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COVID-19: Is Now A Good Time For An MBA?

Coronavirus has slowed down the global economy and is impacting jobs, but it might be a good time to pursue an MBA. IE Business School admissions director, Andrea Flores, explains why


Tue Jun 23 2020


Is it a good idea to apply to business school during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Dear BusinessBecause, 

I have five years' experience in mechanical engineering, and was hoping to do a one-year MBA program to change fields.

Given the current situation, should I still pursue an MBA program this year? Will I miss out on anything if I have to take the MBA remotely?

The Answer

This week's Applicant Question is answered by Andrea Flores, global head of admissions and enrolment at IE Business School

Deciding to move forward with one’s original plans, when all we hear around us is pessimism, takes courage, but putting a hold on an education that will train you for the future is hardly an option worth considering.

Engineers are highly qualified professionals with superior technical skills but who lack, in most cases, a solid and profound business acumen. 

Technical skills combined with top managerial skills are a powerful combination, and one of the most demanded profiles in the job market today. 

Industries and sectors are being reinvented thanks to technology, but with digital transformation also comes human transformation, and this is the biggest challenge of all.

An MBA is a journey that is meant to transform the way you face new business challenges; this pandemic and its consequences on our economy is one of them. 

Now more than ever, considering an MBA is a great option. 

It will be a place where you will broaden your horizon at an intellectual, practical, and social level.

IE Business School program options

At IE Business School, we offer two MBA options. Our Tech MBA, a STEM profile oriented one-year full-time MBA, is aimed towards shaping the leaders of the technology sector or who are involved in technology-related functions. 

It was designed to provide a learning journey across the areas of technology, management, and transformational leadership, creating professionals who can adapt to the fast and continuous pace of technological evolution. 

This program allows you to earn a very strategic positioning in a highly competitive environment. 

Alternatively, our International MBA, the one-year full-time program, allows you to develop your leadership skills in a highly diverse environment. This program prioritizes hands-on learning as well as customization, you can create an experience of your own.

Perhaps an MBA is a safe bet in the economic climate. But, you might also be wondering about the experience of an MBA program these days. 

How will it be affected if you need to start the program remotely? 

My best recommendation here is to get to know your school’s plan in detail. As there is no precedent, business schools are finding themselves reinventing everything they held true prior to the COVID-19 crisis.

Got a question of your own?


Diversifying the way you learn at IE

For IE Business School and IE University, the pandemic brought an opportunity to take the lead in reinventing higher education. Our promise is to deliver the same experience online as face-to-face. 

We will be able to achieve that by putting into practice our new Liquid Learning philosophy. We have embarked on a journey of program redesign that aims to transcend the barriers of face to face vs online formats, curricular vs extracurricular, and professor vs student led learning exercises. 

As of fall 2020, we will be taking the meaning of hands-on to the next level. Our Liquid Learning will be based on a robust implementation of our hybrid methodology. By hybrid, we don't mean taking traditional business school case-method approach to online classes. Our methodology will be based on three pillars:

1) Active learning: Continuous engagement and development of critical thinking skills. Implemented through synchronous and asynchronous class discussions, group debates, peer-to-peer evaluations, and personalized feedback from professors in a multi-platform environment––beyond the typical class schedule.

2) Real world practices: Encouraging trial and error practice, career development, and networking. Implemented through multimedia cases, professor-led simulations, personalized career advising, company sessions, and student run networking activities.

3) Flexibility: Adapting to the new reality and providing students options that easily adapt to their circumstances. This doesn't mean we intend to minimize the importance of an on-campus experience. 

In fact, full-time programs will continue to lay their foundations on this given it is one of the main deciding factors when choosing Madrid. However, we want to guarantee that, no matter the external factors (e.g. second outbreak, job interview outside Madrid, personal force majeure, among others), our students can continue their education with the same level of quality, rigor, and engagement.

Read More About IE's Liquid Learning


IE University was among the first universities in the world to advocate for high-quality and interactive online education. Over 20 years ago, the journey started by launching MBA programs based on distance-learning format. 

Today, we're ready to continue bringing innovative pedagogical and networking tools, where the digital and face-to-face worlds blend into one. This isn't just a contingency plan; it's our way of challenging the higher-education status quo. 

We're prepared to deliver on-campus and remote experiences. Our aim is to prepare you for the future challenges and to help you face this new reality with resilience and equipped with the best tools to succeed.

Ask an admissions expert a question

Next week, you'll have the chance to ask Dr. Thierry Post, a member of the admissions committee for the Master's in Finance at Nazarbayev University's Graduate School of Business, anything you want about getting into business school. 8f99de9e67241c4930cd98b4ca02dff6ab5d3d90.jpg

As well as selecting students for the schools Master's in Finance program, Thierry acts as head of the accounting and finance department.   

Prior to joining Nazarbayev University, Thierry acted as professor of finance at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. 

He has lectured at institutions including Cass Business School in London, and worked in asset management. 

