Perhaps because it’s a nonprofit organization, Madrid’s ESIC – which was established in 1965 — has a slightly different approach than most business schools. It foregrounds “citizenship” and “inclusion” in its MBA, and aims to create good professionals who are also good citizens who will improve their community. The “IMBA” — for international MBA — contains a strong vein of progressiveness, with courses like Corporate Social Responsibility, Responsible Leadership, and The Company as Responsible and Global Citizen, among others.
That philosophy spreads to ESIC’s admissions policy, which aims to attract people who have suffered discrimination; the school’s diversity and women’s scholarships can pay for up to 100% of fees. This is one of the very few schools where 50% of MBA students are female.
Students can take three electives, which include unusual subjects such as Neuromarketing and Public Relations. ESIC recently added a project called Empowering Creative Thinking for Decision Making, which is taught by army pilots. The school is also strong in data-driven subjects, being backed by Spain’s Institute of Digital Economics, the country’s leading body for teaching digital marketing and related subjects.
Because it is delivered half in Madrid and half in Shanghai (at SISU, the Shanghai International Studies University), graduates from ESIC’s 18-month IMBA get two degrees — and are encouraged to follow an extra semester in the United States, at Florida International University College of Business. The school also plans to give students more flexibility to study abroad with its partner schools, and offers additional certificates and even dual degrees for MBAs who do.
A typical ESIC class consists of about 25 students, 15 of whom are from outside Spain. Staff, too, are a diverse bunch. They either must be non-Spanish or to have extensive experience working outside the country.
CAMPUSES THROUGHOUT SPAIN, PARTNERSHIPS AROUND THE WORLD
ESIC is one of the leading business schools in Spain, with over 53 years experience training business and marketing professionals. The Business school strives to promote and maintain a direct relationship with the business environment in order to provide students with practical academic training focused on the needs of the labor market. ESIC offers training with values, that empower students to engage successfully as highly qualified professionals with excellent command and knowledge of the latest trends.
ESIC has more than 60,000 alumni, the most important network of managers and marketing, communication, and digital economy professionals in Spain.
The ESIC Alumni network was created in 1972. It aims to maintain, promote and strengthen professional links among ESIC’s graduates and public and private organizations, and support the development and progress of their members and the institutions they belong to.
The Business School has 10 campuses in Spain and strategic alliances on four continents, with partners at more than 125 universities and business schools around the world.
Luis A. Sanchez Villa, IMBA Director
The underlying philosophy of our IMBA is to prepare our students to ethically and practically handle a business, or to start a new one. Frequently, MBAs are structured in “vertical silos” covering functional knowledge but with limited interrelation between the different modules. We take a “transversal” approach and ensure that we look at many aspects at once. For example, when we teach the Growth and Value Generation in International Markets and Understanding World Markets and World Macroeconomics courses, we bring in internationality, digital transformation, and the ethical approach to business.
Mayank Kumar, MBA 2019
I worked in IT in Bangalore for 10 years, but I want to start my own business one day. I decided that an MBA would give me the technical expertise to better understand business situations and manage complex teams. I am glad I chose ESIC over the U.S. There is a good mix of fun and intense coursework, and Madrid is a welcoming city. The professors are experienced, and I am satisfied that some courses are Ivy League-standard. One issue has been that the Spanish students sometimes don’t communicate or socialize with the non-Spanish ones. I have learned that cultural barriers can be bigger than economic and technical challenges, and that a leader needs to be conscious of cultural balance.