Experiential Learning in Cape Town, South Africa

Written on February 9, 2015 by Caroline Quintanar in News

During the 2nd week of January 2015, IE Brown Executive MBA students participated in an experiential learning exercise in Cape Town, South Africa.  During this trip students further developed business opportunities they had been working on in their Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Developing Economies course.

Students leveraged reflective learning skills gained throughout the curriculum in courses such as Ethnographic Research Methods and Globalization and the Arts to inform their business plan hypotheses while gaining a richer appreciation of the cultural, economic and political context of the region.

The trip included daily visits to Township sites as students investigated opportunities related to sanitation, retail, couture, food products and construction.  These visits were complemented with events arranged to highlight local musical and visual artists.

The week closed with briefings by student teams attended by many key players met during the visit.  Students continue to enhance their business plans, providing a foundation for future efforts and meaningful impact over time.

-Pat McHugh, Director IE Brown Executive MBA Program


Read more about IE Brown participant Nick DeLena’s experience:


Nick DeLena

IE Brown EMBA Class of 2015

Assistant Vice President, Montpelier Group


“Our Cape Town experience has been fascinating. We spent quite a bit of time in advance preparing for the project, but no amount of research could have prepared us for what we encountered. Our team focused on the challenges of getting over-the-counter medicines into the hands of poor township residents. We met with disadvantaged families, doctors working in townships, traditional healers, as well as project managers from non-profit foundations focused on pharmaceutical distribution. We learned a lot about the challenges facing township residents and the way western medicine is viewed. We also saw surprising examples of how entrepreneurial and resourceful people were. One family, running a hair salon in their garage, felt that they had secured sufficient resources to guarantee their own wellbeing and decided they could start an orphanage in their house to help disenfranchised children. It was quite humbling when you consider priorities often associated with the developed world. I hope we were able to contribute something valuable to the overall mission of supporting township residents and local entrepreneurs-  they’ve given us an experience we’ll never forget.”

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Volatile, Uncertain, Complex & Ambiguous

Written on January 27, 2015 by Caroline Quintanar in News

Current IE Brown EMBA student, Kheepe Moremi, shares his thought on the entreprenuer world in this article published on LinkedIn: An Entrepreneur’s Dream World

“The thought of entrepreneurship as a search for and exploitation of change flashes in my head each time I hear references to the idea that we are living in a VUCA world (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex & Ambiguous)”


Miami IE Alumni Weekend from a current student perspective

Written on December 19, 2014 by Caroline Quintanar in News

Current IE Brown Executive MBA student , Ivon Rodriguez, shares with us her experience at the very first IE Alumni weekend event held in November in Miami, Florida USA.

“The IE ALUMNI WEEKEND in Miami was a complete success. With the engagement of over 200 participants from all over the world, there was learning, networking, and lots of dancing… the Miami night and the Grammy award-winning salsa band Marlow Rosado y La Riqueña facilitated the moves. I was taken aback with the diversity in the crowd in terms of industries and countries represented… but more impressive was everyone’s connection to IE. IE was the force that brought us all together… allowing for a thoroughly enjoyable and highly unforgettable weekend”

Speakers: Joe Navarro, Guillermo Arduino with Executive Director of Careers, Amber Wigmore and Executive Director of Alumni, Julia Sanchez

Speakers: Joe Navarro, Guillermo Arduino with Executive Director of Careers, Amber Wigmore and Executive Director of Alumni, Julia Sanchez

Joe Navarro, President of JNForensics, LLC & Author, speaking at the IE Alumni Weekend in Miami


Class of 2015 back on campus in Providence!

Written on October 31, 2014 by Caroline Quintanar in News

The current IE Brown EMBA class had their third residential period in an unusually sunny Providence, RI in October. The week was packed with activities that challenged students to bring together their business acumen with a spirit of creativity and entrepreneurial imagination. Early in the week students participated in yet another outstanding Creativity Workshop where they were tasked with developing an idea for an enterprise 500 years in the future. The four themes for the workshop required students to pursue their visions of sustainable solutions around relevant challenges in society today: education, healthcare, agriculture and entertainment. Students also visited the Betaspring (http://www.betaspring.com/about) incubator, based in Providence. Each of these activities along with the week’s coursework led the participants a few steps closer to one of next major phase of the course- the Immersion Week in Cape Town, South Africa next January.  To build excitement and set the stage for the upcoming experience, students had the chance to meet the director of the documentary “I Live to Sing” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2816158/) and rising opera singers from the University of Cape Town Opera School, inspiring them with the kind of energy they will encounter in Cape Town next year.




Masters of Disguise

Written on August 28, 2014 by Caroline Quintanar in News

Apart from all the hard work, the class of 2015 had a chance to enjoy themselves at their second residential period on the IE Madrid campus in June. After some well-deserved time off in August, these masters of disguise are about to tackle their second term that kicks off at Brown University in October. We wish them good luck! 