Student Reviews

IE Business School




On Campus

My Review

Madrid Is incredible, I've had a fantastic time at IE University. I've had some excellent lecturers overall. They sincerely want the students to flourish and are concerned about developing a personal relationship with them. Having said that, students typically must fulfil their half of the contract by putting in the necessary work and demonstrating a desire to achieve success.




On Campus

Coming Master

I spent 1 semester on my Erasmus during my BBA trip. This was the great experience and after that I decode to enroll for the master program there. I must say that the only disappointing fact is connected to distribution of the students. Master students are being connected to the old campus what is not fully fail.




On Campus

Former BBA

As the former BBA student I can say that the level of the learning is quite high. In addition the place (IE Tower) is probably one of the most innovative and networking-support place in the Europe. I totally recoupment this Uni for business students.




On Campus

International focus

IE university has a global perspective and attracts a highly diverse student body, with students from all over the world. This international environment fosters cross-cultural understanding and prepares students to work in a globalized world. This is same for the faculty members as well, the university's faculty members are from diverse parts of the world and are reputable. they are not only experts in their fields but are also often actively engaged in research and industry. Their practical experience and academic expertise create a stimulating learning environment.




On Campus

Loved it

IE University, in my experience as a student, stands out as an outstanding institution for higher education. Its international perspective is a major strength, evident in the diverse student body that represents a multitude of countries and cultures. Interacting with such a global community has broadened my horizons and deepened my understanding of various subjects, providing a rich and comprehensive educational experience. The quality of the faculty at IE University is exceptional. Many professors bring real-world experience to the classroom, making the learning process more practical and relevant. This approach not only enhances engagement with coursework but also ensures that students are well-prepared for their future careers. The accessibility of professors and their willingness to engage with students personally fosters a collaborative and supportive learning environment. Practical learning is another significant advantage at IE University. The integration of real-world projects, internships, and case studies bridges the gap between theory and practice. This emphasis on hands-on experience equips students with practical skills and industry insights, making them more competitive in the job market. IE University offers a wide range of programs across various fields of study, making it a versatile choice for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. This diversity ensures that individuals can find a program that aligns with their academic and career interests. However, like any institution, IE University has its challenges. The cost of attending can be a major concern for some students, as tuition fees are relatively high. While scholarships and financial aid are available, not all students may qualify for them. This financial aspect is an important consideration, particularly for those with budget limitations. The competitive nature of some courses and programs can create a high-pressure environment. While competition can be motivating for some, it may also lead to stress for others. Maintaining high academic standards can be demanding, and students should strive for a balance between excellence and well-being. The workload can be quite challenging, especially for students undertaking double degrees or heavily involved in extracurricular activities. Effective time management is essential to manage academic demands while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. In conclusion, I would recommend IE University to prospective students with specific considerations. If you value an international perspective, practical learning, and a diverse educational environment, IE University is an excellent choice. However, it's crucial to carefully weigh the tuition costs against the benefits and to be prepared for the competitive nature of some courses. Students should also be ready to handle a demanding workload. IE University has provided me with a rich and globally-focused education, equipping me for a career in an interconnected world. Ultimately, it's important to make an informed decision based on your educational and financial goals, along with a willingness to confront the challenges that may arise.




On Campus

Rather Exciting

As a student at IE University, enrolled in the Business Administration program, I can confidently say that my experience at this institution has been overwhelmingly positive. IE University's innovative approach to education stands out as one of its most remarkable features. The interactive classes and focus on critical thinking, particularly through the use of case studies, have significantly enhanced my ability to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world business scenarios. Additionally, the global perspective at IE University, fostered by the diverse student body and international faculty, has broadened my understanding of global business practices, which is crucial in the field of Business Administration. The university's strong industry connections have proven to be invaluable. These connections provide students with numerous internship opportunities and networking prospects, allowing us to gain practical experience and build professional relationships while still studying. Moreover, the comprehensive career support services offered by IE University, such as resume building, interview preparation, and job placement assistance, have been instrumental in preparing us for the job market. On the flip side, it's important to mention that tuition costs at IE University can be relatively high, which may pose a financial challenge for some students, even though there are scholarships and financial aid options available. Additionally, the programs at IE University can be intensive, demanding a significant time commitment, which might not align with everyone's preferences. In conclusion, I wholeheartedly recommend IE University to individuals considering a degree in Business Administration. The innovative teaching methods, global perspective, strong industry connections, and comprehensive career support make it an excellent choice for those aspiring to enter the world of business. However, prospective students should be aware of the financial considerations and be prepared for the intensive nature of the programs. If you're willing to invest in your education and are dedicated to your studies, IE University offers an exceptional and enriching educational experience in the field of Business Administration.




