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Poets & Quants Top Business Schools

IESE Business School at the University of Navarra


Location: Avda. Pearson, 21 Barcelona, Spain 08034

Admissions Office: Barcelona (+34) 93 253 42 00 or Madrid (+34) 91 211 30 00



Admission Deadlines:

Round One: October 6, 2013
Round Two: January 5, 2014
Round Three: March 2, 2014
Final Round: June 8, 2014

IESE Business School at the University of Navarra is one of a handful of the very best business schools in Europe. The school’s MBA program consistently ranks among the best in the world, and graduates have high praise for the school’s small and intimate MBA experience.

Classes at IESE employ the Harvard-originated case study method, which bases learning on actual management situations. Students and professors analyze and discuss hundreds of cases to devise and implement solutions to real business scenarios.

Entrepreneurship is a key element within the MBA program. A hallmark of the program is the second-year entrepreneurship course, in which students develop business plans and are eligible to present them to actual investors in order to receive seed money.

Latest Up-to-Date MBA Rankings:

Poets&Quants (2012): 3
BusinessWeek (2012 Global): 8
Forbes (2011 Global): 3
Financial Times (2012): 4 (Non-U.S.), 9 (Global)
The Economist (2012): 1 (Non-U.S.), 9 (Global)

Rankings Analysis: In Poets&Quants’ 2012 composite ranking of the best business schools outside the U.S., IESE gained two places to finish an impressive third, behind only London Business School and INSEAD.

The school got a lift from all three of the four rankings that were published this year. The biggest lift was from Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s 2012 ranking where it gained four places to place as the eighth best international MBA program, up from 12th in 2010. BusinessWeek largely ranks schools on the basis of graduate and corporate recruiter satisfaction. BW ranked IESE sixth in graduate satisfaction and 11th on its recruiter survey.

The Economist ranked IESE best among non-U.S. schools in 2012, up from third a year earlier, while The Financial Times moved the school up one place to fourth among schools outside the U.S., from fifth in 2011.

When Forbes, which ranks schools on the basis of return on investment, last did its biennial ranking of global business schools in 2011, IESE finished third.

One IESE graduate summed up his MBA experience at the school by telling BusinessWeek: “IESE has been a great experience. The school has a very hands-on approach to teaching a comprehensive and integrated general management [course]. The small class size (210 people) yields a very friendly, informal, and close-knit atmosphere among students and professors…Barcelona is a great city and international students are able to learn Spanish.”

Tuition & Fees: $101,424
Average GMAT: 670
GMAT Range: 625-730
Average GPA: NA
Acceptance Rate: 23%

Full-Time Enrollment: 280
International: 80%
Female: 26%
Minority: NA
Mean Age: 28

Median Base Salary: $101,990
Median Signing Bonus: $12,860
Percentage of MBAs with Job Offers at Graduation: 71%
Percentage of MBAs with Job Offers Three Months Later: 94%

Where The IESE Class of 2011 Went To Work:

  • Consulting: 28%
  • Consumer Products: 13%
  • Financial Services: 20%
  • Manufacturing: 5%
  • Media/Entertainment: 0%
  • Non-Profit: 1%
  • Petroleum/Energy: 8%
  • Pharmaceutical/Biotechnology/Health Care: 8%
  • Real Estate: 0%
  • Technology: 7%
  • Other: 10%

From IESE Business School:

IESE Business School is committed to the development of leaders who aspire to have a positive, deep and lasting impact on people, firms and society. Our aim is to mold our students into managers who lead and serve others and we do this through our professionalism, spirit of service, the dedication of our faculty and the personal approach to service which is the IESE trademark. The school established the Full-Time MBA program, the first of its kind in Europe, in 1964.

Small class size, an open-door policy and active mentoring mean that you are able to form close working relationships with professors and other students during the MBA program. This highly personalized environment drives students not just to learn, but to think. The IESE community supports each individual’s personal and professional growth, fostering a sense of community within the school.

The program builds a solid foundation for all students by covering core business subjects during the first year and offering a wide range of electives in the second year. The use of business case studies is a critical component of IESE’s dynamic learning approach under the guidance of the well-trained faculty. Students analyze more than 600 cases during the program, immerse themselves in real-life business challenges and carry out in-depth analysis. At IESE, students learn through the case study method, which gives them the unique opportunity to view business issues from many angles. After individual preparation, students work in teams to analyze, discuss and propose solutions to hundreds of different business problems drawn from real-life scenarios. The approach opens up a forum where students discover new perspectives and broaden their understanding of key issues. Most importantly, this intense and challenging method means that students learn to make business decisions and take action by thinking, arguing and defending their interpretations and recommendations against a multitude of equally plausible solutions. Students interact with people from more than 56 different countries during the case discussions in the classroom and also hear the contributions of the international faculty.

Student Profile:

Average GMAT: 670

Students (divided into four sections): 280

Percentage of Women: 26%

Average Age: 28

Average Work Experience (years): 4

The International Exchange Program and the international modules in the second year give MBA students the chance to spend a semester and experience life at a top-tier school in another country. Eligibility for the Exchange Program is based on academic performance in the first and second semesters. Students can also take part in international elective courses, held in New York, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Shanghai and Nairobi. More than 40% of MBA students graduate with IESE’s Bilingual MBA for international students.

Entrepreneurship and corporate governance are present throughout the curriculum to provide students with the best skills to perform in their own ventures or the corporate world. In the first year, students are introduced to entrepreneurship through a core introductory course. In the second year, they can choose from various elective courses on entrepreneurship and also have the chance to present a business plan to investors. Among the entrepreneurship courses, FINAVES provides participants with a forum and financial resources to help them turn a new business venture into reality. Due to the school’s strong focus on entrepreneurship, about a third of MBA students create their own businesses within 10 years of graduation.

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