MBA application tips

If you’re considering returning to school after a few years in the professional world, you know the decision requires serious reflection. And committing to the business school admissions process is one of the bigger steps on your MBA journey.

MBA admission tips

Here are some tips and guidelines to have in mind while approaching the MBA application process.

Consider this a two-way street

Applying to an MBA program is a process of you and the admissions committee getting to know each other and, ultimately, an opportunity for self-discovery.

Take the time to reflect on your own motivations in applying to a specific business school. A good application will demonstrate clarity, honesty, self-awareness and maybe even a sense of humor. You must have many stories that you can share. It’s up to you to choose the ones that present a consistent image of who you are, what you have accomplished and what you want to achieve.

We hope you enjoy getting to know yourself as much as a business school like IESE enjoys getting to know you.

Distill what’s really important

This is where you can show your personality, motivation and values. Now, we as a business school understand that expressing all of this in a few hundred words might seem a tall order. But it may help you to view this as an opportunity to drill down on what it is that makes you, well, you.

Ultimately, we want to get to know you beyond the cold data that makes up the rest of your application. We hope you’re encouraged to show your personality!

Prepare your essay

MBA applications come loaded with numbers and stats. The essay section is your chance to tell your story beyond test scores, grades and career achievements. Essay questions will vary by school and admissions year, but there are a few questions to ask yourself to help prepare for just about any essay topic that comes your way.

Ask yourself the following:

  • What makes me unique? In what ways have I broken the mold that my CV might not reveal?
  • How do my personal and/or professional experiences make me the right fit for this business school, rather than any business school?
  • What are some concrete examples of my demonstrating true leadership? And how do I communicate them with passion and personality?
  • How can I tell my story while avoiding clichés and not merely listing accomplishments? How can I make it personal, and perhaps even funny?

IESE MBA application tips

IESE’s mission is to educate business leaders with a general management approach guided by a global mindset and people-centered vision. It is the bedrock on which the school is built, strongly informs its culture and is something that we want to see reflected in our student body.

There are many ways to demonstrate the values of the school.  You can share an example of where you went above and beyond at work, how you made a difference in your community or some other aspect of your life inside or outside of a professional setting

General tips

You can read a detailed description of the application process, including dates and the application itself here. Below is our admissions calendar:

Decision By
Decision By
1st deposit
2nd deposit
Early Decision Round September 1, 2020 September 23, 2020 October 23, 2020 November 27, 2020 November 27, 2020
R1 October 6, 2020 December 12, 2020 December 12, 2020 January 12, 2021 February 19, 2020
R2 January 5, 2021 March 23, 2021 March 23, 2021 April 30, 2021 May 17, 2020
R3 March 10, 2021 May 24, 2021 May 24, 2021 June 14, 2021 June 14, 2021
R4 May 4, 2021 June 18, 2021 June 18, 2021 July 7, 2021 July 7, 2021

More updated info in the Key Dates and Deadlines for IESE MBA.

We generally encourage international applicants to target earlier rounds (ER, R1, R2) to give themselves more time to secure visas and prepare for a move to a new country. Do note the decision dates and payment deadlines on our website as well; you may want to take those into consideration when deciding which round to apply.

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