IE Business School clubs find new opportunities from moving the student experience of campus life online.
IE Campus Life applauded the resolve and initiative of student clubs that maneuvered around limitations imposed by the global health crisis —with many seamlessly moving the buzz of IE Business School community life online— in the annual Club Awards.
The Women in Business Club’s conference Leading Forward, which took place just before the pandemic forced schools and universities to cease in-person activities, won the Event of the Year.
The Club Awards, which recognized clubs’ achievements from September 2019 to July 2020, used a hybrid format, broadcasting live from the Wow room. IE University President Santiago Iñiguez, as well as Business School Dean Martin Boehm and the deans from the other schools all participated in congratulating the club coordinators’ work and commitment to bring the IE community together through their respective events.
But the award ceremony, which showered prizes including gifts from URSO Hotel & Spa, tickets to the IE Virtual Alumni Weekend and an exclusive session with award-winning CNN correspondent Al Goodman, also focused on how student-led initiatives engineered community-enriching experiences online.
“The two most important things that people want from a community is to belong and contribute,” said Juliana Pereira, Chief of Campus Life. “It is not about simply providing information. They wanted to continue learning and growing —internally and externally— and keep their network growing. So we did just that and helped people connect.”
More than 14,000 people participated in the more than 320 events that student clubs organized online in the past three months, including the Africa Business Forum, TechIE, TedxIEMadrid, Global Village, a 6K Virtual Race and LGBT@Work.
In fact, LGBT@Work attracted its biggest audience ever with a record-setting 1,997 people connecting online from 92 countries—IE’s biggest student-led event ever.
“What this has shown about our community is that no one in any moment questioned our events or how we were going to pull them off,” Pereira said. “The fact that people were willing to open up their computer, put their faces on the screens and talk about what that meant, was powerful.”
Many students welcomed the challenge of moving events online.
“As time went by, we started to realize that this was an opportunity rather than a setback. It allowed us to be more active in social media and acquire visibility, as well as to invite guest speakers that could not have probably attended face-to-face.”
Nur Younis, dual BBA/BIR student and President of the IE SDGs Club Madrid chapter, which won the Best Social & Community Award
Women in Business Club President Kristina Miller (IMBA & MCMC 2019) agreed the club saw moving online “as an opportunity, rather than a limitation, to further our reach and connect with speakers and attendees across the globe in a way we were unable to with physical events.”
Bachelor in Business Administration student Esteban Arimany Zamora, Co-President of the IE Consulting Club—which proved particularly active online and won the IE Blueprint Award, said he learned three key lessons from the unusual spring 2020 semester.
“First resilience is key. No matter how complicated things might appear there is always a solution to everything,” he said. “Second, unexpected surprises can come from the most unusual places, such as the success we had from events in Instagram Live. And third, good things will happen when you put in the time and effort.”
According to Pereira, IE Business School prioritizes a rich community experience for students regardless of whether it is virtually or on a physical campus.
“Knowing what the shared values of our community were, being clear on the needs and wants of our community, and knowing their hunger helped us as a Business School to continue providing an arena for growth that went beyond the classroom. Connecting – literally – with your community kept us ahead of the game.”
A full list of winners follows:
• Best Arts Society Club: IEU Theater Production
• Best Social & Community: IE SDGs Club Madrid
• Best Geographic Club: IE Africa Club
• Best Professional Club
◦ IE Women in Business Club
◦ IE Consulting Club
◦ IE Sports Management Club
• Most Adaptable Club: IE Sports Management Club
• IE Spirit Award: Sofia Kritikopoulos
• IE Blueprint Award: IE Consulting Club
• Event of the Year: Women in Business Club’s Conference: Leading Forward
• Special Mention: The Stork