18
Apr

The right decision

Written on April 18, 2013 by Halley Bennett in News

IE Brown EMBA Class of 2014

IE Brown EMBA Class of 2014

By Igor – Moscow, Russia 

Current participant in the IE Brown Executive MBA

I like the quote from Ichak Adizes, which goes something like this (translated from Russian):

It is a good decision when later on you recognize that you made the right decision.

I didn’t choose between several MBA programs. I just liked the IE Brown concept of combining a traditional MBA with creative stuff. Not only would I get a traditional MBA, but more. I watched a number of videos about the IE Brown EMBA program and interviews with past students and became emotionally attached to the program. Of course, prior to starting, I was still somewhat concerned that my high expectations and investment may not be realized ……

Prior to the Class of 2014 meeting for the first time in Providence, the IE and Brown staff introduced us to the Online Campus. In the “virtual cafe” I started to learn about my new classmates. My first reaction was:  

Oh, boy! Such interesting people, I would like to be part of this team… wait a minute, I AM already! Can’t wait to meet everybody in Providence!

I flew to New York from Moscow and changed out of my Russian winter “space-suit” to regular spring clothes. I was surprised by the weather in New York. Even in March, it was so warm that I had to take off my sweater and raincoat. But by the time my train approached Providence I started seeing snow…. ‘Why our classes aren’t in Miami?’ I wondered.

Our first IE Brown face to face ‘working weekend’ started with the official opening ceremony, a Brown University campus walking tour and the Welcome Dinner. Although we were ‘students’ again, we hadn’t forgotten that we were also executives – so there were lots of ties and suits. Contrary to diplomatic protocol, over dinner we started to break the ice.

The following day we launched into team building exercises. This was so successful that even now, when far away from my classmates in Russia, I read their online posts and recall their voices and intonations. The text is not faceless anymore. The face-to-face sessions in Providence connected us ‘people to people’. Our class became friends who care about each other. I was really impressed at how much effort was made by IE and Brown program administration to make our class a TEAM, not an easy task when individually we were clearly all natural leaders!

Each day of the two week face-to-face period was intense. Beer or dinner with my new friends sacrificed my ability to do the readings or the homework for the next day. So, we used all opportunities, whether in the morning or afternoon tea breaks or lunchtime to simply catch-up. Strategy, economics, financial accounting, case method and entrepreneurial management courses were mixed with innovation and creativity classes, communication, decision making and ethnography. Unbelievably, even after all of that, we survived the days to wake up with enthusiasm the following day to “act and reflect” on what we had learnt!

Some people say time cannot be compressed or extended… Obviously those people have never studied the IE Brown Executive MBA. Every week was worth a month. Reflecting now as I sit here at home in Moscow, thousands of kilometers from Providence and most of my classmates, I often describe things as ‘yesterday’ when they in fact happened during the day. The IE Brown Executive MBA continues to give me so many new, interesting things and insights in a single day that it feels as though I am condensing weeks into days…

Based on the quote above by Adizes, I absolutely feel that I have made the ‘right decision’ to undertake the IE Brown EMBA. So therefore, it’s all good!

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