"Networking is one of the most substantial benefits IE Business School has to offer."
Fabricio Rüegg, Bolivia / Switzerland
Managing Director at SwissCo
What professional and academic experience did you gain before coming to IE Business School?
I decided to study at Le Cordon Bleu in Peru, taking advantage of the gastronomic boom of Peruvian cuisine that existed at that time. During my time at Le Cordon Bleu, I learned all about cooking and gastronomy. I also learned metrics that apply to the business world, such as cost management, developing marketing campaigns, or managing people.
I graduated in 2018 and moved to Barcelona to work with Ferrán Adrià in a Peruvian-Japanese restaurant with a Michelin star. My path was always entrepreneruship, but I wanted to learn from the best in hospitality and get all the know-how. I do not regret studying gastronomy since you have to go step by step until you reach your goal in life.
What led you to pursue the Master in Management at IE Business School?
After a few years working in the kitchen of some of the best restaurants around the globe, I realized that my interests lay more in the business side of restaurants rather than the culinary. I decided to apply for the Master in Management at IE Business School because I wanted a business school that had a strong entrepreneurial spirit. I had friends who had been to IE University and had told me fantastic things about their experiences. Moreover, I loved Madrid. All these reasons made it the perfect match for me.
How did you adapt to the pandemic?
In less than three months after starting my Master’s, COVID arrived, and everything changed. I was impressed with how fast IE adapted. We did not lose academic quality at any time. It was a shock for everyone, but we developed the ability to adapt to any situation. IE has been one of the best and fastest schools adapting to the pandemic.
Define your experience in (the program) in one word.
What is networking like in the program?
Networking is one of the most substantial benefits IE Business School has to offer. Being half-Latino and half-European, made it easy for me to connect with the Spanish-speaking community at IE but also the more European and international groups. The experience was truly enriching.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in life so far.
I have two: completing my Master’s degree successfully during COVID and taking responsibility for the family hospitality business at the worst moment of crisis for the hospitality industry. I am proud of adapting the company to the new times and make it profitable. I have had to renegotiate with suppliers, manage staff, manage stock, etc.
What has been your favorite memory of your experience?
Meeting people from all over the world with different backgrounds. Diversity nurtures you. Also, the fact that professors at IE Business School teach you skills that go beyond the academic side. They guide you to become a better a person.
Tell me about what you are doing now and your enterprise
I take care of all the family restaurants, and I have set up a ghost kitchen to give utility to a space that we had without use. It is a production kitchen where everything we produce is for delivery. I want to take advantage of the fact that I have an excellent product and give it more visibility. After negotiating with different delivery providers, I decided to set up my delivery service that I have called SwissCo Delivery. I am also setting up an e-commerce website. Being my own boss, I get involved in everything from making sushi, shopping at the market, and talking to motorists.
How did your experience at IE Business School help you in creating and launching your business?
IE Business School has taught me to adapt, to create, and to believe in myself. It has also taught me to analyze to make decisions. It has made me a more analytical person with a tireless desire for self-improvement. It has given me the tools to become a successful person and create something different.
What advice would you give to students who are about to begin the program?
First, to make the most of all the opportunities IE Business School gives you, especially networking. Secondly, to get out of your comfort zone by doing things you are not so good at or haven’t done before.
What are the next steps for your business?
I want to consolidate the ghost kitchen and grow it. I also dream about going back to Spain one day. I am already looking for business opportunities there that I could bring to Bolivia.