Faculty Spotlight: Ana Rumschisky
Meet one of IE Business School’s top professors.
After decades of marketing experience in the private sector– working at such heavyweights as Gillette, Johnson Wax, Kraft Jacobs Suchard, Cortefiel and Grupo Recoletos— Ana Rumschisky crossed over to the classroom. Not only did she bring with her solid professional experience, but a unique teaching style that consistently ranks her as one of IE Business School’s most loved professors—winning the Best Professor Award twice!
What brought you to IE?
After a long career in marketing with five large multinationals, I decided, in 2005, to pursue a teaching career. IE was one of my dream schools. I contacted them through another associate professor and they immediately gave me the opportunity to start teaching. My first session took place in a Master in Management program. I felt an excitement that is difficult to describe. Those 90 minutes just flew past. Ever since, I have had the same feeling every time I face a class full of students.
Have you ever had an a-ha moment while teaching? What was it?
If an a-ha moment is a moment of inspiration, this happens in every single one of my sessions. The most rewarding moments of teaching come from the students, their points of view, their different life situations, their fears, their motivations, they teach me lessons from their lives every day. Probably the one that touched me the most, was a lovely young woman who had run away from an abusive husband, leaving her child under the care of her mum. And there she was, with a broad smile on her face every day and the most incredibly positive attitude towards life and her future. She was the living proof that determination and attitude are the keys to overcome anything!
What book do you wish your students would read before taking your class and why?
“Wind, Sand and Stars”, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
This is not a marketing book at all. It is a memoir of the author. It deals with values such as friendship, heroism, and solidarity amongst colleagues. It made me reflect about courage as well, but courage understood as a sense of responsibility rather than temerity. I know my students will require many of these values during their stay at IE. Interaction with their peers will be crucial, so I would love them to read this book and reflect, like I did.
Please name one of your IE colleague’s recent articles you feel addresses the most important issues in 2021 for IE alumni?
I am a marketing teacher who loves brands. Therefore, I chose Luis Rodriguez-Baptista’s recently written paper Why now is the time to reposition your brand. Luis talks about brand values and brand connection- emotional connection- and mentions the three pillars that I personally agree are fundamental when creating market value: your customers, your employees and your suppliers.
What is your key to balancing home life with work? Can you share a private moment that clarified your priorities?
I do my best. I studied with Catholic nuns for 15 years so they gave me a strict sense of punctuality, duty and responsibility. I have applied this learning to my work, but also to my family. And although I always knew my family came first, this never meant neglecting my work. It is a matter of understanding one’s priorities.
Tell us one personal thing about yourself that none of your students knows. A hobby, sport or talent? Strange fact? Unusual interest?
I am color blind. I think I never said this in a classroom. I cannot distinguish between green, grey and brown.
Also, after a trip to Panama, I developed an interest in medicinal plants. It fascinates me how they have ancestrally cured a lot of illnesses, how wise nature always is. I thoroughly enjoy my trips related to animal and nature experiences, mainly in Africa and South and Central America.