This week, 40 companies from the worlds of finance, tech, retail and others flocked to IESE’s Barcelona campus to hunt for the best in MBA talent. The business school is hosting the likes of Amazon, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, Microsoft, Nike, and Morgan Stanley – to name a few of those participating.
Over the three days of the MBA Career Forum, businesses are engaging in personal interviews, conferences and meetings with fresh graduates, as well as taking part in 22 networking events. This gathering is just one of the career development resources offered at IESE, which are regarded well within the industry. When they recently ranked IESE’s the best MBA in Europe, The Economist particularly called out the quality of the career services.
“We take a people centered approach because it’s aligned with our values,” says Nico Van Den Brink, MBA Career Services director. “High levels of interaction, and high ratio of personnel in the department to students.”
This approach certainly seems to be effective. As evidenced in the employment report to be published soon, 91% of IESE MBAs found work within three months of completing their program, and 61% were employed within Europe.
“This year we’ve completely overhauled the whole curriculum to focus a lot on career management,” explains Van Den Brink. “We offer a complete program for students to prepare for their job hunt, and specific preparation for the industry they want to go into”.
Going beyond CV writing and coaching, services offered include career labs, career forums – two in Barcelona and then three jointly with other business schools, both intra and inter business school case competitions, support of clubs and sector specific treks.
Taking advantage of solutions offered by the digitization of learning, “there is an online part of the prep, so MBAs can make a start before they’ve even set foot on campus,” says Van Den Brink.
But a crucial feature of careers management at IESE is the way in which it is tailored by sector There are different ‘tracks’ you can take, depending on whether you plan to go into banking, consulting or retail. MBAs have the opportunity of going on ‘treks’, where they visit companies within their chosen sector, proving a great chance for highly targeted networking.
Conversely, at this week’s forum, it is the big corporations that are coming to the campus rather than vice versa. The event enables companies to be efficient due to the potential to interview and network with a host of students in one go. But the really great thing about the Career Forum, says Van Den Brink, is that it is three whole days when MBAs are fully dedicated to the job hunt, with no classes programmed.
International companies based all over the world will be connecting with graduates at this week’s forum. But, next month, MBAs will have the opportunity to focus in on the leading companies from South America intending to snap up candidates for their full-time or summer internship positions.
Hosted at IESE Barcelona, the Latin America MBA Career Fair is a joint initiative with INSEAD and London Business School. Now in its fourth edition, the fair was conceived at a time when Latin America became increasingly important as a region for business, and more and more students began turning back there for their career development.