China MBA Coffee Chat with Admissions and Alumni (Online)
IESE MBA. What Will You Learn?
The IESE MBA is your deep dive into global business. Delivered over 15 or 19 months, it offers a breadth and depth of knowledge and the option to gain hands-on international business experience across five continents. You customize your learning with a choice of electives, internships, international modules and exchange programs. The MBA will have a profound and lasting impact on your career and on your future.
During the program, you will strengthen your management skills, interact with executives from leading international companies, position your personal brand and hone your decision-making abilities.
You spend your first year building essential competencies and knowledge. Over the summer and in year two, you determine your own trajectory with access to international modules and exchange programs across five continents.
Program Timelines and Curriculum.
You want to make the most of every moment of your MBA. We have designed the Orientation Week to let you do just that. You will spend a week on campus in Barcelona getting to know your fellow classmates and engaging in team-building activities. You will meet your professors and be introduced to the case method, a cornerstone of your MBA. Your Orientation Week sets you up for the academic challenges that lie ahead and ensures that you and your classmates have a strong shared knowledge base.
Eight compulsory courses will make up the first term of your MBA.
- Analysis of Business Problems
In business, as in life, we are confronted by a wide array of problems and situations that require us to take action. But while some life problems are relatively straightforward or structured, in business most problems are not. They often involve economic, technical, and human issues and can be quite complex and/or unstructured. By definition, they do not have a single “correct” solution. Solving unstructured problems is much of what managers do.
- Capital Markets
Capital Markets is the first course in the Investment Curriculum at IESE. A half-credit course, it focuses on the foundations of financial markets. The course also introduces one of the most important sources of financing for companies and governments: public markets. A thorough understanding of the basics is important for any senior manager or aspiring one.
The mission of the Scale YOU – Personal efficiency and effectiveness program is to support and challenge the 350 first-year MBA students – all with diverse goals, stations in life, cultures, expectations and challenges – to design and bring to fruition unique plans architected to navigate a successful and collaborative educational experience at IESE, without all the stress that this often entails.
Emphasis is placed on providing practical tools and methods aimed at supporting individual needs. With this in mind, this course is hands-on and requires students to engage and collaborate with each other in real-time during each module/workshop.
- Decision Analysis
Making decisions is a crucial element of a manager’s job. Good decision-making matters. It matters to the decision-maker and his or her surroundings, to other people and to entire organizations. This course is designed to help you improve your ability to make good decisions by learning about the different elements of decisions and about how to structure and analyze them.
- Financial Accounting
The principal aim of this course is to help you better understand the financial information companies publish in financial reports such as annual accounts and prospectuses. The course explains the form and purpose of the three principal financial statements (balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements) and defines the key terms they contain. Students learn to interpret the information and to understand the limitations of financial accounting.
All students arrive to the MBA program after several years of challenging work experience. In most cases, however, this experience is based on individual performance, or working in small teams, and managing very few direct reports. This course will help students develop an understanding of the increasing complexity of leading and managing people at different levels of the organization. Combining theoretical, empirical, and practical frameworks, this class will provide the tools necessary for students to make meaningful contributions as leaders of people, teams, and organizations. The course is designed to address several fundamental aspects of managing and leading people in organizations, including understanding human behavior and work motivation, inspiring trust and commitment, managing interpersonal relationships and conflict, working in teams, developing talent and fostering a sense of mission in the organization.
