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Getting Accepted to IESE Business School, University of Navarra

Located in Barcelona at the main campus of the University of Navarra is the IESE Business School. IESE has five campuses spread across culturally rich cities like Barcelona (main campus), New York, Madrid, Sao Paulo, and Munich.

Ranked 13 on the Financial Times Business School Rankings offers only graduate programs. The flagship full-time MBA program at IESE lasts 15-19 months and has a strong focus on Entrepreneurship.

The second year of the IESE MBA program provides students with a Global Exchange Program and an Overseas Module, giving them global business exposure.

A student from IESE’s class of 2016 explains the student experience, “Orientation Week was our “red carpet entrance” to the IESE world. The first week of classes was fun: there were no “first-day-at-school” feelings. Any lingering doubt vanished. Our seats were assigned. Our teams were built. Our professors were experts. IESE’s case method was effective (and demanding). Our free time was short. Suddenly, day by day, we were having all sorts of lessons.”

The IESE MBA experience, as told by students and faculty, is a collaborative and team-work focused education.

IESE Cost of Attendance 2021

Expense  Shared Student Housing Living Alone Living with Families
Housing € 600 € 800 € 1,150
Utilities € 50 € 100 € 100
Mobile & Internet € 50 € 100 € 100
Lunch at IESE € 250 € 250 € 250
Groceries € 250 € 250 € 300
Insurance € 120
Transportation € 80 € 80 € 130
Sports € 60 € 60 € 100
Entertainment € 160 € 160 € 100
Total per month € 1,500 € 1,800 € 2,450

IESE Application Process 2021

Application Checklist Requirement
Essay Questions The application consists of the following questions:

If you had to come up with a motto for your life, what would it be and why? Please give an example of how you have demonstrated it (word limit 300 max)

Describe your short and medium-term post-MBA goals? How will the IESE MBA help you achieve them? (word limit 300 max)

What would you like to highlight about yourself or your journey which may have not been captured in your application? (word limit 300 max)

Professional Resume A current professional resume must be attached to the application.
Letters of Recommendation Each applicant must submit one LOR a current supervisor, or a professional acquaintance who can add value to your candidacy. 
Transcripts The applicant must provide unofficial (scanned) transcripts from all of their post-secondary (post-high school) educational institutes. Official copies are requested only post-acceptance into the MBA course.
GMAT/GRE The applicant must report their valid (no less than 5 years old) GMAT/GRE score on the application. 

GMAT: S21-BK-12

GRE: 6951

TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Every applicant whose language of instruction for undergraduate/post-graduate degree was not English is required to submit valid TOEFL/IELTS/PTE scores during the application process.
Application Fee USD 200

IESE Application Deadlines 2021


Round Application
Decision Notification
Early Decision Round September 1, 2020 October 23, 2020
R1 October 6, 2020 December 12, 2020
R2 January 5, 2021 March 23, 2021
R3 March 10, 2021 May 24, 2021
R4 May 4, 2021 June 18, 2021

What does the IESE admissions committee look for?

Personal Drive and Confidence

Every business school wants a student who is motivated to work hard to reach their career goals. IESE isn’t any different.

The IESE admissions committee expects its MBA students to be motivated enough to seek out opportunities and confidence enough to follow through and succeed.

The school has a great track record of placing students at some of the best organizations in the world. Their alumni include notable names such as Google’s Country Manager for Spain and Portugal Fuencisla Clemares, Calvin Klein’s CEO Steve Shiffman, and many more.

The IESE Spain student needs to believe in their capability to join the list of notable alumni.

Leadership and Team-player mentality

An IESE MBA isn’t just expected to have personal drive and confidence but should also be able to get the best out of the resources they have, like a team.

A leader isn’t someone who can simply delegate, supervise, and course-correct those reporting to them. a leader is someone who can be a part of the team when needed and can still have the command to persuade other and reconcile differences in visions within their team.

While writing your IESE Spain essays, sharing instances where you were able to showcase both these qualities together would be a good experience to share.

Global and Entrepreneurial mindset

Amongst the core values of the IESE Spain program are a global and entrepreneurial mindset. An applicant must portray both these qualities to show their fit with IESE.

The school has an Entrepreneurship Portal which provides advice, networks, funding, and research to help budding entrepreneurs. However, Entrepreneurs aren’t created in an MBA classroom.

Thus showing an entrepreneurial mindset through your MBA profile, and then explaining how IESE’s focus on entrepreneurship can help your inner entrepreneur flourish.

Keeping in theme with its European counterpart, IESE also focuses on a global perspective throughout their MBA program. The idea is to create leaders of the world. IESE alumni are expected to create impact across countries, industries, and functions.

Thus, sharing any international exposure, and your learnings from the same can be really beneficial to your chances at cracking IESE.

Read Also:

4 important steps to follow to strengthen your MBA application

Top 3 Mistakes MBA applicants make while looking at business school rankings

For over 15+ years as an Entrepreneur, and India’s Top Educationist, Jatin has led a range of initiatives in the Education Industry. In this role, he has created many successful educational services and products geared towards generating success for professionals aspiring to join IVY League and global Top Tier Universities for MBA Programs, Masters Programs, and undergraduate courses. He is the Founder and CEO of PythaGURUS Education, and has been recognized as a thought leader in the Higher education sector. Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Times of India, India Today, Business Today, Tribune, and many other national newspapers have recognized his work, and have given him numerous opportunities to be a regular columnist. He has also served as a panelist for NDTV, and other national news channels.

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