An interview with Angel Cabrera

Development of Responsible

Entrepreneurship

An interview with Angel Cabrera

Dean, Instituto de Empresa

About Instituto de Empresa

Founded in 1973, Instituto de Empresa is an independent, international business school, regularly ranked by the media as one of the world leaders in management education. Instituto de Empresa was founded in the spirit of Spain's Institución Libre de Enseñanza, an education movement started in the late XIXth Century to promote a concept of free, independent, and learner-centered education. IE's campus is actually located at the heart of the area where this movement began.
Instituto de Empresa is now widely recognised of one of the foremost promoters of the entrepreneurial spirit through a dedicated department and it's on-line arm, ICEVED, an international learning, networking and support platform. Over 15% of the school's MBA graduates go on to found their own businesses.The school is based in the centre of Madrid, capital of Spain, forming a link between the business worlds of Europe and the Americas.

Could you give our readers some information on the range of MBA programs offered by Instituto de Empresa?

The school provides a wide range of business masters, executive education, IT and legal programmes, both in the classroom and on-line. Its flagship International MBA programme is consistently ranked among the best in the world by the Financial Times. In 2002 83% of the students on this programme were foreigners, from thirty eight countries around the world. Furthermore, over 220 students from Latin America have attended IE courses this year.

Specific business masters programmes include: International MBA, Executive MBA, International Executive MBA, Executive Master in E-Business, Master in Operations Management, Master in Sales and Marketing Management, Master in Human Resources Development, Master in Financial Management and Control.

Instituto de Empresa is a pioneer in Europe the development of on-line learning for professionals and executives and in 2002 unveiled its new on-line executive education division — IE Learning Net. The project has been backed by an investment of 12 million Euros to date — a figure which will rise to 20 million Euros by the end of this year. All programs retain a classroom element — up to 40%, either provided at facilities in Madrid or Miami or at a client company's own locations. The virtual phase aims to leverage the classroom experience by getting executives to work together in virtual teams, led and directed by professors on a regular basis. Much of the investment in the new division has gone into ensuring the regular online input of over 500 leading academics, not just from Instituto de Empresa, but also from other schools in the SUMAQ alliance.

What sets your full-time program apart from other MBA programs?

The main features of our MBA programs have to do with the fostering of entrepreneurial skills, the integration of technical knowledge with the development of leadership skills, and the promotion of a socially responsible attitude towards business activity. In two words, the development of “responsible entrepreneurship” is our goal. Our program also provides a unique bridge between Europe and the Americas, that is reflected in our content, our faculty, and the composition of the student body.

What are the characteristics you are looking for in applicants? Is it necessary to speak Spanish to follow your full-time MBA program?

We seek candidates with maximum potential that are dynamic, motivated, creative, and who not only present an excellent academic and professional background, but also offer the kind of interpersonal skills that will permit them to benefit fully from the programme. We are also interested in persons that have clear professional and personal objectives, whose maturity can bring mutual enrichment.

Concerning the language, IE has a Spanish MBA and a bilingual International MBA. The Spanish MBA is taught entirely in Spanish, and therefore fluent Spanish is a must in this case.
It is not essential to speak Spanish for the International MBA, nevertheless we do recommend that students have at least some notion of the language. The International MBA includes an intensive business Spanish course two months before the start of the program.

How global is Instituto de Empresa, and what is your school doing to reinforce its position in Latin America?

IE is a global school in all aspects: students (35 nationalities in the MBA program, 80% of students come from outside Spain), alumni (work in 85 different countries), professors (USA, Europe, Latin America), programs… We are specially focused on Latin America, where we have offices in Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador and Mexico. IE launched an Alliance comprising the leading business schools in Latin America. The Sumaq Alliance is totally focused on executive education, serving the needs of international corporations as they increasingly demand across-the-border educational programs to harmonize their management strategies and keep abreast of current global issues.

How is your E-learning MBA structured?

The International Executive MBA is a thirteen months programme and it's taught entirely in English. The programme structure is divided into 3 intensive two-week presential periods (two in Madrid and one in Miami) and 2 six-month online periods. The virtual learning environment that students will use during online periods is designed to foster participation, communication, exchange of ideas and groupwork, all carried out from the most convenient geographic location and at the most appropriate time for each student. The course is divided into two modules, one dealing with basics and the other with integration. Both modules combine both presential and online sessions to present most of the subject matter.  

What is the international position of Instituto de Empresa?

Instituto de Empresa is fully recognised by the three leading accreditation agencies in the business education arena — AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. The school's MBA, Executive MBA and Executive Education programs are consistently ranked among the world's top programs by the Financial Times and other media.

Many of the world's leading companies recruit Instituto de Empresa graduates. Our graduates have gone on to hold key positions in such major companies as Alcatel, McKinsey, Citroen, Coca-Cola, JP Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch and Warner Brothers. International MBA recruiters surveyed by The MBA Career Guide in 2002 voted Instituto de Empresa number 3 in Europe for the development of entrepreneurial skills.

Instituto de Empresa is not simply an academic institution, but one rooted firmly in real business world. In order to maintain contact with the very best in current lines of thought in business, the school works with an international advisory board made up of key figures from commerce, industry, banking and government — high profile individuals such as Jim Lawrence, CFO of General Mills, Reuben Mark, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Colgate-Palmolive, Peter Sutherland, Chairman of Goldman Sachs International, Dr Karl Hahn, Chairman Emeritus of Volkswagen and Dr Hans-Dietrich Genscher, the former German Foreign Minister.

About Angel Cabrera

Angel Cabrera is the Dean of Instituto de Empresa and Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management. Prof. Cabrera received his MS and PhD in Psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology, which he attended as a Fulbright Scholar. He also graduated as a Telecommunications Engineer from Madrid Polytechnic University. Before joining the faculty of Instituto de Empresa, Prof. Cabrera held academic or executive positions at Madrid Polytechnic University, Georgia Tech (where he was involved in the development and testing of innovative educational technology within the renowned Graphics, Visualization and Usability Center), Carlos III University of Madrid, Pontificia University of Salamanca and Catholic University of Avila. He has worked as Consultant and Manager at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in Spain and Turkey, leading projects that included technology assimilation, change management and human resource management. At Instituto de Empresa he chaired the Human Resource Department before being appointed as Dean.

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