“The best investment you can make is an investment in yourself.” And for legendary investor Warren Buffett, education is a more reliable route to wealth than Bitcoin. “The more you learn, the more you earn.”
Business education has seen a huge rise in demand since Covid-19 turned the world upside down last year, both for the full-time MBA and a wide range of specialized Master’s programs. But with so many of us coming to terms with working remotely, and schools themselves pushed towards digital delivery of their courses, there are more people than ever considering an online MBA or Master’s.
Madrid-based IE Business School has long been renowned as one of Europe’s leading institutions for its solid foundation of business courses, as well as its specialization in entrepreneurship. So it was little surprise to many that, for the fourth year in a row, IE’s Global Online MBA ranked in the top two programs worldwide in the FT’s 2021 ranking.
However, impressive credentials aside, what attracts students year-in, year-out to IE’s Global Online MBA is, much like Durham, a heavy focus on diversity and sustainability. The Spanish institution truly understands that long gone are the days that applicants weigh a business school program up only against their educational agenda and career goals. IE realises that it’s also about aligning with personal values. With a gender-breakdown among its faculty that leads the industry – 44% of the academics at IE are female – and a first-place position in the Financial Times for corporate social responsibility, this business school practices what it preaches.
It was values likes these, which in turn cultivate an inclusive environment for students, that was pivotal for Stefania Rios when she was weighing up whether to apply to study on the Global Online MBA at IE. “The flexibility of the program is very important for students who are working and have other commitments and responsibilities such as new born babies, and for those living in remote locations,” she says.
Stefania, who was working in the Middle East at the time of studying, was able to balance both work and her MBA which, as a result, enabled her to directly apply what she was learning on the program to her career from the outset.
“One of IE’s core strengths is the continuous attention and enhancement of their online campus, making lectures and students feel connected in real time. This was important for students like me who are studying across the globe,” she says.
And despite the challenge of balancing her studies with personal and professional commitments, Stefania felt that the support received from classmates, lecturers and the program team was fundamental to her success, as well as that of rest of her cohort. When in Madrid for on-campus elements of the program, she even found that extra-curricular activities had been arranged to encourage bonding and networking among the students.
“IE understands the importance of networking, and due to the nature of the course being online, it was important to connect with the classmates, teachers and program management team during the face-to-face weeks.”