Monday, January 23, 2006


information for prospective students to IESE

The following is an edited version of my emails to some prospective students from non-EU countries which others may find useful as well. It was helpful for me when I received such kind of information when I was applying last year.

Social culture: I felt that the class might be a little too european and the country difficult to live in - in terms of language etc. But your blog seems to suggest you are doing just fine. I'm a little introverted myself, so socialising might be a tad more difficult for me. What do you think?

It is very international, many Europeans, many Americans(US), South Americans but not many Asians except few Indians and Japanese and one Nepali (in MBA 2007).
Yes it is important to know Spanish to get around in Spain but they have intensive Spanish course as part of MBA if you are interested in learning a new and "very important" language. I took it more as a challenge than a hurdle. I know many "not so extrovert" people in IESE who are doing fine, so you should be fine.

Career in finance: It is pretty clear that non-EU citizens find jobs in london. How difficult is it turning out to be? How have other non-EU citizens in your batch fared in their internship hunt?

For banking jobs in London, non-EU citizenship is not a problem. It may be a problem for consulting jobs which are mostly located in countries where you also need a second language like Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch,French, etc. I know friends from US, India, Russia, Brazil and
Hondurus who have got internships in banks this year.

Financing studies: It's nice that IESE has an assured loan that covers full tuition fee. But I need funding for my living expenses as well! What other loans have non-EU citizens taken? Can't seem to find any other loan made available through IESE. This is a BIG CONCERN for me. Need to be assured of a loan for living expenses. All my other applications are to universities that provide for this. Of course, I'm looking at options from my home country. But bank loans from my country have very high interest rates.

Yes, this is the bitter part. I wish they had it too. Many of my friends from your country have taken educational loan to cover their living expenses.


How is the class profile andhow international is the student & faculty body? How is the learning experience ?
The class profile is very international. We have students from more than 40 countries, I believe. There are many students from US, Europe,Mexico and Latin America and only few from Asia (except India and Japan). One of the reasons there are many from Mexico and Latin America is because the language in Spain is also Spanish like in their countries. There is also a section in which the classes are taught in Spanish (although I think this is going to be discontinued from next year).The faculty is also very international. I do not know the numbers but it should be in IESE website. Many of the professors are IESE alumni and have PhD from leading schools in the US.

How is the student and work life in spain ? any language barrier ? cultural barrier ? any other barrier ?
Student life is fantastic here. I do not know how the work life is as I haven't worked in Spain. If you do not know Spanish, language will be barrier for you.Learn as much Spanish as you can before you come to IESE (if you decide to). I still regret on why I didn't spend more time taking Spanish classes in Nepal before I came here. There is not much culture barrier, Spanish people are very friendly and smiling all the time. Not to mention Spanish girls are generally considered hot (matters more if you are single). :)

How is the job market post mba in spain ? How is it in other western european
countries/latin america ?How soon can we hope to bag a good job ? any
constraints to bag jobs for foreigners ? any work visa problems ?
Job market after IESE is good if you like to be a banker. Most of the banking jobs are based in London and you won't need a second language besides English for most of the banking jobs. Almost all the top investment banks come here for recruiting. Most of the top consulting firms also come to campus. However if you like to go to management consulting but if you don't have a second language like Spanish, German, Dutch or French, it may be difficult to get in as most of the positions are for European countries where the language of the target country is a must to have. I do not know of many people going to consulting in Asia orUS from IESE.

Lots of pharmaceutical companies come here as well. But if you want to work in "industry", IESE doesn't seem to be as strong as it is with banking and consulting. But it could also be because the companies in industry don't generally have formal MBA hiring programs and they generally start late (Its only January now). If you need to work in other countries besides UK, I think work visa could be a problem. In UK they have this program where MBAs from top 50 schools can work without permit for the first year. I think they take Financial Times Global ranking as their basis. IESE comes around 12th or so in the FT worldwide ranking. In rest of the countries, I believe it depends on how "big name" the company is you will be working for. Many of my classmates are now in the process of confirming summer internships with investment banks and management consulting firms and some are going through final rounds of selection process.

