Masaaki Hasegawa is a student at the Master in Visual Media and one of the those who actively work for student activities. Here, in the interview, he shares his experience and what he has learned at IE, looking back last 10 months. This is the real life at IE from the viewpoint of a student that is not mentioned in school brochure or website.
How was your educational experience at IE?
MH: It was quite interesting and valuable. As for Master in Visual Media, it is designed to cover both business side and creative side, so I could have learned a lot how to build a bridge between creativity and business. The greatest point of this aspect is that you can easily reach to professors from MBA that they do have over decade professional experience in business field, many of them are MBA holders, as well, as well as to creative genius from the creative industry like a professor who has worked with Madrid Fashion Week. In addition, it was great experience that there were many classes covering the new business fields, which is a combination of creativity and business, such as “Business Design”, “User Center Design”, and “Emotion Design”. In normal MBA, these fields are not covered since those fields are too young and one of its objectives is to maximize the value for several hundreds of people, and thus it takes time to adopt these kinds of area to MBA. This is one of the biggest advantages of Visual Media that you can access to the latest technological and business trends in the economy.
Let us know your experience in IE that would help your professional career
MH: Being in IE has given so many opportunities to build relationships with various kinds of professionals. For example, I could have interviews with Rei Inamoto and Ken Segal. Rei Inamoto is chief creative officer at AKQA and one of the most creative people 50 in the world and Ken Segal has led the legendary promotion of Apple, “Think Different Campaign”. These people gave me opportunities not just because I worked hard but because IE has strong brand value. Also, I have organized several conferences in IE. For example, the head of asset management of Bank of New York Mellon and the director of Change.org Spain, which is a petition platform having 35 million users in the world. They had conferences in IE because IE possesses potent brand value and high quality students. In fact, after the conference in IE with Naotaka Fujii, head researcher of Riken Brain Science Institute, he got an offer for a project for Indian government. This shows that how networking inside IE has a great potential for your future career. Needless to say, I could have built this kind of amazing professional relationship with various kinds of people through activity in IE.
How about your private life in Madrid?
MH: Life outside school is also amazing. First of all, so many people can recognize IE so it was easy to explain myself to people living here. In addition to that, people in Madrid are open-minded people that you can make friends all the time you go out. In fact some of my best friends outside school are 15 years older than me but they pretty much accept me and we talk like old friend. Also, through living in Madrid, I came to realize that there are thousands of way of life that there is no common sense in terms of life style in Madrid and many people put emphasis on culture and enjoyment of life that enriches their life and personality. This is one of the most precious points that you can learn while living in Madrid. Personally, I have been training martial arts more than a decade and am doing that in Madrid too, belonging to the gym, Muay Thai Madrid, and I could have met many people have seen local life style on the course of training with them. Especially, when I recently joined a kickboxing competition, they gave me a great support that I could feel at one with them.
How about student activities inside IE
MH: Beside club activity myself, there are many interesting activities, parties, and networking opportunities organized by students. One good example is IE Social Club, which organizes a weekly networking party for IE students over the boarder of masters that is held in local fancy restaurants and clubs. The president of this club, Selva Dilek Oztaskin is from Turkey but has lived in Madrid more or less 10 years and she knows all the important restaurants, bars, and clubs, and owners. Through this activity, you can build a relationship with people from different master and have an opportunity to know local life. Especially, during the semester, students are normally tied up with their own work and are less likely to have a chance to communicate with people in different major. Thus, this kind of networking opportunity would help you find interesting people in different area from yourself. Also, IE Net Impact clubs organizes various kinds of interesting events in which students are able to get along with those from different masters and great speakers.
What did you learn most in IE?
MH: What I have learned in IE most is that the importance of taking initiative that is not something that you can gain from just taking classes. As I mentioned above, I have had interview with more than 10 great people around the world and organized 3 conferences. Actually, when I came to Spain, I had no connection with anyone that I mentioned above and I started from scratch. However, by taking a step to a little bit outside from your comfort zone, collaborating with different kinds of people, and challenging something even if it seems ridiculous, I could have generated value to students in IE and professionals in business world. Through these experiences, I could meet a number of interesting people and build an attractive human network that is definitely an intangible important asset in my life. Furthermore, these activities have definitely added value on my career that I have gotten more than 5 internship offers from 3 different countries pretty much quickly.
What is your professional and personal plan for the future after the graduation?
MH: Personally, I am interested in the concept of new rich that is releasing yourself from the ordinary pattern of life like working from 9-17 and having your own life: time. Their life is free from the limitation of location and time and they are doing things that they are interested in most of their time. It sounds something like dream but, in fact, I have some friends who have built this type of life-style and who are also economically successful. Like what I have learned in IE, by taking initiative and having courage to take a first step, I believe that there are not so many things that are seriously impossible to realize. And in most of the cases, we tend to fall the trap of thinking that you have something to lose and you cannot do it because others do not do it. My motivation is to overcome this common sense and build up my own life-style in order to generate value from my own way of life. I do not think it is the stage that I can reach in a moment, but I strongly believe that it is worth trying. I would like to refer one quote of Steve Jobs to finish.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”