Ugo Ogwo is currently the Head of Demand Forecasting for West Africa at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer. In this role, she ensures Supply meets Demand for all product portfolios across all markets in West Africa. She has improved forecast accuracy from averages of 60s to very high 70s. She also acts as the hinge for new product launches and new market entries. Ugo received her Bachelor’s from the University of Nigeria Nsukka in Electrical Engineering and a Master in Telecommunications Engineering from the same university.

After her 7+ years career in the Telecommunication Industry, Ugo decided it was time for a change of Industry and enrolled in the International MBA program at IE Business School as a platform to initiate the switch and to broaden her business acumen with international perspective.

In addition to learning at IE, Ugo was actively involved with the IE Africa Club and was eventually elected the president of the club. During her tenure as president, she hosted the first Africa business event at IE which brought together Africa diplomatic community in Madrid as well as different stakeholders with business interest in Africa.

Her time at IE (April 2010 – May 2011)  was life transforming; to put it in her own words ‘‘IE changed my life; the ‘me’ that went to IE is different from me that returned’’. The experiences at IE including her Consulting Intern experience with Legal Resources Centre Johannesburg in South Africa were very instrumental in securing a place at GSK and have been of immense benefit as she settles and grows in the Fast Moving Consumer Health Care Industry.



Ajibade Oluwabiyi, from Nigeria, is IE International MBA 2009 alumnus.

I started out from the University of Lagos with a degree in Electrical Electronics Engineering but I always knew Entrepreneurship would be my final abode. I started my first venture in my 4th year at the University with my friend, where we provided Wireless Internet and Video on Demand solutions to estates and Hotels. This first venture failed in the business sense and this marked the beginning of a steep learning curve that would serve as invaluable lessons later in my entrepreneurial life. After my National Youth Service year, I took up a job with an IT firm and later went into the Oil and Gas Industry with one of the majors spending about 4 years with them. 

 Having spent all my life in Information Technology and realizing that I had a lot missing in me when it comes to business, I decided to apply for an MBA which eventually served as a 360 degree shift for me away from what I was used to. I applied and coupled with months of preparing for the GMAT and muliple essays and an interview, I got admitted to IE Business School where the next 13 months re-shaped my mind and helped re-organized my thinking. 

 Seating in a classroom, treating cases and meeting minds that were fully business oriented opened a new can of worms for me and the experience was exhilarating. IE Business School gave me not just an MBA but help build a network that I am still enjoying till today and will most likely enjoy forever. Meeting people from well over 60 countries from different backgrounds, orientations and view of life meant I became a much more exposed person and was a rich source of learning that I still enjoy till today. 

 After the 13 months coupled with my previous experiences and failures, I came to the conclusion that I was ready to take the plunge and went ahead and started my current Business – A metal recycling and Commodity Trading company. I am still running it and enjoying every bit of it!



Exciting first half of 2014 in Zurich

Escrito el 29 julio 2014 por Alumni en Clubs & Activities, Geographic

The first half of 2014 has been exciting in terms of events organized in Zurich…!!!

We would like to mention, first, the IE Master Class & Networking event, held on May 5th at the Widder Bar in Zurich, with Professor Balvinder Singh Powar as lead speaker. Balvinder, an Associate Professor at IE Business School and IE Business & Finance alumni is a board member and director at BOOSTER Space Industries. His fascinating talk about “Leadership in Untested Markets – From Moon Landing to Sub-Orbital Commercial Space” focused on conflict resolution, leadership, mediation skills for leaders and how individuals can inspire each other to take responsibility and dream big!

A special thanks for this event, in particular, to Vanessa De Gruyter, IE Representative of IE in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, for organizing and taking care of this event!


Towards the end of May,  we had another event, our first IE Entrepreneurs Panel , hostedat UBS Europaallee, with the purpose of going back to the roots of IE and put more focus on entrepreneurs values and stories shared with us by fellow IE alumni.

Adrian Hilti, Michael Müller and Pierre-Louis Beau presented their extraordinary entrepreneurship adventures, sharing with the IE community their failures and their successes, and opening up to an touchy discussion with the participants on the challenges and the opportunities to become an entrepreneur.
Each entrepreneur had 15 minutes of insights into their business ventures:

  1. Adrian Hilti – www.busuu.com; Busuu is a social network for learning languages, with more than 45 million users globally, Busuu was launched in May 2008 and is the world’s largest social network for language learning.
  2. Michael Müller – www.nezasa.com ;  Nezasa is an individual online travel agency based on local support. Its model is based on the service and comfort of offline agencies, combined with the benefits of an online platform.
  3. Pierre-Louis Beau – www.inomed.ch; the company, created in 2006, has become one of the European leaders in the design and manufacture of customized sterilization trays for orthopedic, trauma and spinal ancillaries.


