Tuesday Tips: IESE Fall 2019 MBA Essay Tips

IESE MBA essays

IESE is a world-class MBA program based in Spain, and started as an alliance with Harvard Business School. Last year the school announced a facilities upgrade to create “one of the most influential training centers in the world.” To learn more about international MBA program options, read our consultant advice: Why US Applicants Should Consider MBA Programs Abroad.

For MBA applicants, IESE is an opportunity for a global education in either 15 or 19 months for a full time MBA. IESE continues to rise in the rankings, achieving 11 in the Financial Times 2018 MBA list.

IESE attracts MBA students from over 64 different countries, giving applicants a truly global perspective. The case method and other experiential learning approaches are used to teach a core general management curriculum. Classes are taught in both English and Spanish.

IESE is looking for MBA applicants with academic ability, personal drive, confidence, leadership, work experience, international outlook, good communication skills, team player mentality and strong values. As you draft your essays, make sure to weave in these MBA attributes for your application.

For advising on your IESE application from top ranked MBA consultants, contact Stacy Blackman Consulting now.


How do you expect to be changed by your experience at IESE and what impact you would like to make after your MBA? (word limit 300 max)

When we researched why MBA candidates are successful, we noticed that strong stories get attention. You don’t have to be perfect, but you should be genuine and personal. Make sure the reader understands your true character. Read more insights from our team to help your MBA application.

This essay is asking you to get personal and talk about impact. It doesn’t need to be a long track record of volunteering, but it should be something that is meaningful to you. When you think about your MBA experience, what do you hope to gain personally from it? What will you take from IESE and share with your community and the world?

Perhaps you are looking to broaden your network and gain a global outlook, and you plan to bring that perspective back to your US based business and help to expand internationally. Or your impact will be in volunteerism or extracurriculars. Think about your community and what your experiences at IESE will teach you.

Looking at the attributes of a successful applicant, this essay can demonstrate that you have personal drive, international outlook and strong values.


What are your short and medium term post MBA career goals and how will IESE help you achieve them? (word limit 300 max)

Essay two focuses specifically on your career goals and why MBA. The admissions committee can see your resume within the application, so this essay should give the background of who you are and why you have made the choices you did. Think about one or two pivotal career moments you may want to explore.

Ideally, your experiences have led to a career goal that you can describe clearly. Be specific. If you want to go into venture capital after graduation, talk about the industry you would like to focus on. Maybe describe the products you like within that industry or any other details.

Then you will want explain why an MBA is your next step. What will you learn at IESE to complement your work experiences? What do you hope to gain from your classmates and the environment? Specific classes and professors are always useful detail to add.


I wish the admissions committee had asked me… (word limit 300 max)

This optional essay is entirely open ended and gives you an opportunity to explain any of the attributes you have not yet shown. Think about the stories you could tell about your background and questions that would be appropriate.

For example, you could say: “I wish the admissions committee had asked me about my most meaningful accomplishment” and describe a time when you achieved a goal. Or, for a more personal response, consider a question that asks you to introduce yourself to your classmates or describe a significant relationship in your life.

When you answer your own question make sure to include specific details to strengthen your story. Examples are always welcome. Describing lessons learned is also helpful background for your application.

Visit the IESE website to learn more about the program and application process.

With deadlines around the corner, you may be interested in the world-famous SBC Flight Test. Once a full set of application materials for your initial school have been drafted, but not finalized, the application will be sent to a former admissions committee member for a one-time review, adcomm style. You’ll have the benefit of a true admissions committee review while still having the ability to tinker and change.  You will receive written feedback within two business days after submitting.

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