Introducing the Guiris

With partners doing a full-time MBA programme we are three expat “Partners” who individually (and continuously) struggle (and sometimes succeed) to establish normal lives in Madrid.  We are independent professionals who find value in using our networks, be them people or virtual to get the best from a situation. We want to help other people in the same situation so they can enjoy Madrid as fully and quickly as possible, and save a few headaches. We like different things, same experience different outlooks so if one or more of the below sounds familiar, then read on….

Anything that is written about in this blog means that we have had first hand experience of a situation. It’s true, tried and tested.

Jodie is in her early thirties, English and has worked in media for the last ten years. Moving to Paris to fulfill an ambition of living in another country and learning another other language, she met John, an American working in the same industry. After two years together John wanted to do an International MBA at IE in Madrid. After three years in Paris, moving to Madrid should have been relatively straightforward: no visas required and she was more advanced then when she moved to Paris – she has a boyfriend, job and could already speak two languages…

Likes/interests: Travelling (which I do a lot of for business as well as pleasure); food and wine, enjoyed with friends (that includes cooking as well as eating out); change (I am not very good with routine, could also read as: gets bored easily)

Courtney is a 30-year-old American originally from sunny San Diego, California. While attending Rice University in Houston, Texas she met, fell in love with and eventually married Texan Will Ford.  For the last 6 years Courtney worked in Marketing for Oil Service companies in Houston.  Working for international companies in a global industry fed her passion for travel and the exposure of many new countries, cultures and customs.  This passion began at an early age and took her to study abroad in Italy and work abroad in the UK while attending Rice.  Will’s decision to get his International MBA from IE prompted Courtney to begin her own Marketing Consulting business which she runs from Madrid today.  Courtney openly admits to thriving on recommendations…for anything and everything.  It is recommendations which give you insight not only to a new place but also to the individual who has taken the time to share a bit about themselves.

Likes/interests: Fitness (Ex-Volleyball player who in 2010 will make the first 1/2 marathon attempt), traveling, cooking, wine, visual arts and supporting the “struggeling artist” and simply “taking advantage”…experiencing anything and everything you can when its available.

Stephanie is an American in her early thirties.  Originally from Missouri, she married her college sweetheart, Lance Widner.  They then lived in Northern California for 4 years and then Hawaii for 5 years.  Stephanie earned her M.S. in Chemistry at U.C. Davis, and then went on to work in the biotech sector for both a large corporation and startup for 4 yrs.  She then switched careers three years ago and started selling high-end real estate with a boutique agency in Honolulu.  During their studies, Lance and Stephanie traveled to India and Thailand.  Lance thoroughly researched all of his possibilities for schools both in the US and Europe and chose IE for his International MBA, because of its diverse student population and location in a vibrant european city that give him the opportunity to learn a second language.  The first day they landed in Madrid, was their first time landing anywhere in Europe.  Little did they realize, that besides the language barrier, Madrid was a very accommodating city for newcomers, especially with local friends who had lived here most of their lives to guide them.

Likes/interests: Cooking, eating, wine tasting, reading and anything in the great outdoors