- Marketing Management
As businesses become increasingly defined by networks of partnerships and by customers, the role of marketing is changing accordingly. Rather than simply responding to sales, marketing encompasses making sure that every aspect of the business is focused on delivering superior value to customers. As such, marketing management as a distinct business activity is responsible for providing expert information about the customer and keeping the rest of the networked organization aware. The skill of marketing is the skill to monitor customers, competitors, and collaborators, and to find in each domain a better way to design and deploy the firm’s capabilities to serve customers profitably. In this way, marketing helps to set a firm’s strategic direction. This role takes different forms at different levels of the organization. At the corporate level, marketing informs defining the business the company is in and helps determine the mission, scope, shape, and structure of the firm. Here, some of the major responsibilities are to assess the attractiveness of alternative markets, to promote customer orientation, and to develop the firm’s overall value proposition. At this level, the role of marketing as a culture is evident. At the business level, the key issue is how to compete in the chosen business. This is achieved by segmenting the market and, after a careful analysis of competitors and selected customers, selecting a distinguishing position. Finally, at the operational level, the familiar issues related to the marketing mix need to be resolved. The first, and arguably most important, element of the marketing mix is product/service selection (within the chosen market). A second critical element is price (for individual products and lines, while accounting for discounts, special conditions, promotions, etc.). Next come decisions regarding the distribution systems, i.e., the design and control of channels of distribution, through which our products and services arrive to the ultimate users. These decisions involve addressing “going to market” issues such as sales force, agents and partners. Finally, market communications decisions include components such as print and television advertising, direct mail, trade shows, point-of-sale merchandise displays, sampling, and telemarketing. Each level of strategy and each dimension of marketing must be developed in the context of the preceding level, with the final implementation founded in a sound formulation at all levels. To complete the picture, marketing objectives and strategies have to be formulated taking into account the firm’s core competencies as well as its resource limitations.
- Career General Preparation
You will take seven intense courses during the second term and consolidate core competencies.
- Business Ethics
Why do incredibly intelligent people do incredibly stupid things? What are the most frequent dynamics associated with corporate fraud and corruption? What should be done to avoid mobbing or discrimination in organizations? And how can organizational crises be prevented and eventually resolved? On a more positive note, how can companies create a culture that fosters personal and professional development? How do companies contribute to the development of the societies in which they operate? How do they contribute to alleviating global problems and promoting sustainable development? This course will address these questions through case discussions, lectures, and the presentations of guest speakers.
- Managerial Accounting
This course offers a comprehensive introduction to designing, interpreting, and using financial and non-financial information to manage organizations and drive value creation. The tools covered in the course are relevant to most areas, from marketing to operations to human resources. Through a series of cases and lectures, you develop critical concepts and frameworks, discuss their usefulness and limitations, and practice with the relevant tools and techniques. Consistent with IESE’s general management perspective, we will often take a cross-functional perspective and embed the concepts and tools of the course within the greater context of the firm, its strategy, its structure and its stakeholder relations. Most importantly, we will identify likely applications to your career as a manager and a leader in your organization and society. The class balances quantitative and qualitative aspects, reflecting the reality of organizations, where managers have to combine these two perspectives. The relevant numbers will be reviewed to ensure that everyone’s preparation leads to a comparable set of information, but the core of the class will be devoted to evaluating the management implications of the analysis. The reason is simple: numbers are just an input to management, and as a leader you need to know how to get the numbers, but more importantly, you must understand what they mean for the management of the organization. Managing organizations is about people. While having the right information and knowing how to interpret it is important, this course emphasizes the behavioral implications of using this information, and we will devote significant time to these issues.
- Marketing Planning and Implementation
In the first term, Marketing Management was devoted to the analysis and discussion of the individual elements that are relevant to the design of a marketing plan. It included cases and lectures related to the analytical requirements for positioning: consumer behavior, market segmentation and differentiation. It also studied in some depth the mix elements of product and pricing. In the second term, you will continue the process started in the first term, exploring the implementation of marketing decisions.
- Operational Finance
This course will enable you to analyze the financial statements of a company, to give a diagnosis of the company’s financial situation, and to propose remedial actions when required.
- Operations Management
Operations Management is about finding better ways of doing things in a company to be able to deliver value to customers while achieving sustainable profits. In fact, creating better or new ways of operating has been central to some of the greatest business success stories: think of Wal-Mart’s cross-docking distribution system, Dell’s build-to-order model, or Zara’s ultra-responsive replenishment system.
- Business Analytics
Data is everywhere in today’s business world, and more and more business decisions are data-driven. This course covers the essentials of data analysis for business problems and familiarizes the students with the key concepts behind leveraging data for business decisions. We will work with data from a variety of sources, including human resources management, customer relationship management, and sales forecasting.
- Digital Transformation of Organizations and Markets
Every company is now a software company,” said Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, at the Mobile World Congress in 2019. CEOs of companies across diverse industries, from automotive to banks to retail to healthcare, have made similar statements in recent years. Discounting the hype, this signals a significant shift in the role that digital technologies play in today’s business. Long gone the days when technology was a mere support function, developed and managed by the IT department. Whatever industry, company, or role you may find yourself after completing the MBA, you will likely become involved in digital transformation projects aimed at helping the company survive and thrive in the world where the boundary between physical and digital is increasingly disappearing.
