"Diversity pushes the limits of our intellectual flexibility; this is essential for managers wanting to succeed in today’s international business environment."
Taylee Lewis, Australia
Head of Corporate Affairs, Europe (Cornerstone Group Australia) and Head of Australia and Asia-Pacific (CLASSNET SRL)
- Program studied
Define your experience in the Global Online MBA using just one word.
What were you hoping to learn when you decided to pursue an MBA?
My goals were two-fold. I come from an international relations background, so I wanted to expand my management knowledge. I was also looking to grow as a leader, and the Global Online MBA is the perfect environment to refine leadership skills.
What made you choose IE Business School’s Global Online MBA over other programs?
The fact that IE Business School is a top-ranked business school was important to me. However, what most attracted me to the Global Online MBA was the diversity of the cohort. Many business schools select candidates with similar backgrounds, both professionally and culturally, but IE Business School is different. Diversity pushes the limits of our intellectual flexibility; this is essential for managers wanting to succeed in today’s international business environment.
How has your professional life been impacted by the Global Online MBA?
I can confidently say that the knowledge and skills you acquire during the Global Online MBA can be put to use immediately—you don’t need to wait for your diploma! The advice I was able to give my clients improved constantly. One important example is designing, executing and analyzing corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies. These skills were sharpened during the program, and CSR is now core to what I offer as a consultant.
You’re serving two professional roles while completing your degree. How do you keep your responsibilities in balance?
Yes, I do currently hold two positions—I lead projects for both an Australian and an Italian firm specialized in corporate and public affairs and internationalization strategy. Balancing work, study and a personal life is certainly a challenge. Studying the Global Online MBA will require sacrifice. My advice is to prioritize tasks and responsibilities, as well as plan in advance. Also, be kind to yourself because it isn’t easy.
What are the benefits of completing the Global Online MBA, and what are the challenges?
The benefits link back to my earlier point about diversity. Online learning allows people from all over the globe to complete their studies together. The challenge is that it requires immense amounts of self-discipline. You need to motivate and push yourself to a much larger extent than in a face-to-face environment.
Your life and career has taken you to several countries and cities. How does Madrid strike you compared to other places you’ve lived?
I’ve traveled to Madrid multiple times for the face-to-face portions of the program. The city is strikingly international while also maintaining its Spanish vibe and charm. There is also an evident sense of growth, making it an exciting place to live, study and work.
How do your classmates enrich your experience of studying at IE Business School?
The greatest learnings during an MBA program in general come from your classmates, but even more so in the Global Online MBA due to its diversity. The exchange of knowledge, views and ideas is invaluable. You will not only expand your professional network, but build long-lasting friendships.
What achievement, big or small, are you most proud of in your career so far?
I’ve been lucky enough to present at national and international conferences hosted by chambers of commerce, business networks and other groups. Speaking about topics related to my job, such as political and institutional environments for business, is something I truly enjoy and gain a lot of professional satisfaction from.
What do you find most inspiring about the business world today?
It’s no secret that our society faces unprecedented challenges. What’s promising is that the corporate social conscience is developing. The corporate world is starting to drive change where change is needed. It’s a good sign that value is ever increasingly generated and captured across social as well as financial dimensions. To accelerate progress, I believe businesses should look to global partnerships, be it with the government or startups. The sharing of knowledge and resources is vital if we are to solve our most pressing issues.
Outside of your work and your studies, what’s something you do that motivates you?
I’m originally from Sydney and I’ve surfed all my life. It’s something that stimulates the mind, body and soul. I draw a lot of energy from a connection with nature and it keeps me centered. This helps me in my professional life too, particularly working in a demanding and highly competitive environment.
What advice do you have for new students wanting to get as much as possible out of the Global Online MBA?
In our professional lives, we often get boxed in, whether in a specific sector, market or company. The Global Online MBA is a chance to push your boundaries, to truly step out of your comfort zone. Always look to try something new and challenge yourself.