Brown Blog post


IE Brown Executive MBA Alumni Reflections

Written on July 11, 2014 by Caroline Quintanar in Video

We recently had the pleasure of hosting the first IE Brown Alumni Reunion. We are delighted to share some of the past students thoughts on the program and the future of the IE Brown community.

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Class of 2014 Graduates!

Written on June 6, 2014 by Caroline Quintanar in News

Today we had the pleasure of joining the Class of 2014 as they finished their epic journey. At IE’s Segovia campus, 25 fantastic executives graduated and celebrated all their hard work from the past 15 months.


We are proud to welcome these amazing individuals to the alumni community!




The ladies of the class of 2015 take the stage

Written on April 29, 2014 by Caroline Quintanar in News

The class of 2015 opened just over a month ago and students are now  settling into the online campus which will be their home base for the next year.

This class has a great group of ladies and we asked a few to share with us some of their initial thoughts from their first residential period at Brown University.

Paula Salomao, a Brazilian consulting executive based in Japan, gave us a quick recap of her initial thoughts:

  • What was exciting part of beginning the program? Having access to so many different opinions
  • In a nutshell, what was the most surprising? The dynamics!!
  • What has been the most difficult so far? The quantity of posts to read…

Her classmate Natalie Gabriel, a Swiss physician and alpinist, embellished a bit more on her expectations and experience:

I was travelling to Providence with a lot of expectations, but also some doubts, as I had no idea what or who awaited me there. Almost everything in these two weeks did not only meet my expectations, but far surpassed, what I had imagined expected. There were some exceptions, as for example the cold temperature or the quality of the filter coffee in the classroom building… I met many, many very nice and interesting people. The quality of the lectures was brilliant and all professors were extremely motivated. The support from the representatives of IE and Brown was always very helpful and created a favorable atmosphere. One of the things that most surprised and impressed me was my classmates. During the first days we admired our diversity (nations, professional background, languages…), but the more time we spent together the more I began to find the “sameness” regarding our approach to life, motivation for the program, personal background, fears. …and yes, the demand of time, energy and commitment for the program has also exceeded my initial expectations.






Written on March 25, 2014 by Caroline Quintanar in News

We would like to welcome the IE Brown Executive MBA class of 2015!  It’s a great mix of talented professionals from across the globe. Enjoy the ride!



Lawyers and MBAs are like oil and water, right? Think again…

Written on March 7, 2014 by Caroline Quintanar in News

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As we prepare to welcome the 4th class and greet alumni from the first three cohorts, one of our current students, Sabiene Heindl, IP lawyer and strategic business advisor, reflects on one of the many facets of diversity in the IE Brown EMBA.

Lawyers and MBAs are like oil and water, right?  Think again.  An increasing number of lawyers are enrolling in Masters of Business Administration (MBA) across the globe.  As an Australian intellectual property lawyer, doing a MBA hadn’t occurred to me a year or two ago.  Now I find myself based in Europe undertaking the prestigious IE Brown Executive MBA across Spain, the United States and South Africa.  The following why, as a lawyer, you may wish to consider a MBA, together with some tips and perspectives to help you make up your mind.

Tips for lawyers:

  • If you have reached a pinnacle in terms of your technical legal skills, then a MBA can build on your management skills and prepare you for a leadership role
  • MBAs can provide an essential stepping stone in a legal career or enable a pivot onto a different career path
  • It’s important to choose your school carefully, but don’t limit yourself geographically
  • Like every other large undertaking in life, doing a MBA is a balancing act, so be prepared to juggle work, life and now study….

MBA: the gains

What can a lawyer expect to gain from a MBA?  From my perspective, the advantages of a MBA are:

  1. Leadership skills that can prepare you for partnership or a leadership position within your firm
  2. Broader perspective on the operational elements of business including finance, operations, marketing, strategy and IT – this is particularly helpful if you are working as in-house counsel
  3. Opportunities to consider career options outside of the law
  4. Cross industry perspectives on the businesses of your clients
  5. Opening up networking opportunities internationally

Balancing act

Of course, like everything that’s good in life, undertaking a MBA is a balancing act.  An increasing number of top MBA programs are run as blended programs, that is, residential face-to-face periods interspersed with an online learning campus.  These provide more flexibility for busy executives that have a day job (eg practicing law) and personal and family commitments.  But don’t be fooled.  25-35 hours a week of study on top of what may already be a 50-60 hour work week, will take its toll.  If financially feasible, consider options around part time work for the duration of the program (usually between 15-18 months) or recognise that you seriously won’t have much of a life!

So whether you want to jump ship from your legal career or have a desire to bridge the gap between private practice and commercial thinking, a MBA is worth considering.  Spend lots of time researching business schools across the globe to ensure that you find one that is a good fit with your career goals and aspirations.  Happy studying!

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