Term three takes you through five core courses.
- Competitive Strategy
General managers are responsible for the success of the organizations they lead. To achieve this result, one of the critical tasks of the executive team is to formulate a successful business strategy. In this course, we will focus on the formulation of the strategy for the business of a firm. Competitive strategy formulation involves analyzing the industry you are in, determining how to position your firm within the competitive business environment, and developing the capabilities to be successful. Other important facets of strategic management, such as corporate strategy (how to successfully combine different businesses) and strategy execution (the steps to translate a formulated business strategy into action) are not covered in depth in this class, but rather are offered as electives in the second year. Several other second-year courses build on this capstone course in competitive strategy, such as Competitive Dynamics, Industry and Competitive Analysis, Strategy in Luxury Goods Industries, Managing Corporate Growth, Globalization and Strategy, Strategy and Sustainability, Strategy Execution and Organizational Change, Responsible Investment, Day- to-Day of a General Manager, Management of Family Businesses, and Boards of Directors.
- Corporate Finance
In this course, we will look at corporate long-term financing. The ultimate goal of corporations is to undertake profitable projects (e.g., a plant expansion) and finance them efficiently (e.g. issuing debt or equity). The time and uncertainty of investment payoffs make these problems non-trivial and essential for long-term success. Corporate Finance answers the following questions: How can we value and choose projects? How should corporations obtain financing? What is the value of a company? How much value does a specific strategy add to the firm? The aim of this course is to give you a framework to understand these issues in theory and in practice. We will see how to apply discounted cash flow methodologies to value firms, stocks, corporate bonds and risky projects. You will use the CAPM model to estimate a firm’s cost of equity, and learn how to estimate the weighted average cost of capital (WACC). You will analyze the impact of the firm’s capital structure to its value. You will discuss whether firms should reinvest their profits or pay out dividends to their shareholders. Lastly, you will apply these methods to consider the value created (or destroyed) by several types of financial transactions (MBOs, IPOs, M&As, etc.).
- Fundamentals of Entrepreneurial Management
This integrative capstone course is based on the insight that in today’s business environment, entrepreneurial management skills are key for general managers and entrepreneurs alike. The course introduces cutting-edge materials – tools, frameworks, perspectives – that allow you to acquire the basics of entrepreneurial management. At the same time, it encourages you to adopt a holistic perspective on building new businesses, and asks you to synthesize and apply what you have learned so far in the program.
- Operations Strategy
In 1996, Wickham Skinner of Harvard Business School declared:“We have too many specialists and too few men and women who can design a coherent set of manufacturing policies and keep them coherent in dynamic, changing competition, technologies, and economics.” The previous decades were full of buzzwords that turned out to be just that: in the 1980s, “strategic diversification” and “synergies” (e.g., Daimler-Benz and its venture into aerospace); in the 1990s, “disintermediation” (e.g., Webvan, Kozmo, etc.); and in the 2000s, the decade of “irrational exuberance” (e.g., the total market volume of financial services was a multiple of the “real” economy). Throughout these decades, companies that did not follow the crowd (e.g., “shareholder-value” bandwagon) were often frowned upon and criticized for being overly cautious. Since the beginning of the great financial crisis of 2008, organizations with a stringent focus on adapting their core competencies to the needs of their customers have not only survived the crisis, but are doing extremely well. Many of these companies have one thing in common: small profit margins that force them to think very carefully about any “big” ideas. Closely linked to this process of adapting their business to customers’ needs is the question of operations strategy: operations management is about how an organization does things within a given framework of assets, while operations strategy is about how it makes the most intelligent use of its assets and resources to support its business strategy.
- Global Economics
This introductory economics course develops an analytical framework to help you understand the environment in which firms operate.
At IESE, you will be encouraged to make the most of every moment, including your summer break. Between June and August, you have the chance to pursue one of three distinct options depending on your objectives:
Students doing the 19-month format
Gain experience working in the sector of your choice.
