Tuesday Tips: IESE MBA Essays and Tips for 2021-2022
IESE Business School offers a world-class MBA program based in Spain, which started as an alliance with Harvard Business School. The IESE MBA program attracts students from more than 64 different countries and offers a globally-minded education in either 15 or 19 months.
The IESE MBA ranking and brand continues to rise. In fact, The Economist crowned IESE the number-one full-time MBA program in the world in 2021. To teach its core general management curriculum, the school uses both the Case Method and other experience-based learning approaches. (Instruction takes place in both English and Spanish.)
You can learn more about the allure of international MBA program options by reading our consultant advice: Why US Applicants Should Consider MBA Programs Abroad.
IESE is looking for MBA applicants with academic ability, personal drive, and confidence. Also, your IESE MBA application should include leadership, work experience, and an international outlook.
Make sure you show you have excellent communication skills, a team player mentality, and strong values. As you draft your IESE MBA essays, remember to weave these attributes into your MBA application.
Application Essay #1
Who do you admire the most and why? Help us to understand who has played a pivotal role in shaping you to be the person you are or the person you aspire to be. Please provide specific examples of how they have shaped or inspired you. (word limit 300 max)
Through our years of experience with successful MBA candidates, we have witnessed the power of strong, attention-grabbing personal stories. You don’t have to be perfect, but you should be genuine and personal. This set of IESE MBA essays starts with a very personal prompt.
As you describe the person you admire the most, you are describing your values. For example, admiring an accomplished leader demonstrates that leadership is important to you. Or maybe you admire someone who has built a business or foundation from nothing. Whoever you choose to describe, make sure you are specific about the aspects of their story that resonate with you.
Your true character will be revealed as you describe the person you admire most. To help the reader along, describe the person you are or hope to be. Then, explain the aspects of your admired person that have inspired you.
In this time of pivotal change, think about the values you want to convey. Does your admired person work to make the world a better place? Or, maybe they are a strong inspirational leader. Do you see yourself continuing to be as impactful?
Application Essay #2
What are your post-MBA career goals right after graduation and five years after? What kind of resources or opportunities offered by IESE will help you achieve them? (word limit 300 max)
Essay two focuses specifically on your short and long-term career goals and why IESE. 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 your choices. 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 in both the short and long term. In other words, be specific. For example, if you want to go into venture capital after graduation, talk about the industry you would like to focus on. Then, discuss what progress you envision after five years in venture capital. Further, if you see yourself starting a fund or becoming an industry leader, describe that path.
Then, you will want to explain why an MBA is your next step. What will you learn in the IESE MBA program to complement your work experiences? Will your classmates and the environment benefit from your expertise? Specific classes and professors are always useful details to add.
What would you like to highlight about yourself or your journey which may have not been captured in your application? (word limit 300 max)
This optional essay is entirely open-ended and allows you to explain anything additional. Therefore, think about the stories you could tell about your background and questions to describe your journey.
If you focused on your career in the previous questions, this is a great essay to tell a personal story. For example, you could describe your background and motivations that have led to your accomplishments. Or, you could discuss a challenge in your life that has built character and impacted your life journey. Finally, make sure to include specific details to strengthen your story.
Also, to track this essay to the IESE MBA criteria, you could use this space to demonstrate that you have personal drive, an international outlook, and strong values.