Meet Mark, current student, IE Brown Executive MBA

Written on December 20, 2011 by Vani Nadarajah in News

Introducing our wonderful Mark!

Mark exemplifies the IE Brown student: caring, passionate and motivated, with a strong belief in this new era of business education. Hailing from an extensive career in the banking industry and more recently an entrepreneur in the real estate business, hear Mark’s perspectives on  the value-add of the IE Brown EMBA amongst other US EMBA programs, the flexibility of the program’s blended technology and the intense experience of completing an MBA in 15 months.

Also hear about Mark’s views on the IE Brown EMBA flagship Entrepreneurship module: Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership, and how it feels to be working with his classmates on an exciting, investor-ready business plan.


Meet Inga, current student IE Brown Executive MBA

Written on December 1, 2011 by Vani Nadarajah in News

Hear from our amazing Inga on how the IE Brown EMBA provides an environment for exploration and experimentation. One of the greatest aspects of the program is the interaction between the students and Inga highlights how this is the space to throw out opinions, start discusssions, challenge professors and debate in a safe space.

Also hear her thoughts on the unique Liberal Arts part of the program and how she relates this to the executive search industry, where some of the most successful senior managers she sees hail from arts, humanities or engineering backgrounds. 


Creativity and Innovation: Part II

Written on November 23, 2011 by Vani Nadarajah in News

And now for something absolutely dazzling!

Follow the progress of our students as the Cultivating Conditions for Innovation and the Creative Process course evolves. A few months since the first beautiful video was made about this course, how are Richard Fishman and Ian Gonsher of Brown University impacting the creative spirit of the senior executives in our inaugural class?

Take a look at this:


New Virtual Information Session : 24th November

Written on November 21, 2011 by blended.team in News

Don´t miss the next Virtual Information Session

 IE Brown Executive MBA

Madrid Date: 24 November 2011, 13:00

Local Date: 24 November 2011, 13:00 (Madrid time)

Language: English

Click on the image below to get to the registration landing page.

Once registered, we will send you, a day before the event, an email which includes the access URL to this virtual session.

IE Brown Virtual Session


In the spotlight of IE Brown: Peter MacDonald

Written on November 14, 2011 by blended.team in News

Peter MacDonald (IE Brown Executive MBA candidate) is an award winning Senior Executive with an exemplary

Peter MacDonald_IEBrown

Peter MacDonald-IEBrown

 record in international business and product development for various companies in the education sector. He is particularly recognized for his entrepreneurial mentality and success in taking underperforming, unprofitable business units and turning them around to profitability.

He successfully:
o collaborates with Universities on development and execution of international strategies
o works closely with Deans, Presidents, and Pro-Vice Chancellors
o identifies new opportunities for creating international activities
o supervises high performance sales and marketing teams
o shares his knowledge of the Education Sector

QS Quacquarelli Symonds was founded in 1990 and has established itself as the leading global provider of specialist higher education and careers information and solutions. At QS, we believe that education and career decisions are too important to leave to chance, we want to ensure candidates have access to the best tools and the best independent expert information before making a decision.
Our activities span across 50 countries, working with over 2,000 of the world’s leading higher education institutions and over 12,000 employers. We provide services at each key career stage; first degree, Masters, PhD, MBA, and Executive-level.
I have been at QS now for nearly 5 years, originally recruited to develop the company’s services that target the world’s leading universities at Masters and PhD level. In June 2010 I was promoted to Commercial Director and am now responsible for all sales, marketing, logistics and operations for our face to face and online products that focus on the under graduate through to PhD level business areas.
Previously I have had experience as a start-up entrepreneur, a Director in an MBA Accreditation body and a Group Head responsible for advertising sales at a national newspaper, in total I have worked in the graduate education sector for nearly 15 years.

There are three key areas that I enjoy most about my current role at QS. As an employer with innovation and entrepreneurship at its heart, QS enjoys the ability to attract bright, ambitious, dedicated young stars; I am privileged to work with a direct report team of 15 of the smartest people I have ever known, over the years we have enjoyed a lot of success and have become a close knit circle of friends. Getting to travel the world for 4-5 months a year taking in exotic far flung destinations helping aspirational candidates reach their goal of international study is pretty pleasant work as well!

The hardest part about my current role is making sure I get my work/life balance right; at the moment I am juggling the IE-Brown Executive MBA, with my commitments to QS and at the same time trying to be sure that James (4) and Lillie (6) get to see enough of me so that they can remember what their Dad looks like!

I was once told that good managers attract top talent, they allow that talent the space to develop, have the humility to know when they are wrong and do everything in their power to help that talent surpass their own personal achievements. I believe totally in that advice.

simply being prepared to question the status quo; challenge yourself not to accept the way things are.

One of the key findings from the TopMBA.com Jobs and Salary Trends Report 2011/12 is that in most regions across the world, the demand for MBA-qualified employees has increased in the 12 months up until June 2011. Latin America and Asia-Pacific have the highest demand for MBAs. The Asia-Pacific region saw job opportunities for MBAs increase by 43%. A further rise of 19% has been predicted for 2012. In India, jobs for MBAs have soared with particular demand in professional services, manufacturing, IT/computer services and microfinance. In China, the electronics/high technology sector is also recruiting MBAs in large numbers.
Employers in Latin America report a rapid growth of 47% in MBA jobs. More specifically, multinational companies in Mexico, Argentina and Brazil have been actively hiring MBAs.
Despite economic uncertainty, in the 12 months up until June 2011 there was an increase in job opportunities in Western Europe. For instance, employers in the UK reported a 44% rise in jobs and Germany a 27%. Business school career service officers who took part in the survey had a positive outlook in Western Europe but were cautious about the finance sector.
At the time of compiling data for the report, there was continued active MBA up until June 2011. However since then, many western economies have been struggling with the on-going euro zone debt crisis. If the sovereign debt crisis results in a double-dip recession, then this is likely to affect MBA hiring. Banks are likely to cut back on MBA intake and this will have a knock-on effect as reductions in consumer spending will lead to cutbacks in manufacturing and consulting sectors in particular. This will not be concentrated in the Western economies only and will cause a slowdown in demand in emerging markets. As a result, we are likely to see some slowdown in MBA hiring in Latin America and Asia.
The report surveyed 2,140 employers from 42 different countries, who are actively recruiting MBAs. The report is focused on data provided by employers and therefore gives a unique insight into recruitment trends in the MBA market.

1. There’s an exception to every rule
2. 2. Beg forgiveness not permission. Whenever I am uncertain about the way forward I look to one of these;
so far so good, they haven’t let me down

For further information on QS please visit www.qs.com


Meet Gerardo, current student IE Brown Executive MBA

Written on November 7, 2011 by Vani Nadarajah in News

Introducing our lovely Gerardo, current IE Brown Executive MBA student and hear why a General Manager from the Mexican Real Estate industry has chosen the IE Brown Executive MBA.

Hear Gerardo’s thoughts on his classmates, the value of student interaction and the impact that this program helps him bring to his company. 


Of Entrepreneurs and Chickens

Written on October 27, 2011 by Vani Nadarajah in News

Think Beyond Business!

IE Brown Professor of Psychology, Joachim Krueger, explores the mysterious world of entrepreneur behaviour….

Why enter the market when you can chicken out?

I teach a course on “Psychology for Managers” in an executive masters program. It’s beginning to dawn on me that the title is no good. It should be “Psychology for Executives” or better yet, “Psychology for Entrepreneurs.” For what do managers do? They manage. How are you doin’? Oh, I manage. Not very exciting. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, prend entre. They undertake and take under, though not in the funereal sense. Or, according to some voices in the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, they do this too.


There is also a psychology OF managers and entrepreneurs, and Busenitz & Barney [BB] (1997) published a now classic paper on how they differ. BB presented evidence that entrepreneurs are less rational than managers. They are more overconfident and they rush to conclusions more cheerfully. In some way, one may take this as a reflection of their minds. Entrepreneurs rely more on intuition and less on careful analysis of evidence. In another way, one must recognize that entrepreneurs and managers operate in very different decision environments. Entrepreneurs face greater risk and uncertainty, and perhaps even seek it out. Managers can support many of their decisions with protocols, traditions, rules & regulations.

Moore, Oesch & Zietsma (MOZ) (2007) published an excellent paper in the BB tradition. They showed that entrepreneurs are particularly egocentric—or “myopic” as they call it—in their judgments and decisions. MOZ show that entrepreneurs do too much of one-cue decision-making. They assess and evaluate their own abilities and resources relative to what is required for starting a business. When the assessment passes a threshold, they enter the market. This means that when the threshold is low, they are more likely to enter than when the threshold is high. Sound reasonable? It isn’t. What entrepreneurs tend to overlook are the abilities and resources of others who are also poised to enter the market. When the threshold for entry is low, it is low for everyone. The task, in other words, is easy. When the threshold is high, it is high for everyone. The task is difficult. If entrepreneurs had a healthy appreciation of the competition’s perspective, more of them would enter difficult markets and fewer would enter easy markets. As matters stand, easy markets (bars, restaurants, liquor stores) have the highest failure rates. In econ-speak, this does not look like an equilibrium.

Reading MOZ, I see what’s missing: Do successful entrepreneurs differ psychologically from unsuccessful ones? Can we find evidence for the idea that successful entrepreneurs rely less on one-cue intuition and think more deeply instead? If someone out there knows of good studies testing these ideas, I would be grateful to know.