Take the opportunity to explore new sectors, companies, or roles anywhere in the world. If you are interested in changing the direction of your career, this is a perfect opportunity to try out something different.
The corporate internship lends a truly international dimension to your MBA. You will have the chance to gain important experience and build real connections that can lead to job offers.
Why wait until graduation to get your project off the ground?
Entrepreneurship is a core element of the IESE MBA and this is a practical opportunity for you to concentrate your efforts on your enterprise. Whether you have an idea or a project that is already well developed, spend your summer taking it closer to fruition with the full support of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center.
The IESE Summer Entrepreneurship Experience provides our MBAs with the opportunity to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions. It is a forum for students to productively use their summer to further develop their entrepreneurial projects, and it enables students to test out the entrepreneurial career path.
IESE Summer Entrepreneurship Experience
Who is this program for?
1. Students who are already committed to being entrepreneurs, who have a broad (or specific) idea of the opportunity and want to work on it during the summer (Track 1).
2. Students who want to become entrepreneurs after the MBA but do not have a concrete opportunity to pursue. They are willing to join a team: a student team or an external team facilitated by IESE, that is looking for ways to commercialize a high-potential innovative product/service (Track 2).
When does it take place?
The intensive part of the Experience on campus is from the second half of June until the end of July. In August, you will continue to work off-campus and will report on your project¹s economic feasibility during the first half of September. You will have an opportunity to continue your work as part of a 2nd year elective NAVEI (New Ventures).
How does it work?
The Summer Entrepreneurship Experience has two tracks to cater to the needs of the above-mentioned student profiles. In Track 1, students will pursue their own projects (individually or in teams). These projects can be in any field of business. In Track 2, students will have the opportunity to work with carefully selected external teams and opportunities in sectors with high growth potential. During the Experience, students will work on different aspects of their business opportunity according to tailored plans that they develop along with entrepreneurship faculty. Although our focus is practical, the six weeks will be divided into three academic modules of two weeks (such as ideation; market and industry analysis; and prototyping or demand testing) corresponding to the needs of the student and project. Each week will consist of two days of on-campus sessions and the rest will be hands-on practical work as per the objectives of each student / team. On-campus sessions will consist of informative sessions by faculty and guest speakers, workshops, one-on-one project monitoring, mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs and investors, and off-campus trips to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.
How can I enroll in the program?
Students will apply for this program during the 3rd term of the 1st year. Faculty members from the Entrepreneurship Department evaluate all applications and make the final selection of the participants.
Learn the practicalities of how business skills can bring benefits to nonprofits.
If part of your career plan is to do good by doing well, you should consider spending your summer break at a world-class non-profit organizations.
Do you want to sample life at Wharton or Yale? What about a term at London Business School or HEC Paris? Or perhaps you’d like to experience what business is like in China, Australia, India or Latin America?
You can opt to spend the first semester of Year 2 at world-leading business schools spanning five continents. This is your chance to deepen your global perspective, broaden your horizons and build your international experience.
You can take a one or two-week module at another IESE campus or at an allied business schools on four other continents. An intensive and highly impactful experience, the international modules give you an unparalleled insight into diverse business environments and cultures.
- Mexico City
- Shenzhen & Hong Kong
- New York
- São Paulo
Drill deeper into your business interests by choosing from 130-plus different electives those that best reflect your own career plan. Each course has been carefully crafted to give you an essential, unique and interlocking perspective on general business management.
During the elective courses, you can choose specific courses* in the following categories to earn a concentration along with your MBA diploma.
- Sao Paulo: Marketing in Latin America and Doing Business in Brazil
- Mexico: Doing Business in Mexico
- China: Doing Business in the GBA
- New York: Framing the Future of Global Finance
- India: Inside India
- Nairobi: African Experience
- Emerging Economies
- International Management
- Strategy and Geopolitics
- Cross Cultural Negotiation
- Managing Global Economies
- Corporate Finance in Emerging Markets
- ESG and Impact Investment
- International Financial Management
- Merger & Acquisitions
- Personal Finance
- Real Estate Investments
- Corporate Restructuring
- Sustainable Finance
- Value Investing
- Pricing and Revenue Analytics
- The Rising of Fintech
Tech, Data Analytics & Digital Business
- Data Science for Business
- Digital-Driven Organizations
- Digital Commerce
- Managerial Decision Models
- MarTech: Data, Technology and Business
- Machine Learning
- Python Bootcamp for Data Analysis
- Digital Business Models
- New Technologies and Scenario Planning
- Web scraping
- Social Media Analytics
Entrepreneurship & Innovation
- Business Model Innovation
- Corporate Entrepreneurship
- Creativity & Laboratory of Ideas
- Design Thinking and Innovation
- Entrepreneurial Finance
- Innovation Strategy
- New Ventures
- Sustainable Entrepreneurship
- Acquisitions & Search Funds
- Managing Social Ventures
- Venture Capital & Private Equity
Sustainability & Responsible Business
- What is Business for?
