The IESE MBA: What You Need To Know
In any discussion of IESE, “integrity” and “impact” are often mentioned. This is a business school that takes very seriously the idea that business leaders can have a huge effect on the world. This MBA program, ranked the No. 1 MBA in the world in 2021 by The Economist, was launched in 1964 as the first two-year MBA in Europe.
Based in Barcelona but with outposts in Madrid, Munich, New York, and São Paulo, IESE also has a global outlook. Its class size is around 350 students on average each year, and students are given the flexibility to complete their MBA in 15 or 19 months depending on their needs. The first three terms teach Foundations for Effective Leadership, followed by summer corporate internship and entrepreneurial experiences.
The MBA is topped off in terms four and five with the Consolidate Transformation section, which helps students to broaden their horizons. Students can take Overseas Modules of up to four weeks in Sâo Paulo, New York, Shanghai or Nairobi, and up to a whole term in one of IESE’s 30 exchange partner schools.
Application materials include official transcripts, GMAT/GRE scores, an English test, and mandatory online essays.
Along with traditional business courses, IESE includes a unique and unconventional core curriculum such as a business ethics course, with options to take others in the same ballpark such as Stress Management and Well-being. This is unique to IESE because very few MBA programs look to explicitly instill business ethics values in their students. There’s no lack of electives, with around 100 options and even the option to choose concentrations in International Business, Finance, Data Analytics & Digital Business and Entrepreneurship & Innovation, to earn a specialization along with their MBA.
Katherine Berezowskyj, IESE MBA 2018
When I began my MBA I never thought I’d become co-captain of the women’s rugby team, but through my time at IESE I’ve found myself taking on more leadership roles.
I have been working in France for five years, so I was looking to continue my international exposure, and while I considered U.S. schools I was looking for a different sort of community, and IESE ticked the boxes. I am looking for a career change, so I was looking for a two-year course.
Also, I wanted a school with a good reputation that will be recognized if I do decide to go back to the U.S. I also got a great impression from the recruitment team. We had in-depth conversations and they were very candid and honest.
IESE MBA Rankings Data
IESE MBA Employment Stats
IESE has not published in its employment report its top employers, preferring to list all of the firms that hired the school’s graduates.