Afterwards we continued the discussions and the gathering together in one of the nearby bars over some drinks.

On behalf of the IE Alumni Zurich chapter, we would like to thank all the participants that attended both events and send special regards to our inspiring entrepreneurs for their contribution in sharing with the IE Club in Zurich their experiences.

If you have any questions, have ideas for future events or would like to stay closer in touch with us please contact :

• isabella.grandi(at)zurich.com
• patrick.kramer(at)ubs.com

Or join our group on LinkedIn
See you all very soon!!!

Patrick & Isabella


PS. check some pictures of all these events here



IMG_8908Anna Kompaniyets (International MBA 2012) has been chosen as Women of the Month of July. Here’s her story:

As for many of us, the decision to do an MBA was a focal point to bring all that beautiful changes in my life which I experience right now. To IE I came from retail sector where I worked for Metro Cash & Carry as a PR manager. I remember 18th of May 2012, our graduation ceremony, many of my friends were coming back to their countries, some were eager to stay in Europe, and only me did not have a clear plan. Actually I did. It was the plan ¨not to come back to Ukraine, but to stay and look for a job in Spain¨ – quite ambitious, especially after the second wave of the crisis. I applied to all opportunities, but without EU visa it was very difficult to receive even first invitation for the interview. And then my MBA friend told me that Burger King is opening new division in EMEA and they are building up the team. I did my due diligence and reached the company. In 2 months I started in Burger King EMEA as Sr. Marketing Manager. With this new career step I changed the country, the sector, and the function. Don´t try to change all three, this is what we heard so many times. But this is what happened to me. During two years I was rotating through different marketing roles, being responsible for more than 15 international markets building and implementing data driven brand strategy.

And now is the time for the next move, just a month ago I started in NH Hotels as a Global B2C Customer Relations Manager. The role and industry is completely new for me but I feel very enthusiastic to take this challenge! This is a time in my career when I need more equilibrium between my professional and private life.

So… only 2 years passed after the graduation and now Madrid is my second home, my daughter speaks perfect Spanish, and I completely changed my career. I am very happy and feel that with an open mind, desire and trust, everything is possible.


Juan FernandezJuan Fernández Royo finalizó el Executive MBA de IE en Diciembre de 2012.  Tras 9 años de experiencia en Iluminación (Philips Lighting), Juan se ha unido a finales de Febrero de este año a Apple como su Comprador Estratégico Global de Iluminación para la División de Real Estate and Development. En este nuevo reto, Juan es el responsable a nivel mundial de la compra y negociación de la iluminación usada en la construcción de las Apple Store. Este puesto está basado en la central de Apple en Cupertino (Silicon Valley) dónde Juan se mudará muy pronto. Así que la siguiente vez que entréis en una Apple Store, no miréis solo los productos y mirad hacia arriba para ver la iluminación comprada por un alumni del IE. Juan ha trabajado previamente en otros lugares internacionalmente como 1 año en la Oficina Comercial de la Embajada de España en Corea del Sur y durante 6 años en China donde fue responsable de una oficina de compras de un Grupo de Iluminación. Juan habla fuido castellano, inglés y chino mandarín.

Juan Fernandez Royo graduated from the IE Execute MBA on December 2012. After 9 years of experience in Lighting (Philips Lighting), at the end of February of this year Juan has joined Apple as Global Commodity Manager for Lighting for the Real Estate and Development Division. In this new challenge, Juan is the worldwide responsible of purchasing and negotiating the lighting used to build the Apple Stores. This position is based at Apple Headquarters in Cupertino (Silicon Valley) where Juan will move soon. So the next time you all enter an Apple Store, don’t only look at the products and look up to see the lighting sourced by an IE alumni. Juan has previous international assignments experience working for 1 year in the Commercial Office of the Embassy of Spain in South Korea and during 6 years in China where he was responsible of a purchasing office for a Lighting Group. Juan can speak fluently in Spanish, English and Mandarin.


Miguel_angel_martinez-blazquezMiguel Ángel Martinez Blázquez, comenzará una nueva etapa profesional tras la culminación del Executive Master in Finance hace un par de días. En agosto entrará a formar parte de Ferrovial como Controller en el departamento de Financial Planning and Analysis. A lo largo de sus diez años de carrera profesional siempre había desempeñado funciones relacionadas con la auditoría/consultoría, consolidación y reporting financiero en multinacionales de prestigio. A través del máster destaca haber adquirido no sólo el refuerzo en la rama contable, financiera y de control de gestión, sino también ha tenido la oportunidad de desarrollar habilidades directivas en el trabajo diario que conlleva hacer un máster en IE.

