1. What was the main reason you decided to study at IE?
Obtaining a globally recognized MBA degree was a long-sought opportunity to boost my professional career and expand my horizons. Combining a rigorous MBA program with a full-time job and raising my two lovely sons, one of whom was just 1 year old, seemed impossible. Therefore, I searched for a program that offers both, quality and flexibility. IE Executive MBA blended format matched my needs perfectly. Even more, the online portion served as a unique opportunity to experience a modern way of obtaining an education. Having a chance to share this experience with a cohort that consists of highly capable students from more than 20 countries, across 5 continents combined with the entrepreneurial spirit of the school drove my final decision: IE is the right school for me.
2. What was the greatest challenge you faced during your studies?
There were two key challenges. First was ruthless planning and prioritization. Studies at IE required continuous engagement during the week including group works, personal assignments, and online classes. Every week I also needed to find time to deliver results at my new work that I started in parallel to starting my program at IE. Last but not least I also wanted to be a good mother and wife and keep my family commitments. All of this required planning out weeks ahead, cutting off not important things and frankly changing a lot of my habits.
The second challenge was definitely a collaboration with people from different backgrounds. Our program gathered people from different cultural and professional backgrounds. As most of our studies evolved around group works, it required finding the way to accommodate and respect how people with different backgrounds approach problems. Our studies were set up that groups were rotated and that asked to find ways to effectively collaborate in a short period of time
3. What has been the primary lesson you learned during your program?
I learned many lessons from the program. But if I had to choose one, I would mention nonexistence of boundaries. The world is flat – no matter what country you live we still have a lot in common. Opportunities are endless – no matter who you are and where you come from if you are passionate, dedicated and put enough effort you can reach the sky. The only boundary that exists is the one we draw ourselves.
4. How has this program impacted your life?
MBA for sure has had a great impact on my life and personality. I became more knowledgeable, open and confident. But most importantly I became much more self-aware. Today, I have finally found my passion and what makes me really happy. The last is critical in planning my professional path post-MBA.
5. What was the best memory you have from the program?
Obviously, classes were an important part of the MBA experience. However, the best learnings and memories were between classes. Meeting amazing personalities in my class, learning about new cultures and visiting new countries are memories that will last forever. Trips to Israel and USA were especially memorable. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the EMBA cohort, professors and program management team for making this experience memorable.
Natalja Sidorova, Executive MBA December 2018 Graduate