On Campus

A Decent Experience

I've had the privilege of being a student at IE University, where I've been pursuing a degree in arts. My experience at IE University has been highly rewarding and unique. One of the aspects I appreciate the most is the university's strong emphasis on interdisciplinary learning. The opportunity to collaborate with students from diverse fields, including business, technology, and social sciences, has enriched my artistic endeavors. This cross-pollination of ideas has added depth and diversity to my creative work. IE University's international perspective is another significant advantage. The institution's diverse student body and faculty from various corners of the world have broadened my artistic horizons and encouraged me to think more globally. In the field of arts, where cultural influences play a pivotal role, this global outlook has been invaluable. The university also invests in modern resources and technology, providing students with access to cutting-edge software, creative tools, and state-of-the-art facilities. These resources have allowed me to explore new mediums and techniques, pushing the boundaries of my creativity. Furthermore, IE University places a strong emphasis on practical experiences. This practical orientation has given me insights into the professional art world and how to navigate it effectively. Opportunities for internships and collaborations with art institutions have been instrumental in bridging the gap between academic learning and real-world application. On the downside, tuition costs at IE University can be relatively high, which may pose a financial challenge for some prospective students. Additionally, the university's programs are quite intensive, demanding a substantial time commitment and strong time management skills. In conclusion, I would wholeheartedly recommend IE University to students seeking an arts education with an interdisciplinary and global perspective. The institution's innovative resources, practical experiences, and international approach have significantly enriched my artistic journey. Nevertheless, it's crucial to consider the financial aspect and be prepared for the demanding nature of the programs. If you're willing to invest in your arts education and are committed to hard work, IE University offers a truly unique and rewarding artistic experience.




On Campus

A Great Experience

As a student at IE University studying architecture, I have a unique perspective on the institution. Let me share my thoughts on this university: Overall, my experience at IE University has been quite positive. The university's commitment to a holistic education, combined with its innovative approach to learning, has made my time here rewarding. Here are some key aspects I appreciate: Interdisciplinary Approach: IE University places a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary learning. In the field of architecture, this means I've had the opportunity to collaborate with students from various backgrounds, such as engineering, business, and design. It's been enlightening to work on projects that integrate different disciplines, mirroring the real-world scenarios architects often find themselves in. Faculty and Industry Connections: The professors at IE University are experienced professionals in their respective fields, and they bring a wealth of practical knowledge into the classroom. This has greatly enriched my architectural education. Additionally, the university's strong connections with industry professionals and firms provide students with valuable networking opportunities and potential internships. Global Perspective: IE University's international approach to education is a significant advantage. I've had the chance to collaborate with students from all over the world, which has broadened my cultural awareness and global perspective. This is particularly important in architecture, as it's a field where global influences and trends play a significant role. Innovation and Technology: The university's commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements is impressive. In architecture, this means access to cutting-edge software, tools, and resources, which have been instrumental in my academic and design work. On the flip side, there are a few aspects that might not suit everyone: Tuition Costs: IE University is a private institution, and as such, tuition can be on the higher side. This might be a challenge for some students, but there are scholarship opportunities and financial aid options available. Intensive Programs: The university's programs are often quite intensive, requiring a significant time commitment. While this can be beneficial for learning, it can also be demanding, so time management skills are crucial. In conclusion, I would certainly recommend IE University to those interested in studying architecture. Its unique approach to education, international perspective, and strong industry connections have enriched my architectural journey. Just keep in mind the financial considerations and be prepared to put in the effort, and you'll find a stimulating and rewarding academic experience at IE University.




On Campus

A Global and Innovative Learning Experience

IE University is a dynamic and innovative institution that has gained recognition for its unique approach to education. There are several aspects that make it stand out, and while it may not be the perfect fit for everyone, it certainly has a lot to offer. One of the notable strengths of IE University is its commitment to fostering a global perspective. The university attracts a diverse student body from all over the world, creating a rich multicultural environment. This diversity enriches the classroom experience and prepares students to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world. The emphasis on international exposure through study abroad programs, exchange partnerships, and a global network of alumni further enhances this global outlook. IE University is also known for its focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. The institution places a strong emphasis on practical, real-world learning experiences that encourage students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. This approach aligns well with the demands of the modern job market, where creativity and adaptability are highly valued. Furthermore, IE University's faculty is often comprised of professionals with extensive industry experience, providing students with valuable insights and connections in their respective fields. The small class sizes enable more personalized attention, fostering a close-knit community and facilitating meaningful interactions between students and professors. However, no university is without its drawbacks, and IE University is no exception. One potential downside is the cost of tuition, which can be relatively high compared to some public institutions. While scholarships and financial aid options are available, this cost may still be a barrier for some prospective students. Another consideration is the intensity of the academic programs. IE University is known for its rigorous curriculum, and students often find themselves facing a demanding workload. While this can be an advantage for those who thrive in a challenging environment, it may not be suitable for individuals seeking a more relaxed college experience. In conclusion, IE University is an excellent choice for students who are looking for a globally oriented, innovative, and academically rigorous education. Its emphasis on entrepreneurship, international exposure, and practical learning experiences can prepare students for success in a competitive job market. However, the high cost of tuition and the demanding nature of the programs should be carefully considered. Ultimately, whether IE University is the right fit depends on the individual's goals and preferences, but for those who are up to the challenge, it can be a rewarding and transformative educational experience.




On Campus

The liquid learning method

I do like my program so much, since it gives me the possibility to develop my own personal skills while building a strong professional cv with plenty of extracurricular material. The amenities are extraordinary and the campus is super professional and convenient for networking!