Miguel Ángel Martinez Blázquez, will start a new stage in his career after completing the Executive Master in Finance a couple of days ago. In August, he will be joining Ferrovial as Controller in the Department of Financial Planning and Analysis. Throughout his ten years of experience he had always performed functions relating to the audit / consulting, financial consolidation and reporting in multinationals. Through the master he admits to have not only reinforced his knowledge in accounting, financial and management control branch, but also had the opportunity to develop leadership skills in the daily work involved in doing a masters at IE.


¡Enhorabuena a Juan y Miguel Ángel! ¡Os deseamos mucho éxito en vuestras nuevas asignaciones!

Congratulations Juan and Miguel Ángel! We wish you success in your new positions!



Marc Peelen

Since last week, Marc Peelen (MIDE 2003) is the new IE Alumni Club President in NYC.

The Club Presidency presents an exciting new challenge for him. He will be representing the IE community in the city and we are sure he will help us to create a sense of community among Alumni in New York. We strongly believe he will represent the school´s values ​​with commitment and enthusiasm.

The Global Alumni Relations team is here to help him with this new venture and would like to establish and maintain a consistent and open channel of communication not only with club representatives, but with the whole IE Alumni Community in the zone.

Peter Hartevelt

In the Netherlands, Peter Hartevelt (International MBA 2012) has also been elected the new IE Alumni Club President.

In Peter’s words: «A pleasure and honor to be the new IE Alumni Netherlands Club President. I look forward to working with you, strengthening the IE Alumni network and reinforcing IE’s presence and visibility in the Netherlands.  I welcome all Alumni to contact me for any ideas or suggestions and will be in touch shortly with next steps. In the meantime, should you know if any Alum not part of our group, please encourage them to join!«

Please join us in welcoming Marc and Peter to their new role within the community.

How can I become active in an Alumni Club?

1.- Update your data so you can receive invitations to events and to participate in elections.

2.- Take a look at the list of Clubs on social media, join the groups of your interest.


Venture Day Lisbon2014copiaThe 2nd IE Venture Day Lisbon was part of the Lisbon Investment Summit, with more than 450 registered and 300 attendees organized in a joint effort of IE and Beta-I with the participation of the European Commission.

Thanks to all the alumni that made it and especially to Domingos Cruz (CCA-Ontier, LLM 2006), our sponsor, and Pedro Trinite (TTR, International MBA 2007), Scott Witters (Glownet, MBA 2003) and Tobias Schirmer (BDMI, International MBA 2007), our speakers. 

The winning startup, Pharmassistant, took home an 80K investment from Smart Equity.The jury responsible for evaluating the pitches of the startups included Mike Butcher (Techcrunch editor), Tobias Schirmer (IE alumnus and BDMI), Oriol Juncosa (Nauta Capital), Itxaso del Palacio (EC1 Capital), Paloma Castellano (Wayra) and Carla Pimenta (EDP Ventures). Vertequip was the most voted project by the audience of more than 300 people and Coolfarm was chosen as the best pitch.

Speakers and participants gave great praise: Mike Butcher said he’d be happy to promote next year’s event, Fausto Boni (360 Capital Partners) was overwhelmed with the high quality of the pitches, Oriol Juncosa said the event was excellent, many of the investors will follow up with one or more pitching startups and Anshuman Vohra (Bulldog Gin CEO) drove 6 hours, from and to the Algarve, on one day to be there! 

Check the articles published by the Portuguese press. 


IE Challenge Week: Entrepreneurs Edition!

Escrito el 24 julio 2014 por Alumni en Special Events

challenge week2International MBA students took on the role of consultants for an intensive week-long challenge with the goal of finding solutions facing an organization.  This past July, the April 2014 intake of the International MBA, tackled real life dilemmas of 4 startup companies, born and bred right here in IE’s basement at Area 31 (People-Sports, Alterkeys, Hot Hotels, TripMenu).

The students had the opportunity to work with these 4 companies in the early and self-discovery stage. Their challenge was to find meaningful way to engage their users.  Through design thinking techniques, interactive workshops and the input from external experts, 28 innovative and out-of-the box solutions materialized.

IE’s foundation was built on entrepreneurship and we continue to bolster this in our curriculum. The incorporation of the Challenge Week modules as a core component of the MBA, equips students with hands-on, practical experience and soft skills that they can use in their careers.

We are the only MBA program in the world that offers this unique experience to its students. This was the first time we were able to give a hand to our own IE alumni and devoted 200 brilliant student minds for this adventure. Past projects included large enterprises, BBVA and IKEA, and we are looking forward to working with GE this coming October!