- Cities in Motion
- Corporate Governance
- Leading the Energy Transition
- ESG Risk Management
- ESG and Impact Investment
- Strategies for Impact
- Managing Social Ventures
- Strategic Board Governance
- Strategy and Sustainability
- Social Impact & Sustainability
* Subject to changes. Illustrative list of courses offered as of April 2023.
The Executive Simulation EXSIM (TFM)
The Executive Simulation (EXSIM) program at IESE offers students a unique opportunity to live managerial situations with a corporate board, providing a real-life experience without the need to leave the classroom. Through interactive engagements with actual board members, including those from banks, trade unions, and corporate boards, participants gain valuable insights into board dynamics and enhance their ability to think on their feet.
EXSIM is a week-long course designed specifically for students enrolled in one of IESE’s MBA programs. Its primary aim is to create realistic managerial scenarios that enable students to acquire new knowledge through a hands-on approach to learning. Since these scenarios typically fall outside the scope of their current professional activities due to their relative youth, students learn by immersing themselves in anticipated work conditions.
Top international faculty
IESE’s faculty includes full-time and part time professors. All full-time professors have PhDs from prestigious universities. They are also highly international, representing more than 20 nationalities, and bring vast relevant expertise from the highest levels of business. Faculty members combine real-world experience with pioneering academic insights.
IESE professors have an “open-door” policy and provide you with invaluable mentoring and guidance. They cultivate rich exchanges of ideas that make the most of the combined experience in your classroom.
The Case Method at IESE
In 1963, Harvard Business School formed an alliance with IESE Business School by adopting the famous case method learning methodology. Over the years, IESE professors began writing their own cases, making their own impact and becoming thought leaders in their own right.
These are some examples of how the case method is applied in IESE:
- You will engage in dynamic discussions about the business challenges you face on a daily basis.
- You will combine individual learning, team discussions and dialogue in an interdisciplinary plenary session.
- The lecturer will facilitate and guide the debate, encouraging everyone’s participation to enrich the discussion with different points of view and experiences.
Read more about the case method and a few examples used in IESE classes of real cases from leading companies.
Global Leadership Series
Meet some of the global leaders who have helped shape the world of business and politics. Our keynote speakers include former prime ministers, vice presidents, CEOs and chairs of multinationals. You will have the opportunity to meet these leaders and discuss their experience personally with them.
MBA Case Competition
As business becomes more global and distances shorter, IESE has taken the initiative to unite future business leaders from Europe, North America and Asia in an event that fosters learning, sharing of ideas, and a healthy dose of competition.
The International MBA Case Competition began at IESE Business School in 1995 and has become an anticipated annual event. The competition, jointly sponsored by IESE and Roland Berger, brings together bright minds from the world’s leading MBA business schools.
Participants chosen to represent their schools will have a unique opportunity to work towards a business solution on a relevant and current case, an exercise which simulates the reality of a career in consulting.
Experienced consultants from Roland Berger will coach the teams during the competition and give valuable advice on developing analysis and preparing a convincing presentation. Finally, the participants will present their results in front of a jury of top-class business representatives.
But it is not all about competition: Participating teams will also have the great opportunity to network with international MBA students from renown business schools and Roland Berger employees from various offices as well as to enjoy the wonderful city of Barcelona together.
The IESE Experience
At IESE, you’ll be surrounded by talented peers, supported by a world-class faculty, and challenged by real-life business cases. We’ll put you to the test so that you can reach your full potential.
Discover the benefits of the IESE experience.