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Joe Robinson – Future Leaders 2016 Graduate

When applying for the Future Leaders Programme I was nervous. First-date nervous.

The programme had promised to be amazing and at this point in my career I felt ready.

Once my application had been confirmed as successful, the University delivered my cherished programme documents approximately 4 months prior to arriving.

I’d estimate there was around 20 hours’ worth of work to be done in advance, but the content is well-prepared and very easy to get into. It’s designed to be this way. Obviously your professional and social lives are still going on around you so being able to dip in and out of the pre-course work is key. But it’s absolutely vital that you put this work in!

The programme is run at such a pace that the only way you will benefit from the work in the breakout sessions is if you have already read the notes. You are required to form fully-fledged opinions on the case in advance and then discuss these with your group in the session.

In addition to the pre-course materials, you receive links to the IESE portal and can access support from the tutors from day one onwards. They are incredibly helpful and readily available to you via email and Skype study conference calls. In 2016, there were five of these study sessions and each one was engaging to be working on in solo and fantastic to apply during the lecture.

When it came to the Future Leaders week itself, arriving on the Sunday was perfect. It gave me time to settle down and relax at the hotel prior to our first session in the evening. The accommodation is ideal, with plenty of space to work and relax. It is also conveniently close to both the University and the City.

Breaking the Frame

Led by Professor Miquel Llado, this session was delivered to us all at the hotel on the Sunday evening. It set the tone for the programme and we were introduced to the IESE staff who would be working with us during the week. I met with the other students on the programme for the first time and this session really put me at ease.

Arriving at the University, you get an instant and very real feel for the excellence that it fosters. The grounds are beautiful and the atmosphere is relaxed, offering the perfect learning environment. The course is intense but the quality of the content and the way this is delivered is perfect. As for the lecturers, they are world class and in some cases you would not even be able to buy a ticket to see them speak, such would be the demand.

Outside of the lecture hall, the free time is packed with fun items like a bike ride through Barcelona and an evening meal on the beach. This time is just as valuable as the time spent in the Lecture theatre for networking with peers and comparing views and opinions on the topics at hand.

Looking back, the Future Leaders programme has left me feeling empowered and rather than worry about my career, I now look forward to where it will take me next. The programme has made me more confident in creating designs as well as in the management of these projects. After the course, I was able to complete projects I may otherwise not have had the confidence to carry out. These projects had outstanding results one after the other, and I firmly believe this was down to the power of the lessons learned from the Future Leaders programme.