IE Business School is one of the leading business schools in Spain, and it is also ranked at the top of European business schools. ARINGO conducted a short interview with Beatriz Bagaces Serrano from IE Admissions, who told us about the MBA program, the admission process and the school:
What is special about your MBA program? In addition to its’ excellent reputation, what differentiates it from other Top MBA programs?
The International MBA at IE Business School allows you to build your own transformational journey accompanied by an international cohort of dynamic professionals and entrepreneurs. In this flagship, full-time MBA program, you will gain real-world insights and a 360-degree business vision to drive lasting, socially-focused change. Offered in either English or bilingual, the International MBA mixes innovative core content with practical, highly customizable Lab Sessions. In fact, up to 45% of the program can be entirely tailored thanks to ten concentration areas that allow you to become the architect of this business-focused, career-boosting learning experience. In addition, along this journey, both Program Management and Talent and Careers will be available to help you choose the right courses and specializations based on your career goals.
Additionally, our teaching style goes beyond theory. Classes are based on practical methodologies, case studies, and interactive group projects. We offer various choices for the IMBA “Lab” period (a hands-on, intensive semester working on business projects) so you can implement your learnings right away in a realistic context.
Also, we attract a diverse student body, not only in terms of nationality but also in terms of academic and professional background. We think that the learning experience, and business itself, thrives when built by unique perspectives and voices. There are over 75 different nationalities in the program, and 160 nationalities in our alumni network.
Finally, IE’s location in the heart of Madrid makes it a fantastic choice to spend a year. In addition to the beautiful weather and culture, Madrid is a key player in European business and home to the headquarters of many large companies looking for talent.
Are there any recent changes in the programs or in the admission process?
Keeping everyone safe and healthy is our number one priority, but we understand that planning for your future must continue. With this in mind, we have implemented an application process that is 100% online. Now we have made our entrance exam, the IE Global Admissions Test, available online and remotely across the world. In addition, besides accepting Toelf, Ielts, Pearsons Academic and Cambridge Advance now we also take Duolingo language certifications, available online, and interviews can be done through multiple video calling platforms like Zoom, Teams and Skype to name a few. In this way, the Admissions process is fully accessible no matter your location or situation.
Besides, we are excited to incorporate Liquid Learning, a transformational and interactive educational experience that mixes physical, digital, and natural environments so that students obtain a world-class education no matter their current location or situation. The approach is rigorous, adaptable, and agile, based on our pillars of practical case studies, class participation, group work, and mentorship.
We also are introducing a new Transformational Leadership Program where students can build and refine their skills as leaders in the 21st century. This program takes place concurrently with regular classes throughout the year, with modules such as Leading High Performing Teams, Authentic Communication, Creating a Leader Vision, and Agile Thinking. It also includes personal coaching to help each student reach their maximum potential as future leaders of the business world. IE has taken the initiative to design an engaging and personalized way to ensure that our IMBA graduates excel in these critical soft skills as well as the hard skills taught in class.
Finally, the program includes an optional extension, to reach up to 15 months: taking additional elective classes with the September 2021 intake, or studying abroad after graduation. In this way, students can expand their in-person experience and spend extra time on campus. In addition to enhancing your CV with additional classes and competencies, you´ll also meet another intake of students, further broadening your professional connections within the worldwide IE community.
Can you share some details about the atmosphere in the school? Between students, between students and faculty? How do students spend their free time?
It’s a very intense experience academically: students are obligated to spend a lot of time together. Friendships form quickly, and generally, people find a good balance between studies and social gatherings.
A great deal of classwork is done in groups, so the atmosphere is one of support and collaboration, with a touch of competitiveness too – working alongside such a talented student body means that your work must be up to par, which inspires teams to aim high.
Professors at IE are not just teachers, they’re also professionals with ample experience in corporations or their own companies. It’s easy to approach them after class and get to know them on a personal level, another excellent way to expand your professional network.
Can you share some details about the area the school is located in?
The main campus for the IMBA is in the center of Madrid, in a neighborhood called Barrio de Salamanca. It’s a residential and commercial area near Madrid’s central avenue, Paseo de la Castellana, the lifeline of the city. One of Madrid´s stunning urban parks, El Retiro, is just a short walk from campus. In addition, we will soon open a campus in the Cuatro Torres (Four Towers) the main business area in the city, where Madrid’s four (soon to be five) skyscrapers are home to some of the top companies in the city. Both locations are well connected to the professional and cultural heart of Madrid. IE’s third campus is in Segovia, a charming town about 45 minutes outside of Madrid, and most of IE’s undergraduate classes take place there.
Can you share some details regarding job opportunities and summer internships for students in your school?
Over 90% of our students are employed within 3 months of graduation. They end up in a wide variety of locations, roles, and industries, from finance and consulting and big multinationals to NGOs and startups. IE’s worldwide reputation provides graduates a leg up when applying to many positions.
One of the possibilities for the IMBA’s unique, practical Lab period is to find a 7-9 week professional internship as part of your degree. The Talent and Careers department is highly involved with the IMBA program from day one. Since it’s only a one-year program, we make sure that students are actively developing their professional profiles and skills so that they’re able to search for and secure jobs throughout the course. Some of the things they offer are personal and sector-specific career advisors, talent fairs, company presentations, and workshops.
What kind of candidates is the school looking for? Who will especially enjoy this school? Who will be a good fit to the school?
IE looks for innovators who are motivated to transform their communities and careers. We want people who think out of the box and are open to new experiences and ideas. Education needs to be more dynamic than ever to keep up with the pace of business, so we are looking for people who are ready to take on that challenge.
You will be a good fit and enjoy your time at IE if you are open-minded, driven, and creative. Students are expected to meet high levels of academic excellence while also offering unique added value based on their backgrounds. Our students have far-reaching professional ambitions, and IE is here to support them throughout their career.
Is there anything you’d like our candidates to know regarding the admissions process?
Remember that it is a holistic admissions process, so we evaluate your overall profile. Test scores, grades, additional certificates and strong professional experience are all very important. We require at least 3 years of full-time professional experience, as well as a competitive GPA and entrance exam. Besides, you’ll want to make sure you know about the program and how it can help you as a step in your career. When you leave our International MBA, you will be proficient in the fundamentals of business. You will also have the interpersonal skills and cultural intelligence to navigate the increasingly complex world of international business.
What’s more, you will have a foundation in entrepreneurial thinking, which you can use to bring meaningful change to the corporate world or a new venture. Since our program is flexible, think about how you can use that flexibility to meet your needs, and why you believe you are an agent of change, innovation and sustainability.