Kellogg | Mr. Structural Engineer
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Stanford GSB | Mr. Hopeful B School Investment Analyst
GRE 334, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Air Force Seeking Feedback
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Stanford GSB | Mr. Deferred MBA Candidate
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Stanford GSB | Mr. Low GPA To Stanford
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Berkeley Haas | Mr. Colombian Sales Leader
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Darden | Mr. Anxious One
GRE 323, GPA 3.85
Stanford GSB | Ms. Eyebrows Say It All
GRE 299, GPA 8.2/10
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Family Business Turned Consultant
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Tuck | Ms. BFA To MBA
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Berkeley Haas | Mr. Hanging By A Thread
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Harvard | Ms. Hollywood To Healthcare
GMAT 730, GPA 2.5
Kellogg | Ms. Indian Entrepreneur
GMAT 750, GPA 3.3
Tuck | Ms. Confused One
GMAT 740, GPA 7.3/10
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Registered Nurse Entrepreneur
GMAT 630, GPA 3.59
Stanford GSB | Ms. Tech Consulting
GMAT 700, GPA 3.53
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Kellogg | Mr. Indian Engine Guy
GMAT 740, GPA 7.96 Eq to 3.7
INSEAD | Mr. Big Chill 770
GMAT 770, GPA 3-3.2
Yale | Mr. Whizzy
GMAT 720, GPA 4.22
Stanford GSB | Ms. Government To EdTech
GRE 323, GPA 14/20 (B equivalent)
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Venture Investments & Start-Ups In China
Wharton | Mr. Army Officer in Tech
GRE 322, GPA 3.1
INSEAD | Mr. Naval Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Tepper | Mr. Midwest Or Bust
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Darden | Ms. Environmental Engineer
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Harvard | Mr. Sovereign Wealth Fund
GMAT 730, GPA 3.55

Tech Surge Continues At Spain’s IESE, But Consulting Still Rules

IESE Business School in Barcelona. File photo

The biggest splash in the newly released MBA employment report from one of Europe’s most highly ranked B-schools is, not surprisingly, in the technology sector. Spain’s IESE Business School reports that 26% of the Class of 2019 accepted a tech sector offer, up from 20% in 2018 and 62% more than went into the sector in 2017. That’s officially a boom. E-commerce was an especially popular destination, and Amazon, Facebook, and Google were among the leading companies recruiting on the school’s Barcelona campus over the past year.

And yet … tech is still second fiddle at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa, the 12th-ranked school in the world according to the latest Financial Times ranking. Consulting is still king — and perhaps more than ever before.

A full third — 33% — of IESE’s 2019 class of MBAs went to work for consulting firms, notably McKinsey & Company and Roland Berger, even though only 12% of those MBAs had consulting experience before enrolling. That total is up from 27% in 2017.

Other top destinations were financial services, where 20% of the class got jobs, including with Citi and Bank of America Merrill Lynch; and “industry” — including consumer goods, healthcare, and retail — which accounted for 21%.


Unlike their tech-bound colleagues, a huge proportion of IESE’s Class of 2019 consultants went to Africa and the Middle East: 21% of the class of 356 students, compared to less than 1% of the techies. Another 21% of consulting MBAs stayed in Spain, and one-fifth went to Latin America, while most — 26% — found work in the rest of Europe. Compare that to the tech folks, an equal number of whom (27%) found work in Spain or the rest of Europe, and a full quarter of whom took jobs in the Asia-Pacific region. In addition to Barcelona, IESE has campuses in Madrid, Munich, New York, and São Paulo, Brazil.

Overall, 25% of IESE’s latest graduating MBA class stayed in Spain, and 30% found work in some other part of Europe, meaning more than half — 55% — stayed in Europe after graduating. Meanwhile, 17% went to Latin America, 13% went to Asia, and only 7% took jobs in North America.

In all, 94% of IESE’s MBA class of 2019 accepted a job offer within three months of graduation, up from 92% in 2017.


IESE saw an uptick in the number of women in its MBA program, to 32% from 28% two years ago, while the number of countries of origin dropped from 55 to 50. Average work experience grew to 5.5 years, up from 5 in 2017.

How much are 2019 IESE MBAs making? The average salary for an IESE MBA is €85,046, or about $93,357. That’s a 4.7% increase from two years ago. The highest average pay by region comes for those working in the Middle East/Africa: €117,083, or $128,575; the highest reported salary was from someone working in industry North America: €183,101, or $201,107. By sector, IESE’s consulting MBAs took home the highest base starting salary, at €94,630, or $103,898; finance was next at €83,610 ($91,770), followed by industry (€79,225, $86,956) and tech (€76,629, $84,106).

IESE also calculates the mean of “other compensation,” which works out to €50,228, or $55,103. The highest average for other comp was in financial services: €64,895 ($71,218). The max was also a finance person: €225,535, or $247,915, for someone working in Europe outside Spain.


In 2017, 47% of MBAs had an engineering background, and 45% came from business. In 2019, it’s 34% engineering, 26% business, 15% economics, 10% science. Geographically, two years ago 17% came from North America, MORE Compare the above job placement numbers to IESE students’ geographical origin and you begin to get a picture of the support for career switching at IESE that the school would like to cultivate.

IESE takes pains to highlight its careers center’s expertise in different sectors and geographies. The school also offers an option to take a corporate internship (or work on one’s own entrepreneurship project) in the summer between the first and second year of the MBA, something that also enables career changers to test and get experience in their new field. In fact, 21% of IES’s Class of 2019 made the “triple jump,” which is students who after graduating changed their industry, job function, and location.

Ryan Fritsch is one such IESE MBA career-changer. The former bomb defusal expert in the U.S. Navy earned his MBA from IESE early this year and is now working in Belgium as the Luxembourg Country Manager at global beer behemoth Anheuser-Busch InBev.

“Coming to IESE with a non-traditional background and from the United States, IESE provided me the education, interview skills, and network to secure an internship, and subsequent full-time offer, at my target company within FMCG, AB InBev,” Fritsch says. “Beyond getting an offer from my target company, IESE provided me the context that enabled me to receive an offer for a position within Europe, which I gladly accepted.”