Thursday, 02. January 2014

The end

It’s all over incredible but true. The final project of my MBA is over and even though I missed the graduation party the MBA program is over. I’m an official MBA graduate meanwhile. How does it feel?

It’s all over incredible but true. The final project of my MBA is over and even though I missed the graduation party the MBA program is over. I’m an official MBA graduate meanwhile. How does it feel? Not different than before. After the last stressful period there was not much time to relax. Celebrated big time after giving the final presentation but unfortunately I could not stay much longer in Madrid to really enjoy the city without the whole stress of the MBA. Okay, I won’t complain because I came exactly because of this one month earlier to Spain and I can certainly say that I have seen the city and the country. I am leaving Spain for Colombia because I can attend a wedding there. Unfortunately the wedding is the same time as the graduation party and therefore I had to decide. Both events are unique experiences. I have never been at a graduation party before. The last times I was actually also already travelling.


Nevertheless, I decided for the wedding as attending a Colombian wedding is supposed to be legendary. I have been to great Colombian parties at IE so I guess a wedding must be at least so exciting. It is a bit too early to reflect on my time here at IE and especially what the real outcome of the MBA is. One of my next blogs will talk a bit about this though. 


The apartment needs to be cleaned, some furniture to be sold, some contracts to be cancelled and some last dinners to be eaten. Too many friends and too many places I still want to visit for the last time before I leave. The last few days passed way too quickly and unfortunately at the end even a bit too stressful. We had to clean the apartment the very last day until 1 AM and had to go to the airport at 7 AM. Not much sleep but fortunately we are not flying Iberia but Avianca. Yes, the Colombian airline is better than the Spanish airline. You have better food, a bit more leg space and above all you have a personal board entertainment system. As they are screening latest releases I almost have to watch at least 3 movies on the flight. So, I won’t be sleeping so much in the airplane. Anyway, I won’t complain, as the plan is bringing me to my well-deserved holidays. Holidays are nice and most of the time relaxing. I’ll see how relaxing the holidays will be here in South America as I said it is a family wedding, followed by Christmas time and then the exciting Feria de Cali. Sounds more like 10 days of party with some headaches ahead. Therefore we have booked our return flight from Venezuela, as Venezuela has even more beautiful beaches than Colombia. Hence the idea is to dance and party well in Colombia and then relax in Venezuela.


I must say that it is a bit strange to call it a holiday though since normally my holidays were holidays from work or school so that I would return to my job or my studies. This time however I am more in transition. I don’t have a job yet. I had a couple of promising job interviews on the phone but due to my holidays I could not attend the final personal job interview before I left for Colombia. It means that currently I don’t know where exactly I will return. There are three different countries possible where I could possibly be working after my holidays. It is not so comforting to not being able to look for an apartment already but I guess this is the reality of a one-year program. The program in a one-year program is so condensed that it is more difficult to combine the job search with the program than in a traditional two-year program. From my understanding the majority of the IE students where upon graduation still looking for a job. I guess that the current Spanish job market situation does not help. There were some jobs posted in the job board and many company visits conducted but let’s say frankly many of the jobs were not so appealing or realistic for IE students for different reasons. First, Spanish was most of the time a requirement which for more than half of the IE students is still a foreign language. Second, the salaries seemed more like an internship salary. Spain has still a very high unemployment rate that favors companies and consequently the salaries paid even for IE graduates stagnated or even drop here in Spain. Also for people that were not looking for a job in Spain it is not so easy as you can get through the first few rounds via telephone and video-conference but at the end you need to travel to sign your job contract. Some IE friends flew to Japan, America, Dubai, Shanghai, UK and other destinations to conduct job interviews. Some flew there in vain but this is of course the risk you need to take. Nevertheless it is not ideal to be in a country with a desperate job market and be relatively far away where the economies are still booming and jobs are abundant.


At the moment I am trying to relax a bit here in South America and in parallel coordinate job interviews and friends visits when I am back home. Despite technological advancements it is hardly possible to find a job with telephone interviews only. You need to see the people, the office, and the supervisor in person to get a real feeling of the job. Finding decent Internet connections here in Colombia is not impossible but I don’t know how the situation will be in Venezuela. You hear a lot about Venezuela nowadays in the news but I guess you still hear only the half of what is really happening in the country. I am looking forward to explore a new country that is far away from the reality in Switzerland or Spain. These are experiences that are invaluable and maybe will help me even in my future next job. Nevertheless I feel still very sorry for not having seen all my new friends at least for one more time at one place. I am sure I'll meet some of them somewhere but never all together. Unfortunately I can not be everywhere at the same time. I must say that the Colombian wedding was special but not to the extend that I thought. Anyway, it was a unique experience indeed.


It is an exciting but also challenging period in my life. You see job openings that you find exciting and you think that are a perfect fit for you but somehow the job application process ends unsatisfactory. And sometimes you find jobs or are contacted for that don’t really fit with your career plans but which result in potential job offerings. At least there are many jobs available in the digital media field. It is still a very dynamic and exciting industry in which you learn a lot and can make significant contributions. Everybody is still trying to assess the potential of the different channels and tools available. I think, we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg at the moment. It would amazingly satisfactory for me to help to re-shape the world of marketing, branding and communication with the help of digital medias. Let’s see how the next interview rounds will go after my holidays and see how I can be part of this ongoing revolution.