Meanwhile, I want to explore the links between entrepreneurs and chickens. By chicken I am not referring to virtually flightless farm fowl, but to the game. Brief review: You and ‘Other’ are both deciding between cooperation c and defection d. You can’t talk and you must act simultaneously. The payoffs are ranked thus: dc [you defect, other cooperates] > cc > cd > dd. This is a tricky game because whatever the other person does, you want to do the opposite. But you don’t know what the other person does. So if you’re chicken, you choose c on the notion that at least you will avoid the catastrophe of dd. Or you pretend you’re playing many rounds of the game (which you’re not) and flip a mental coin (or a real one for that matter) and choose d with a probability of .5.

What does that have to do with entrepreneurs and the rest of us? Think of a group of players making up a national economy. Choosing to entrepend is (bear with me) a defection. If you are among the few who entreprend while the rest of us is chicken, you get rich, so dc is best. Conversely, if all or most of us entreprend, most or all of us will fail with catastrophic consequences, so dd is worst. Now, the remaining two payoffs are not like in the regular game of chicken, but reversed. If no one steps up to the plate, we live in a world of subsistence farming, hunting & gathering, so cc is pretty bad. If there is a class of successful entrepreneurs, we are, though poultrified, not as poorly off. We find that cd is second best. Put together, the payoff ranking is dc > cd > cc > dd.

What a would-be entrepenur now needs is an estimate of the probability that others enter the market in numbers small enough that make entry the better choice. That seems like the rational way to overcome egocentrism and decision myopia. But it wouldn’t be a game-theoretical problem if those others weren’t trying to solve the very same problem. Consider again bars and liquor stores. If everyone thought ‘This market seems too easy; therefore it will be flooded with entrants, many of whom will fail; therefore I will not bother to enter,” this market would actually become a gold mine for those who decide to abandon this rational line of thinking.

Equilibrium sought, I suppose.

What does all of this have to do with Wall Street? Not much. I think that most Wall Streeters are managers rather than entrepreneurs. Many are known as “analysts” and they play with other people’s money.

Busenitz, L. B., & Barney, J. B. (1997). Differences between entrepreneurs and managers in large organizations: Biases and heuristics in strategic decision-making. Journal of Business Venturing, 12, 9-30.

Moore, D. A., Oesch, J. M., & Zietsma, C. (2007). What competition? Myopic focus in market-entry decision. Organizational Science, 18, 440-454. doi 10.1287/orsc.1060.0243


Blended learning and the IE Brown Executive MBA

Written on October 24, 2011 by Vani Nadarajah in News

One of the most powerful advantages of the IE Brown Executive MBA is it’s blended format – meaning part face-to-face and part online learning interaction.

There are numerous benefits to this innovative learning model, but noone puts it better than our very own IE Brown EMBA students. Alaba, Fahim, Garrett and Stephen: the floor is yours!



Hola de Madrid!

Written on October 20, 2011 by Vani Nadarajah in News

So its been a while since our last IE Brown blog update. Here in Spain, summer has come and gone, and as we welcome in autumn, our students have joined us for the first time at IE Business School here in Madrid, after 6 months of blended learning at Brown University in Providence (RI) and online.

So what have they been up to? It’s been business and study as usual over the past couple of months. The class took some holidays in August and studied hard for exams, as courses over the first semester of the program drew to an end.

The new semester launched on 16th October, at the start of the intensive face-to-face period in Madrid and new teams were announced by Exec Director, Ulrike Klaussner. This is an important part in the evolution of an Executive MBA, where new combinations of students come together to work and study together and will continue to do so until the end of the program in June 2012.

So this post marks the end of the first semester and the beginning of the second and final semester. It’s been wonderful to be back with our IE Brown EMBA family, to touch base with them and see how this great program is impacting them in terms of their professional development, their careers, their networks and of course their companies. We’ll be unveiling new interviews and material in the coming weeks so stay posted for these and other blog posts on student updates.


Introducing Halley, the newest member of our IE Brown program team!

Written on July 21, 2011 by Vani Nadarajah in News

Introducing Halley Bennett, our latest addition to the IE Brown team and one of the people that take good care of our students during the IE Brown Executive MBA. Halley recently attended the program’s face-to-face week in Providence, in June. Here is what she had to say:

As the newest member of the IE Brown team, I had the great privilege of participating in the most recent residential period, which took place at Brown University last month.  I came away from that experience fully convinced that the partnership between the business world and the humanities- the heart of our program- is one of limitless potential.  Needless to say, it was a thrilling experience. 

I was particularly fascinated by the skill with which the participants were able to synthesize their professional experiences, a variety of business topics, and the engaging, and often abstract, concepts covered in the humanities courses.  During “Psychology for Managers”, Professor Malle spoke extensively about the mutation of the human mind, teaching that the evolution of our minds is driven by our responses to complex environments.  Throughout the week, the participants were continually challenged to step out of the role of conventional learning and absorb very complex intellectual concepts in unique ways.  And not only did they absorb, but they evolved, contributing to that complexity and creating a powerhouse learning environment.  My conclusion?  The most recent IE Brown experience was no doubt one that “mutated” the minds of all present.  My brain feels bigger already. Literally.

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