Your MBA application is coming to a welcome end. You’ve brushed up your resume, you’ve aced the GMAT, you’ve done the admission essays, you’re deciding on a school.
Now, you’ll need to delve a little deeper; to speak to students, faculty, and find out what the full-time MBA is really like. And at IESE Business School’s MBA open days - in Barcelona, New York and Sao Paolo in Brazil - you can do just that.
“Open days are basically experiencing the MBA in one day,” says Donna Ramirez, the IESE MBA’s marketing coordinator. “When the open day session begins at 3pm, there are still students and professors on campus. Attendees get to experience actual campus life.”
IESE’s MBA program attracts over 1500 applicants each year. It’s competitive; it has a class of 350 students with an average GMAT score of 690. But it’s rewarding; 90% of IESE MBA grads are employed within six months of graduation with an average salary increase of over 150%.
IESE’s MBA open days attract up to 60 prospective students at any one time. At the school’s central Barcelona campus, they’re held monthly. In Sao Paolo, annually. And in New York, two to three times a year, the next one on November 12th.
Whatever the campus, the immersive experience is the same. Prospective students get the chance to attend a real, 75-minute class with a real professor, including a case study discussion which Donna suggests attendees prepare for in advance.
Attendees will also meet IESE’s admissions team, enjoy a campus tour and take part in a Q&A panel with current MBA students and alumni, before ending the day with networking drinks.
“It’s an experience that really makes people choose the school,” Donna explains. For her, the open day is a chance for applicants to experience the school beyond the academics.
For current MBA student Ali Balhas, it was all about gaining insight into the IESE MBA community; 81% international and home to almost 100 student-run clubs.
“I wanted to be part of the big IESE family,” he says. “It’s good to come and see the campus, to listen to what the admission team say about the school, and to the stories of students and alumni.”
Leonora Lawson, who relocated from the UK to pursue an MBA at IESE, agrees. She visited the school’s Barcelona campus on the same day as her admission interview.
“An MBA is a massive investment,” she says. “It helps to make the right decision if you have had the chance to get a feel for the school; what the students and teachers are like and whether it’s the right fit for you.
“I chose IESE because I wanted a truly international MBA program at a leading European business school,” she continues.
“The open day was really well structured to give insight across all facets of the program with plenty of current students on hand to give their feedback. Visiting the school really nailed IESE as my first choice.”
With online seminars offering application tips, coffee chats and personal interviews, there are many ways of getting to know what the full-time MBA at IESE has to offer. Attendance at an open day is by no means a prerequisite for admission.
Yet for Donna, the open day is the best way to experience the life of an MBA student, first-hand. “It’s not the only way of getting to know the program,” she says. “But it is the most complete one.”
Interested MBA applicants can register for open days via IESE’s events page. The next two Barcelona open days are scheduled for November 4th and January 27th 2017. MBA informative days will be held in Sao Paolo on the 17th and 18th November.