Meet The IESE MBA Class of 2017

IESE Revised


IESE’s cross-cultural focus and American-style case-based general management curriculum is a big hit among employers too. The past three graduating classes have each boasted a 90% placement within three years of graduation. More important, IESE grads generate a strong return on their education according to the most recent Forbes ranking. Within five years of graduation, IESE grads were earning $159,000 for a five-year return of $84,800 – good for second in Forbes’ new two-year overseas business school ranking (ahead of HEC Paris and ESADE and behind only the London Business School). In the latest Financial Times rankings, where IESE holds the 7th spot, data shows that IESE graduates enjoy a 121% increase in earnings from the time they entered the MBA program to three years after graduation (ranking IESE above schools like Harvard, HEC Paris, and the London Business School).

The school also offers electives in locations that include New York, Sao Paulo, Nairobi, Munich, and Shanghai. What’s more, IESE provides academic exchanges with programs like Wharton, Yale, Chicago Booth, New York University, UCLA and Hong Kong University. Entrepreneurs can tap into the school’s investor’s network, which has seeded over $23 million dollars in student projects to date. And let’s not forget its Barcelona locale, a sparkling economic and cultural powerhouse that was once a favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso.

Barcelona's "Egg Tower" at night

Barcelona’s “Egg Tower” at night


In fact, Barcelona’s breezy 70 degree days and frenzied nightlife might constitute a twentysomething’s pipe dream. Where else can you ski in the morning and lounge on a Mediterranean beach in the afternoon? However, IESE’s romance hinges on the fundamentals according to several members of the 2017 Class. For Crisostomo, the archetypal career switcher, the two-year duration was a major plus. “The first year is when you learn about yourself, you curate your dreams and you explore. The second year is when you make things happen. Being an expert in anything takes time. A year felt too short, while two years seemed just right.”

Olga Climova, who grew in Moldova and has already mastered five languages (with a sixth in the works), also endorses the second year approach. “I looked at the fit that would allow me to learn holistically through structured case method, hands-on internship opportunity and also still leave room for flexibility and offer numerous elective courses.” At the same time, Crisostomo, a world traveler like Climova, longed for an experience that went beyond taking courses and networking. “I wanted to be in a city that had a different language from my own. I think being able to study another language is part of the cultural and learning experience of doing an MBA.”

A Barcelona Mediterranean beach as dusk approaches

A Barcelona Mediterranean beach as dusk nears

A month into the program, the 2017 Class is already wrestling with the demands of coursework, clubs, and recruiters. However, many are keeping their reasons for enrolling at IESE front-and-center. María Trinidad Peró Vergara, a Barcelona native who worked for the Chilean government before moving into strategic planning, hopes to develop her “soft skills to be a good communicator [and] to learn to effectively express myself.” At the same time, she is working on her “hard skills and the way of analyzing and developing solutions to problems.”

Crisostomo, on the other hand, plans to take advantage of being in a truly global setting. “[My goal is] to develop a more global mindset through the entire international experience I will have. It would be a big bonus to be fluent in another language.” Like her peers, she also embraces the bigger picture, which she lyrically describes as follows: “To immerse in new experiences, to meet new people, to dream bigger every time!”

To read profiles of incoming IESE students – along with their advice on tackling GMAT, applications, and interviews – click on the student links below. 

Florian Brock / Munich, Germany (Bavaria)

Olga Climova / Etulia, Moldova

Natasha Dara / Houston, Texas

Karen Marian Crisostomo / Manila, Philippines

Josse Memmi / Paris, France

María Trinidad Peró Vergara / Barcelona, Spain

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