How reputed is IESE outside spain/europe ? How strong is the alumni
network ?
IESE is extremely popular in Europe, alongside INSEAD and LBS. But unfortunately, it is not much popular in US or Asia. I myself didn't know about IESE until last year. But it seems like the latest Economist ranking of IESE as number one may have helped strengthen the IESE "brand" in Asia,especially India. Being such a wonderful school, I do not know why it is not very popular outsideEurope. Alumni network is quite strong. I have encountered them mostly as recruiters from banks and consulting firms. They said they really loved their time in IESE and they seemed to be keen in helping IESE in whatever way they can. In the entrepreneurship area, the alumni network is even stronger, specially in Spain.

I read that IESE has tieups with Banco sabadell for
offering loans to International students. How does the process works and
how easy is to get the loan ? Any other financial aid ?
Banco Sabadell loan is a guaranteed loan, as far as I know. They might have something in fine print, but I don't know of anyone who is rejected. So if you are admitted, you can have the loan to cover tuition expenses. Just to be in the safe side, apply for the loan as soon as you are offered admission. You should know whether your loan application was approved in a week or so. They also have some half tuition scholarships.

Admission Tips: Read Richard Montauk's "How to Get Into the Top MBA Programs" book. It was extremely helpful for me.You should be aware that IESE is a "general management" MBA program unlike LBS which is considered to be focused on "Finance".

I don't have any words to express the gratitude for providing such useful information for prospective students.

Muchas gracias!
It is indeed very generous of you to provide such valuable information to prospective MBA students. I have been working as an engineer for more than eight years now and lately I have been thinking about my long term career outlook. I do not mind being an engineer but I feel that it has not been rewarding enough for me to continue as a career. I have considered MBA as an option but not sure how I would fit in to the bussiness world if I don't have enough financial background. Furthermore, I feel that I may not have enough "bussiness attitude" to become an investment banker. I suppose I may have to consider other career avenues. Spending two years in bussiness school without having a clear goal may not be wise.
However, MBA does seem like an attractive path.
Thank you again.
Pradeep, your blog's been extremely informative, especially for someone like me, who's attending the MBA program starting Sept 2006. Hope to meet you in person soon! Cheers
p.s. would you mind if I put a link to your blog from mine?
Thank you. "Hay no problema" in putting a link of my blog in yours.
It is great to know that you have already accepted the offer from IESE. Yes I look forward to seeing you soon. Please let me know if you are coming here before September. Just checked your blog and found out that you were already here a week or two earlier. Next time, you should let me know.

Dear Anonymous,
I had no financial background. I learnt about "Balance Sheet" for the first time in my Financial Accounting class in the first semester. And in the summer I will be working for a bank. Moral of the story: don't give up just because you do not have a financial background.

Your blog is indeed a valuable source of information for us, prospective students. I would like to thank you too...

About the financing part, don't you know any student who have received a scholarship?

I myself was lucky to be awarded an IESE alumni scholarship to cover 50% of my tuition fees. I know 2 others who have received the same. I don't know the fourth one.

Hi! I love what your wrote. the information is so helpful. i will be applying to iese next year. i am,however, quite hesitant since i am under the impression that they take in people who are more focused on finance. im currently the training manager for a business process outsourcing company but i do have 4.5(out of 9) years work experience in investments. I graduated BS Management. do you think my profile would (not considering the actual application and gmat scores) be acceptable or should i start focusing on another business school?

thanks so much!
Pradeep, your blog has been really helpful for incoming students such as myself. I have a few questions however that i was wondering I could ask you about. Is there an email address you could be reached on ?
Hi Vikram, Sorry for getting back this late. I am doing the catch up game now. Please email me at . My firstname is pradeep and my last name is paudyal .

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?