Let’s get blended

Written on June 20, 2013 by Halley Bennett in News

IMG_5513The next class of IE Brown EMBAs is landing in Madrid this Sunday for their second residential week of the 15-month program and their first visit to IE Business School!  The 25 participants will be flying in from around the world to reunite for the first time since they kicked off in Providence back in March.

Since then they’ve been building an incredibly close knit online community and have developed strong relationships with their classmates, faculty and team members.  Who better to tell you about the experience than Carlos, a Valencia native and an advocate for the blended learning methodology.  Read on to find out how his world suddenly got a whole lot… flatter.


“Hey, look at that… it’s flat!

–          What do you mean it’s flat…?

–          No, really. It should be round…I know … but it’s suddenly gone flat….”

She tries to understand it.  She really and sincerely tries to… She’s definitely the nicest and possibly one of the smartest persons around, but still my wife can’t fully appreciate that the entire world has suddenly flattened in front of me. I am connected the entire day to a learning community of 25 individuals that are spread all over the world. Ideas, hypothesis, simple guesses; all of them are flowing 24/7 in this forum.  IE calls it the blended methodology … I call it the ultimate shared/common learning methodology. Right now, I am convinced that this blended program allows more participation and better exchange than a regular face-to-face MBA.


In fact, I’m realizing that it’s not just about the learning. Our personalities, opinions, worries, experiences, they all keep coming through in every post. Suddenly, this translates to strengthening the bonds we formed when we met in Providence three long months ago.

What I mean is that I’m worried if it‘s lunch time for me in Spain and I still haven’t read Pelle’s first post of the day from Philadelphia; he’s probably going for another hard day at the office. There are also those afternoons, following strong participation in the morning, when I find myself thinking that Isabelle is just waking up in Vancouver to a nice number of unread and meaningful posts…

And, finally, the best possible moment of the week … I’m struggling to survive to my Thursday and there she is again: Alexis just woke up in Sydney and is closing her post with a “Friday time” mention … yes, suddenly it’s also like a bit of a Friday for me!

We have built a strong learning community.  Ideas and knowledge just keep blossoming inside it. This blended system, that sounded strange and unfamiliar to me, it works. It is intense, it is immersive, it is flexible and it supports free exchange and common building of ideas and knowledge. Three months ago, I was wondering if it would be effective.  Right now, I can say it’s won me over.

It’s also building strong bonds among classmates who are separated by …hey wait, we are all over the world! Is there any time zone where there isn’t an IE Brown EMBA 2014 student? It looks like the sun never sets for us on this new ‘flat’ world, Cohort 3! 

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