Hi there! This is Vitaly Kolegov. It is my pleasure to share one day of my full-time MBA experience with you. At the moment I am finishing my second year at IESE Business School. This is a FT-ranked business school located in a very beautiful city, Barcelona, Spain. The city with its authentic vibe, culture, and architecture hosted the 1992 Olympic Games and was also the homeland of Güell and his arts. You can also find Leo Messi’s soccer club, beautiful beaches, friendly people and lots of green parrots. It is a perfect place to spend two years of your life with other students from all over the world. So here I am!
Before my study at IESE I worked both in financial and public sector in Russia. This is my last term and it is quite flexible in terms of classes that one can choose from. So I will tell you about one particular day of this term – February 14, 2017. Hope you will find this reading interesting.
So today is Tuesday. For me, Monday and Tuesday are quite busy days since I have classes almost the whole day long.
I woke up around 7:20. After packing all my staff, I quickly went out and took my motorbike to get to the school. Here it is!
It was raining the night before and it was a bit slippery on the road, so I had to be extra careful.
7:51 I arrived to a parking lot next to school. It took me around 12 minutes to get to the school. You can see many motorbikes already parked there. Many students at IESE admit that buying or renting a motorbike is the best investment during the whole MBA (of course after tuition fees for MBA itself 🙂 ). A moto gives you greater flexibility and I would highly recommend one. MBA students live all over the city and they really value the extra 60 minutes per day that they can save avoiding public transportation. Since the MBA experience is compiled of a mix of between meeting tight deadlines for numerous team projects, along with exam and class prep, with a significant dose of partying and dinners with your MBA mates, students value sleeping the extra minutes 🙂
This is the main entrance of the school and the new nice pond next to it. And me 🙂
My first class started at 8:15, so I had time to take some more pictures for you. This nice building with columns is the main building and visiting card of IESE. Now it doesn’t look fancy. You may want to come to see it in April, and you will find a completely different picture – see below. Right in front of the building there is another beautiful pond where a family of turtles lives. During the breaks between classes, students like to have a coffee on the lawn next to the pond.
8.00 Ok, it’s a breakfast time. Since my first class is quite early, I don’t have enough time to have a breakfast at home. The cafeteria at the school is a good alternative to grab some bocadillo con jamon y queso with café cortado. For me, Spain was the only place where I found a perfect combination of coffee and milk in one drink – this is café cortado. You can also meet a bunch of other students who want to caffeinate themselves before the class starts.
8:15 My first class today is about how to make sustainable investments in the venture capital world. We had an interesting guest speaker, descendant of a founder of Phillips, who shared his experience in this field.
During a short break, I had a chance to take a few pictures inside the hall. Here you can see the map of where the school has its offices. On the 2nd year of study, students may choose to have classes in one of those locations. For example, this January I spent two intense weeks in Shanghai. It was a thrilling experience to get to know a new culture, visit local companies and meet new people.
In addition to that the school has extensive partnerships with other business school across the globe. For example, last term I had a chance to have an exchange module at Chicago Booth Business School where I met Yulia who asked to write this post.
11:00 I have a break to go outside to make more pictures. It looks like that the weather is getting better.
11:13 It’s time to go back to the class. This smiley lady that I met next to the library is the Executive Director of our program.
My next class was about investments into real estate. In the first half, we discussed a case, in the second part of the class we had a guest speakers from a real estate companies in Barcelona.
12:30 I went to the lounge to meet my friends. The lounge is one of the students’ favorite places to meet each other to catch up on the latest news, have a lunch, and study. During the lunch time, it is almost always busy. That day my Russian speaking friends and myself wanted to discuss the ideas for Multi Culti. This is one of the most popular social events at school where students present their own countries at their country’s tables. Every year this event gathers almost 300 people, and since we have students almost all over the world, you can imagine what the vibes are on that event.
12:50 Ok, this is a lunch time. This is what I took that day. Looks great!
13:30 I have 45 minutes before my next class starts, so I have some time to prepare the cases. The library might be a good place to study, but as you can see everything is busy, and I would rather find an empty place in the lounge.
…on my way to the lounge, my Italian friend wanted to escape my camera 🙂
13:50 …still reading the case…
15:40 Just a quick break to have some more café cortado and chat with my friends outside
17:03 I have a few minutes before the last class to examine the requirements for visa to Japan. The Japanese Club is going to organize a cultural trek to Japan this April. Traditionally, more than a hundred people go there, this year will probably be the record attendance. I am really looking forward to joining this trip. Definitely, it’ll be a blast! Other regional clubs are also active in this kind of activities. The Russian speaking club organized two treks to Russia last year. Brazilian club also organized a trip to carnival in Rio.
19:30 It is time leave the school and go for a dinner
20:01 The number of cafes and restaurants of different caliber in Barcelona is mind-blowing. Almost every corner of every building has a dining place. I have chosen the one that was pretty close to my house.
21:30 Well done! A little bear is also happy to have a dinner there. Shall we go home?
22:40 Before I fell asleep, I had to finish my application for a visa…
23.20 Now I finished. It was a very long day. It is time to go to bed. Tomorrow will be another wonderful day :)… Good bye!
P.S. Feel free to comment if you have any questions regarding IESE MBA – I will happily answer them!