini Africa/Middle East tour with IE very recently, giving Master Classes in my role as associate professor. Thank you to the whole IE team for making it such aIMG-20140117-WA005 success.

We went to Ghana (Accra), Kenya (Nairobi) & Egypt (Cairo) – all in a week in IE “Rock ´n´Roll Style”! Each place had common elements, but a different flavour with unique anecdotes. I observed in Africa that there is a lot of will and energy to improve local circumstances which is driven by the type of poeple who would study at IE: the young, dynamic, change making pioneers. It was great to hear that many of the potential IE candidates are thinking of starting businesses after their MBAS in their home country. This is a big reason why they want to study at IE and also for the diversity and pro-active culture at the business school. The candidates were very participative in my Master Classes and the fact that they could get to hear a first hand IE student experience through Daena was the perfect mix. The numbers in the sessions were maybe less than I would expect in Europe but with more intention – a high percentage of the candidates were at a very mature stage of making the decision of studying at IE.


Wonderful to be in Africa and enjoy the two countries for the first time on both a professional and personal level. Before this trip, i had only been to Mali and Senegal. I was even interviewed by Ghana´s top Radio Station: Joy FM.



Cairo was a little bit different in that the country has been through a major political/security crisis and is not the country it was just a few years

I learned alot from the people I met and followed local knowledge to discover enlightening aspects of each country.ago with e.g. a booming tourist industry. I had  last been there in 2007. I felt very safe eventhough a week later there was major tension there. It felt like a broken city. The candidates acknowledged this and saw the opportunity of making a positive change and re-building the country through international studies and experience. This was a major take-away for me: most candidates wanted to study at IE to learn how to set up businesses that they would establish in their home countries – Wow!


Ghana: I am British of Indian Origin. In Europe and the world, I have always considered myself “black”, but in Ghana I was “white!” The students that I met, when I asked 


them about this, just laughed and said that is simply the way things are. 

Kenya: It is amazing that Nairobi is bordered by a natural park where you can be a few metres away from wild lions. I was up and on my way to the National Park before 6 am and park.  was well rewarded by the game in the

 Cairo: My local host took me to dinner to a very elegant place called “La Bodega” – I felt as if I was in central Madrid…

Until Next Time,





Living in Madrid

Written on January 21, 2014 by MEA Team in News

On the 20th of January, the Dubai Team, organized a special presentation for admitted students and candidates who are hoping to living in madridstart their masters program next spring. We had 10 attendees and 2 alumni attend the event that was filled with sharing experiences and imparting advice to those who will be joining IE soon. This event is a great opportunity for our admitted students to meet some of their future classmates and alleviate some of their doubts about the upcoming move to Madrid. We are really excited at the start of this series of talks and we hope that you join us for one soon!



- Until next time



Venture Network comes to Tel Aviv!

Written on January 8, 2014 by MEA Team in News

IMAG2294On Monday December 9, 2013 Spain has introduced a new notion to the entrepreneurship eco-system of Israel, the Startup Nation. With the help of Liz Fleming, the director of the Venture Lab and three IE alumni, Yuval Yifrach, Liad Rubin and Shai Haim, the Venture Network format has landed in Tel Aviv.

The Venture Network is an event in which entrepreneurs get the chance to pitch to investors in an informal environment to get feedback on their ventures and to network and socialize with the local community. It started in Madrid, Spain, it later spread to several locations in Spain and worldwide. Now it has landed in Tel Aviv, Israel.IMAG2310

After reaching out to the community, more than 150 registrations, +100 beers and 3 pitches, the event can be marked as a huge success. Both panelists, startups and participants praised the casual atmosphere, accurate feedback and great presentations. The

teams received excellent feedback from a prestigious panel that included Gil Ben Artzi from Upwest Labs, a silicon valley accelerator for Israeli companies, Avichay Nissenbaum, managing partner at Lool Ventures, Ron Tamir, managing partner at Kaedan Capital, Liz Fleiming, director of Venture Lab at IE Business School and Roi Bar-Kat, principal at Genesis Ventures.

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The presenting teams included MooVooz – an online marketplace for movers targeting the US market, Mekomy – a marketplace for tour guides, offering local tourism activities, and Immersia – a language learning platform based on high quality and lucrative games. All companies have launched their products and are open to the public.

After the presentations the event concluded with social mingling where attendees enjoyed more beers and

networking with like minded entrepreneurs and investors.


Until Next Time

- Nir


Thanks for the memories

Written on November 19, 2013 by MEA Team in News

nov intake photo

A month from tomorrow, on Dec 20th we will be graduating. It’s bitter sweet, on one hand I’m very excited about the future and where it may take me and what adventures await, but on the other hand I’m sad  this is coming to an end. I had no idea how much this year will impact my life; I have made friendships that will last a life time, I have learned and grown so much on both a personal and professional level, and I have amazing memories that I will always cherish.


It wasn’t always easy and rainbows and butterflies, there were times when I questioned my decision to come here, especially in the beginning. I left my comfort zone, my family and friends, everything that is familiar to me and moved to a new country where I didn’t speak the language and I didn’t know anyone. I went back to school after so long and it was really challenging and very stressful. But I would do it again in a heartbeat!


If you are at a point in your life where you are considering going back to school to get an MBA, then just do it. And consider IE! You will meet people from every corner of the globe, you will have access to high caliber faculty, and you will have the year of your life!


Here´s to the last month



Putting Metaphorical Pen to Paper

Written on November 13, 2013 by MEA Team in News

I am really happy to be blogging again, as i have not done so in while. What´s even more exciting about it is that I know that I am talking to you! You are in the place I was a year and a half ago – exploring your options for further

education and I couldn’t be more pleased that you are considering IE! What I often find myself saying to candidates, is that IE is a quirky kind of school, filled with quirky kind of people… but you must be asking yourself: what on earth does that mean? It means that IE provides an exciting, dynamic environment in which to learn and grown. We encourage thinking outside of the box, and learning from your peers. We encourage students to get to know each other across creed, culture, age, programme and background. IE is a melting pot for people who are excited about life and what they can do to change it.

Our blog is becoming a space where you can read and interact with us on a more informal level, about your IE experience. Here we will share our thoughts and plans for the region in the next few months and also let you know when we are going to be in your part of the world. I hope that you also use our contact form to get in touch with us, take part in our weekly videochats, Skype 121 sessions and Information Sessions.

I am looking forward to getting to know each and every one of you, and remember, the MEA team is always happy to help in any way that we can!


… First Stop in Africa

Written on November 12, 2013 by MEA Team in News

ep-ghana_flagA 7 hour flight to Accra marks the start of our first Africa tour for the 2013/14 season. I must admit that I am not wholly sure of what to expect – this will be my first fair and first time meeting some of you face to face.

It is my first time in Ghana, and I must say that it has exceeded my expectations and then some. This city, with its friendly people, the smell of the sea that hangs in the air and the natural beauty all around is, in a word, wonderful. I was lucky enough that whilst driving through the city, I was taken through Independence square and saw Independence Arch. I would like to thank the lovely staff at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel who made our stay perfect and seamless.

Yesterday, we attended the first ever MBA tour event in Africa, and it was a great success. We met with a number of you that are interested in pursuing graduate management education and it´s really exciting to be meeting you as you start this truly transformative process! Following this, today, we held our own IE event at the Movenpick Hotel where 29 people attended a session – “The IE Advantage: Studying at IE Business School.” To those of you who also came to 121 sessions, it was great to meet you and hope that along your application process we continue to get to you all the better.



All the Best! Until next time!

(Written October 2013)

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