【ON THE WAY】Meet A Better Self In Madrid - IMBA Student ZHU Qiaolin And His Antai-IE Exchange Program Journey

Publisher : MBA Office       Jul.26,2019

Antai MBA program established partnership with more than 60 leading business schools around the world and offers more than 80 opportunities each year for students to conduct exchange programs abroad for 3-6 months. I am really glad to have the opportunity to start my exchange program in IE Business School, which is a worldwide well-known business school and one of the top business schools in Europe.


At IE, the first round of course selection is held in July, and the school will notify you in advance by email. It’s best for you to have an idea of each course in advance and decide which to select. Remember, first come, first served, so be sure to act quickly, otherwise your favorite course will probably have no place for you. There are two types of courses at IE – 10 sessions and 15 sessions. Each session is equivalent to 1.5 class hours, and 60 minutes per class. To meet the requirements of SJTU, 6 or 7 courses will be enough. For me, I selected 3 courses with 10 sessions and 3 courses with 15 sessions, and generally I think that’s not a heavy load.


IE courses are generally high quality, mainly because most professors have experience working at companies and the courses are very grounded, so when I finished all the courses, I kind of regret not having selected more. I would like to briefly introduce the following six courses I have studied and share some tips with newcomers.


- Venture Finance - From Bootstrapping to VC


This is an entrepreneurship course, not a finance one. It’s taught by a Japanese professor and serial entrepreneur. On the whole, I highly recommend this course. The professor will teach you how to become a successful entrepreneur from scratch. Those who want to start a business will benefit a lot from it.


- Marketing Strategy for Decision Making


This is an intensive course studied in three days, mainly using a system for marketing strategy simulation. Students are divided into several groups. At first, each group has the same resources with their company, but then they need to make many decisions on market segmentation, selection of target market, market positioning, product strategy, pricing strategy, channel strategy and promotion strategy, and finally there will be one group winning out. If you have a marketing background or are interested in marketing, I highly recommend this course. Trust me, you will really understand how the knowledge you have learned in class can be applied in practice.


- Business Models in the Knowledge Economy


The tutor of this course is very knowledgeable, although sometimes I can’t fully understand due to my language proficiency. The tutor will discuss business models in industries heavily relying on intangible assets. After class, you will have a clearer picture of business analysis. For example, you will understand why Didi and Kuaiche eventually merged, a natural outcome or a deliberate choice? What strategy should an entrepreneur use to enter the market more easily; and what strategy should a seasoned player use to defend the market? Highly recommended. But the course requires a closed-book final exam, and I’m shocked that notebook is allowed to use, though it’s not difficult to pass.


- Geopolitics for Business People


I select this course because of the recommendation of a senior. Overall, it is not bad, except that the teacher is an American and I find it really hard to understand sometimes. The teacher will analyze current events from a geopolitical perspective and tell us how to understand the current world trends. If you are interested in this topic, select it; otherwise, it’s not meaningful enough.


- B2B Marketing


Honestly, this is the most exciting course and I strongly recommend it. The professor seems to be the vice dean in charge of the EMBA program, also a former executive at Vodafone Spain. I have some experience in B2C marketing, and I took this course out of curiosity. There is a case to study and questions to think about in each class, so my advice is to read the case carefully and think about those questions in advance, you will see the benefits in class and gain a lot after class. The professor’s classes are a combination of solid theory and practical experience, truly rewarding.


To sum up, IE students are mostly good English speakers, very intelligent, and very active in class, almost no free-riders. If you want to express your view, you’d better raise your hand boldly. The students have very diverse backgrounds. Take a class of 30 students for example, there are more than 20 nationalities, among which only one or two are Spanish locals. Most students come from South America, followed by Europe. You can also meet students from India, Japan and South Korea, but there are very few Chinese students. Hence it’s very interesting and rewarding to study with them.