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MBA Student Review: The Lisbon MBA MIT Sloan Immersion

Luísa Aguiar took part in The Lisbon MBA’s four-week immersion to MIT Sloan—here’s what she thought

If you’re a current MBA applicant, there’s a good chance you’re looking to apply for a program which will give you international exposure. 

According to data from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), nearly 60% of you are hoping to study abroad. But, when it comes to choosing an international MBA, you shouldn’t just be thinking about where the program is based—you should also look at where it could take you while you’re studying.

The Lisbon MBA is a good example; ranked number one in the world for international experience, the program offers a lot of opportunities to experience other business contexts, for instance through their International Lab projects which take students to Brazil, China, or Mexico. 

Perhaps their standout study abroad opportunity, though, is their four-week immersion to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, one of the three partner schools that created the MBA.

Every June, The Lisbon MBA’s cohort spends four weeks in the US learning from MIT faculty, studying alongside their MIT peers, and exploring the university’s world-renowned resources as well as the surrounding business ecosystem. 

It’s the opportunity of a lifetime—but what’s it actually like to experience as a student?

We found out from Luísa Aguiar, a current student on The Lisbon MBA—she told us everything about her study abroad experience, and why she thinks it’s a worthwhile step in her career.


Tell me a bit about you – why did you decide to do the Lisbon MBA in the first place?

I had been working for six years at Microsoft in Lisbon in marketing and sales roles when I felt the need to stop to reevaluate my professional interests and goals and to actively work on improving my management and leadership skills. 

I found The Lisbon MBA to offer the best program in line with my goals and particularly liked the ‘non-academic’ Friday Forum initiatives, the MIT immersion, and the Action Learning module. 

The location in Lisbon was also an important decision-making factor for me, being married and mother of two toddlers. 

What were your expectations for the immersion? How did it live up to them? Did anything surprise you?

Being a small group in a school of thousands of students, I was quite surprised with the level of engagement and attention we got from all the faculty and staff at Sloan to make sure we had an incredible experience. 

We found a vibrant school, with high academic standards, amazing teachers and a very welcoming staff. 

The Lisbon MBA partnership is one of the only few partnerships MIT Sloan establishes with other MBA schools and we clearly saw and benefited from a thorough and personalized preparation of our immersion period to fit with The Lisbon MBA’s overall program. 

It was definitely a memorable experience for the entire class, including my American colleagues! 

What were some misconceptions that you had going into the immersion?

Taking place during the school’s summer break, I was afraid of not having the absolute ‘MIT experience’ or not having the best teachers or the best lectures. 

However, it was surprising and exciting to see I couldn’t be more wrong. Our program had some of the best MIT Sloan School faculty, including Bill Aulet, Roberto Rigobon, and Zeynep Ton to name a few. 

We also had access to any MIT facility or benefit available to regular students. We really felt like MIT students and, back home, we are officially part of the MIT alumni network.


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What was your favourite part of the immersion? How has it inspired you?

The program was very focused on entrepreneurship and innovation management and there couldn’t be a better place in the world to learn about and be in touch with those topics! 

We had the chance to meet founders of so many different startups, not all of them doing business in the tech field. More than going deep in specific industries, this immersion truly inspired me to understand that entrepreneurship (of any kind) is not just for the risk lovers, it is not just about ideas or invention and, more importantly, it can be learnt. 

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