"The IE Global Online MBA reflects how global business is done today - it is done online across different countries, cultures, and time zones."
Alexander Hayman, Canada
Director of Strategy at Food Cycle Science
- Program studied
Define your experience in the Global Online MBA using one word.
How do you think the Global Online MBA changed your life, professionally and personally?
Coming from a more technical background professionally, I found it incredibly useful to gain some experience in accounting, finance, marketing and other areas I had not previously studied. It has also allowed me to build a global network.
In my personal life I have become more organized and disciplined with my time, as I was working full-time during the Global Online MBA. I learned to appreciate my free time a lot more; once I had some again.
How has the Global Online MBA prepared you for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic?
The world suddenly shifted in order to adapt to having to work from home and communicate digitally. For many individuals and companies, this presented a lot of challenges; however, after completing this MBA, working remotely feels normal and natural. It seems as though we’ve been preparing for the “new normal” without knowing it for the past 17 months!
What advice would you give to students who are about to begin the program?
Be ready to commit a lot of time and energy to the Global Online MBA—the more you put in, the more you will get out of the program. Also, get to know your classmates because everyone has a unique story to share.
What was your favorite memory from the Global Online MBA?
I really enjoyed working as a team on our final project for the Entrepreneurship track. We took a vague problem and turned it into a new opportunity. It was probably the most challenging, but also the most rewarding part of the MBA.
Both our residential week in Madrid and the Global Immersion Week in San Francisco were a lot of fun too. I strongly recommend participating in a Global Immersion Week.
What is networking like in the Global Online MBA?
During the program you really get to know your classmates. The sections are about 25 students, and you work closely with all of them, as well as in smaller work groups. During the Global Immersion Week and the face-to-face section, you have the opportunity to network with other students from your program and students from other programs.
Now that we’ve completed the program, we meet for a virtual happy hour every couple of weeks to stay in touch. We also frequently chat in various WhatsApp groups.
Why did you choose to study the Global Online MBA at IE University?
I was attracted to the reputation that IE University has earned and to the diversity of the program itself. It was a unique opportunity to meet and network with people from all over the world. I looked into a lot of different MBA programs and they seemed to focus on specific industries, often finance and consulting, but IE University offers a broad mix of professional backgrounds and industries.
What are the residential weeks like? What are the online periods like?
The residential periods are dedicated to learning soft skills and networking—and they are very intense! You spend the day in workshops and then you have networking activities in the evenings.
The online periods consist of case-discussion forums during the week and classes on Saturdays. A typical Saturday class has a lecture and a case presentation / discussion led by a work team. I liked the forum format during the week because everyone participates and you can take time to think and reflect before making your contribution
What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program and what is something you would change?
I really enjoyed being able to take what we were learning and apply it to my job. The course was practical in the sense that we took challenges from real work situations and used them as the base of course projects.
It would be nice to be offered elective courses in an online program. Specifically to this MBA, another face-to-face module at the halfway point would have been great. However, I know it’s a difficult balance with residential weeks because not everybody can take that much time off work.
What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment?
I was surprised by the amount of teamwork and interaction involved. It’s not simply watching videos—everyone is online asking questions, participating in simulations and engaging with one another. Each course has a major teamwork component and you work together, remotely of course, with your team to complete it.
How has your online education helped you in your current job?
The Global Online MBA reflects how we work today, which is something that has suddenly become even more true. Even though it may be online, you are still required to build and maintain relationships in the working world. Learning to work with a globally distributed team and being able to navigate different time zones, cultures and industries is extremely valuable.
What is your ultimate long-term professional goal?
I’m currently working for a startup and love building this new company with my team. One day, I would like to start my own business or non-profit organization.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career?
In my previous role, I led the evolution of our consulting department. This included various things from offering custom dashboards to helping our clients solve their most difficult space management challenges. The impact we were able to make was so much greater once we took on that advisory role, and it also accelerated our growth with key clients.
You have been named a 2020 Best & Brightest Online MBA by Poets & Quants. Which of your achievements do you think led to this recognition?
I’m really proud to have received this nomination and think it came down to commitment to the Global Online MBA both inside and outside of the classroom.