"Don’t limit your learning to the Classroom. Get involved. Dive deeper. Network. As Eric Hoffer once said, in a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future."
Carlos Schütze, Nicaragua
Managing Director at Logica Software
- Program studied
Define your experience in (the program) in one word.
Why did you choose the Tech MBA over a traditional MBA?
I come from a tech background, I’ve been writing and designing software for a few years and, managing a Tech company myself, I’ve witnessed firsthand how demand for people with hybrid technical and business profiles has grown with talent in short supply. I’ve always had a keen interest in the business side of tech so, accordingly, I figured the Tech MBA can help me bridge that gap and integrate my background for a more well-rounded, modern skillset. It’s the best of both worlds.
In what ways do you think program has changed your life professionally and personally at this moment?
Yes, IE has superior academics and amazing instructors, but for me the really compelling part is how both students and staff are making a concerted effort to really develop leaders and high performers. I’m not just learning textbook academics, but also communication, image and critical thinking. Professionally, it’s been really rewarding to be in an environment that encourages a balance of soft skills with academics targeting a practical industry context. I really value that I’m constantly being pushed out of my comfort zone because the program encourages well-roundedness over staying in one lane. It makes me feel like I’m growing both personally and professionally. That said, while this Tech MBA has opened many doors for me academically, it all pales in comparison to the incredible friends and connections I’ve made along the way. It’s been inspiring to meet so many smart, like-minded people and I’m sure many of these relations will hold strong for many years to come.
Tell us about your day-to-day at the Tech MBA.
First of all, coffee. There is so much coffee. Aside from this, no two days are the same. A typical weekday for me begins at 7-8 am where I wake up and get cup number one, maybe review content to be discussed in class that day. Participation in class is a big part of academic success at IE so it helps to be prepared. 9-3pm is a combination of lectures and breaks. My breaks cycle between the food, study and coffee variety on any given day. Madrid is a really great campus to have for these, you really can’t miss the vibrant culture. In the afternoon when classes are done I’m often catching up with people and coordinating group work. There is no shortage of group work at any given point. Most days at IE have something going on, career events, networking, clubs, so it’s pretty difficult to be bored. I try to stay active so a few times a week I’ll train with IE´s Volleyball club or play Soccer with classmates and friends from other cohorts. I’m a class representative for my intake so once in a while I’ll have to attend meetings for that. I lead a software development firm, in parallel with the MBA, called Logica Software so most days I’ll spend evenings checking in with my partners and clients, sending emails, jumping on calls and doing general admin. If the day allows it, at night you can go out to enjoy dinner and drinks or much like myself, try really, really hard to fall asleep and regret drinking so much coffee during the day.
Do you have any advice for IE candidates pursuing a career in Tech? What skills do you consider are needed to succeed in this field?
All around the world and across industries, technology and innovation are no longer the sole responsibility of the IT department, but the whole organization. Technology decisions and business decisions now go hand-in-hand, and the talent spearheading them must have the necessary skillset to do-so. Solid technical skills will not offset the lack of proper business acumen or other soft skills, and vice-versa. Regardless if you come from Tech or Business, developing a strong and balanced suite of skills in both areas is key to a successful career path and this is likely to hold true for many years to come. A successful candidate must possess a great deal of curiosity, the tech path is one of constant learning. It always helps to keep a pulse on industry trends, so you can effectively understand the technical constraints and tradeoffs, as well as the business impact, of your decisions. Take the leap! Tech is great, now more than ever before.
What is networking like in the program?
Networking can be so many things: a coffee chat with a new friend, building a community, taking a class from an industry leader, a beer with a mentor and, thankfully, the Tech MBA has something for everyone. The professors all have valuable industry insight, the students come from all walks of life and have a huge variety of lived experiences, the campus ecosystem hosts clubs, career events and student initiatives. I love that everyone is happy to share and chat and it’s been really inspiring (and a bit humbling at times) to be surrounded by such a buzzing community. The practice of networking is much simpler than it is put out to be. The word gets thrown around a lot and most people envision it as reciting elevator pitches to people in suits, and although this might be something you might end up stumbling upon at some point, the actual value comes from simpler and more consistent doings.
If someone was considering going to IE, what would you tell them?
There are so many opportunities for learning and growing at IE that it really feels like you get back what you put in. Work on yourself first, invest time in setting your short- and long-term goals and then make sure to make an informed decision when picking the right program. Beyond that you’ll have great academics, learning tools and a vibrant social life to chart your own path.
Why did you choose to study this program at IE?
I was interested in business and I had heard really positive reviews from alumni and friends so I did some research and, coming from a tech background, this program seemed like it was tailor made for me. IE has a great reputation and so far it’s proven to be true. I think the tech/business hybrid is going to be an extremely valuable skill set in the future so excited to be one of the first to do this program at IE.
What is one thing you wished you knew, before starting the program.
That 12-months can fly past you, so enjoy as best you can.