What do you learn in an MBA?

Each year, the world’s top companies hire graduates from MBA programs like those of IESE because of the enormous value they bring. These professionals are equipped with the knowledge, capacities and global mindset needed to take on executive roles in any industry and any location.

An MBA is a unique transformational learning experience that will change you for the rest of your life and will allow you to make your mark on the world. But what are these capacities? And how are they acquired?

Find out about the learning methodology of IESE’s MBA.

The first year of the MBA: business, strategy and vision


The first year of program involves intense immersion in the fundamentals of business management. Through a series of core courses, students work on essential knowledge, begin to acquire new competencies and forge ties with their classmates through teamwork.

The keys of business

The first quarter of IESE’s MBA is centered exclusively on integrating business management fundamentals and leadership. So courses such as financial accounting, decision analysis, marketing and finance are included, among others.

Strategy and operations

The second quarter of the program delves deep into more strategic and operational aspects of the company, with courses such as operational finance, business ethics and operations management.

Expand your vision

During the third quarter, the MBA opens the doors to a wider perspective of business, with courses such as entrepreneurship, competitive strategy, global economy, corporate finance and international management.

Second year of the MBA: Live your own experience

In two-year MBA programs, the second year allows candidates to design their own learning experience, strengthening their international vision through exchanges and study trips. They go deeper into business management areas and in industries that interest them most.

During the second year of the IESE MBA, you can carry out an exchange program at a university, participate in intensive weeks on three continents and choose from among 130 elective courses.

International exchange

One of the options you have during the first quarter of the second year is to enroll in another of the world’s top business schools, through the international exchange program as part of the master’s program. You can study at schools such as Wharton, Yale, LBS and HEC…and broaden your global perspective.

International modules

Another opportunity offered by some of the MBA programs is the chance to take part in 2-week modules in different world cities.

Through an intensive high-impact experience, students can gain an understanding of a cultural and business setting different from their own through company visits, conferences , case analysis, debates and other exchange events. IESE offers modules in New York, Brazil, Shanghai and Nairobi.

Elective courses

The final months of the MBA are dedicated to diving deeper into areas of the business world that interest you the most, as well as completing your career plan. IESE’s MBA offers more than 130 elective courses to choose from, covering topics such as negotiation, managing people, information technologies and law.

Find out everything you need to know about the MBA program here.

Other MBA program resources

Beyond the core structure of the MBA, students have access to other options to complete their learning experience, such as the summer internship, the Capstone Project or the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Summer internship

During the summer between the 1st and 2nd year of the MBA, you can continue expanding your learning experience with an internship at a company or a non-profit international organization. This offers an excellent opportunity to explore new industries, roles and destinations.

Capstone Project

IESE’s MBA concludes with a TFM called the Capstone Project, a challenge in which students put into practice all that they have learned during the program to resolve current problems faced by real companies. This focuses on issues that require a general management perspective, such as the design and launch of a new product, entry into a new market or management of the succession process of a family business.

Entrepreneurial ecosystem

If you enroll in the MBA because you want to launch your own entrepreneurial project or if you decide to do so during the program, some schools such as the IESE will provide you with the necessary ecosystem to give shape to and conceptualize your idea. In addition to preparing you for taking on any executive role, the program allows you to focus your learning experience on entrepreneurship and take advantage of the summer break to work on the creation and presentation of your own business.

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