By Alexander Polis (Canada), Current student Master in Finance 2011

I am one of the new MIF students this year and already all my expectations have been surpassed. It’s been quite some time since I felt genuinely excited about an academic program as well as the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead of me here in Madrid. My academic background is in Economics and I’ve obtained experience in the public sector, consulting, and political fundraising back home in Canada. I choose this program in order to expand my knowledge of financial markets so that I can enter an increasingly competitive job market confidently.

The international exposure of the program, and also the school is priceless. With no more than three students from any single country in the MIF the exposure to different values and ideas will definitely contribute to my educational experience both inside and informally outside of the classroom. The school is also extremely helpful for adapting to Madrid by providing Spanish classes before and during the program. Ten months from now I’ll be leaving Madrid with the ability to not only speak Spanish but with a network of alumni all over the world and in many different industries.   

Right from the start the program administration have clearly demonstrated their passion towards the program. Given how difficult these next ten months will be, I can now be confident that everything we will study has been put in the program for a clear reason. A clever (and heart-stopping) icebreaker prank by Professor Ignacio de la Torre also introduced us to the Advanced Finance class, who will be able to provide guidance and advice to us in our first term.One of the things that stands out for me is how easy it is to immerse yourself in the world of finance since this program does not end in the classroom. A series of conferences, seminars workshops are constantly being organized for finance students at IE. My classmate, Samuel Harrison, already wrote about one of these events, the IE Finance Day which introduced us to a key financial figure in Madrid and updated us on the current market situation. Having professors that are currently active in the industry will also ensure that our education remains topical, which is crucial in this current volatile market.

One of the most exciting things for me about this program is its small size. This year’s intake of 34 people has been split up into 6 work groups. This instantly creates a fraternal atmosphere since we are spending so much time together and everyone so far has had extremely positive attitudes about helping each other out.  

Even with all the great things I can say about this program, there is no doubt that it is a very challenging program. As I write this I am in the library at 10pm taking a break from studying fixed income.  Yet somehow I don’t really mind and I am looking forward to my next week of classes, regardless of how many readings and cases I will have to do.