Click here to see more pictures




???????????????????????????????El pasado de 10 de julio el IE Art Club organizó una tertulia con la galerista Soledad Lorenzo titulada “Claves del arte contemporáneo”. Soledad Lorenzo es una referencia en el sector, al ser pionera del galerismo madrileño. Durante 26 años dirigió una galería en Madrid, que llevaba su nombre, donde expuso a artistas de renombre tanto a nivel nacional, como por ejemplo Antoni Tapies, Miquel Barcelo, Jose Maria Sicilia o Juan Uslé, como internacional, entre los que destacan Louise Bourgeois, Julian Schnabel o Robert Longo.
El evento tuvo lugar en el inigualable marco del Pabellón de Papel y se instrumentó bajo el formato de agradable charla, ya que no había un guión marcado y la audiencia estaba invitada a realizar preguntas en cualquier momento.

Soledad Lorenzo comenzó haciendo referencia a los aspectos emocionales y estéticos del arte, compartiendo con los asistentes sus inicios en el mundo del arte, las razones que le llevaron a abrir una galería y lo que para ella significa el concepto de arte, resaltando que sus motivaciones nunca fueron económicas. Se mostró como una persona apasionada por su trabajo como galerista, que en los negocios siempre se dejó llevar por la intuición.  Poco a poco la conversación fue girando hacia temas más concretos del mercado del arte. Los asistentes, muchos de ellos artistas aficionados y coleccionistas iniciáticos, preguntaron a Soledad Lorenzo por numerosos aspectos del arte actual, como su opinión personal sobre el arte urbano o cómo veía el desarrollo del incipiente mercado asiático del arte. Otra de las preguntas más recurrentes  fue sobre sus sugerencias para comenzar una colección, si prefería comenzarla con una obra de un artista consagrado o de uno joven y desconocido. Todas las respuestas estuvieron dotadas de la sabiduría y pasión que le caracteriza.

Tras más de una hora y media de animada y ecléctica conversación la charla llegó a su fin, no porque se hubiese agotado la tertulia sino porque eran las 22 horas y el espacio debía cerrarse. Tras el evento la invitada firmó su biografía a un asistente y se hizo fotos con varios miembros del público.

IE seminar with curator Soledad Lorenzo

On July 10th IE Art Club hosted a seminar with art curator Soledad Lorenzo focused on “Keys to Contemporary Art”. Soledad Lorenzo was a pioneer and is considered one of the most influential people in the sector. She ran her own art gallery in Madrid for over 26 years, and curated exhibitions of key Spanish artists, such as Antoni Tapies, Mique Barcelo, Jose Maria Sicilia and Juan Uslé, and of international artists like Louise Bourgeois, Julian Schnabel and Robert Longo.

Seguir leyendo…


guillermoEl IE Barcelona Club con el apoyo de IE Alumni Association organizó el  I Ciclo “Estrategias y legalidad en entornos digitales” que duró dos días en dos semanas consecutivas para facilitar la asistencia a ambas. En primer lugar, se celebró en Barcelona Activa-Ayuntamiento de Barcelona  con su apoyo a la lecture ”Lecciones de Estrategia con “El padrino” de la mano del Profesor de IE Business School  Dr. Guillermo de Haro. En esta conferencia, se cubrió temas de Creación de la Estrategia, Misión y Visión, Cultura Organizativa, Tipos de Liderazgo, Estructura Organizativa y Recursos Humanos, utilizando las enseñanzas de «El Padrino». El evento captó la atención tanto de emprendedores de Barcelona Activa como miembros del IE Barcelona Club. Hubo un dilatado espacio de ruegos y preguntas dónde los emprendedores aprendieron cómo desarrollar su empresa a través de las enseñanzas de Don Vito.

Por otra parte, el IE Barcelona Club fue co-organizador y participante de la conferencia «Comercio de Proximidad y su adaptación a las nuevas tecnologías: Consideraciones Jurídicas», a cargo de Francesc de Haro i Uribe, Abogado fundador y director de De Haro Advocats, Presidente Advocats Professionals Segle XXI (APS21) y vocal de la Comisión de Deontología del ICAB, entre otros. Dicho evento co-organizado por la nueva “Federación de Comerciantes del Ensanche de Barcelona” como primer acto público de cara a la sociedad. Así nuestro club apoyo a los comerciantes y los futuros emprendedores nuestros que vean oportunidades en retail o local shops on-line o off-line o ambos como complemento uno del otro. Dicho evento se centró en las oportunidades del comercio on-line para emprendedores y comerciantes pero hablando de temas legales más bien desconocidos por muchos.

Utilizamos cookies propias y de terceros para mejorar nuestros servicios y mostrarle contenido relacionado con sus preferencias mediante el análisis de sus hábitos de navegación. Si continua navegando, consideramos que acepta su uso. Puede cambiar la configuración u obtener más información aquí. Aceptar