By Elise Vocke
I am a Master’s student at IE University in the IE Business School. I moved from the United States to Spain to be here, and I’m quite enjoying getting to know IE and the beautiful city of Madrid. As incredible as the IE journey is, it can be quite overwhelming at times. I’ve compiled a few tips to share with anyone considering an IE master’s. Here are a few DOs and DON’Ts I wish I had known before starting the program.
1. DON’T burn yourself out in the beginning.
For a lot of IE students like myself, we are not only moving to a new city but also a new country. When arriving in Madrid before classes start, IE students host several social events to start meeting friends and building a community. Don’t feel too much pressure to attend every event before school starts. While getting yourself out there is highly encouraged, it is also equally as important to make time to search for an apartment, overcome the language barrier, and handle all the paperwork that comes with moving to a foreign country. Anyway, when school starts, you’ll have plenty of time to spend with your class section… which brings me to my next point.
2. DO invest time early on to become close with your class section.
What do I mean when I say “your section”? Well, when classes start, you’ll have class with the same group of people every day. Those people make up your class section. Since you will be spending most of your days with those people and working with them for group projects, it is crucial to get to know them in the beginning of the year to set yourself up for maximum success. Usually each section organizes section meetups or lunches when classes begin to get to know each other more. In order to be fully energized for those, try to avoid getting social burnout from the pre-class summer events.
3. DON’T wait until the last month to start your projects.
The master’s programs are very fast-paced at IE. It may seem at first that the workload is light, but the final month of each term is filled with many deadlines and exams. The group projects are hefty, so getting started early on will only alleviate end-of-term stress.
4. DO pack food and lunches.
When courses first start, most students go out for lunches with classmates to get to know them more. As the class workload increases, students stay at uni more during the days to work. Some students bring tupperware with food they make from home. Personally, I find it super helpful to pack fresh lunches and snacks. It’s cost effective and allows me to stay at school to study or work for longer.
5. DON’T be anonymous.
Participation truly can make or break your grades. Even if you perform well in the groups and assessments, low participation can drag down your grade. If you need help, professors will be there for you. Plus, communicating with professors shows initiative and ensures that your questions are answered. Not all professors have office hours but they are more than happy to respond via email to any questions or provide feedback on project drafts.
6. DO have fun and enjoy the ride. It goes by fast.
You are embarking on your next adventure! Like a rollercoaster, there will be bumps along the way, moments of speed, and slower periods throughout the journey, but it ends much quicker than expected. So take the time to appreciate the day to day routine, the studies, the stress, the thrill, the lovely city of Madrid, and the beautiful friendships that will last for life. So fasten your seatbelts and smile. Are you ready to rumble?
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash