ESADE Business School Is Attracting New Generations Of International MBAs

International students want flexible, customizable MBA programs in Europe

European MBA programs are on the rise. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 65% of European MBA programs experienced an increase in application numbers in 2016.

Increasingly, international MBA students are turning their backs on the traditional, two-year MBA experience in the US, in favor of more affordable, customizable MBA programs in Europe.

Ranked among the top 25 MBA programs in the world by the Financial Times, Spain’s ESADE Business School offers 12, 15, and 18-month MBA formats. Based in Barcelona, ESADE students can tailor-make their MBA experience – choosing from a range of electives, real-life consulting projects, and international exchanges – to match their own career goals.

The 2018 ESADE MBA class is 98% international, composed of 48 different nationalities. And the 50,000-strong ESADE alumni network extends across 118 countries worldwide.

In 2015, 88% of ESADE MBAs landed new jobs within three months of graduation, 78% outside Spain. 96% changed role, industry, or location.

We spoke to three international MBAs to find out why they chose ESADE, and how they’re taking their careers to the next level.

Reagan Smith, MBA ’18

Reagan left the US and, with his wife and three children, relocated thousands of miles across the Atlantic for an MBA at ESADE. A serial entrepreneur, Reagan’s looking for roles in finance or technology management for after graduation. In the future, he hopes to take the leap again and start his own business.

I decided that if I was going to go back to school I wanted to experience a completely different environment to the United States. I wanted a school that was ranked among the top 25 in the world, had a highly diverse class, and an emphasis on teamwork. ESADE checked all of those boxes.

My wife has been very supportive and willing to go on an adventure to a place she had never been to and where we do not speak the language.

Every day, I get to work closely with amazing people from around the world. The environment is focused more on collaboration than competition, and students feel comfortable taking risks in the classroom without the worry of failure or embarrassment.

I was also accepted into the school’s career accelerator program in finance which has provided additional training and mentoring from industry executives. I returned to school to help fill the gaps I had in my profile, and ESADE has provided every opportunity for me to do so.

Ritika Saxena, MBA ‘17


Ritika worked in finance for JP Morgan in her native India prior to her MBA. During her time at ESADE, she’s interned at Deutsche Bank and studied at Manchester Business School in the UK. Post-MBA, she’s aiming for strategy and business development roles in finance in Europe.

ESADE lets you do the MBA on your own terms, and that’s what brought me here. Through the MBA, I was looking at embarking on a path of personal growth. ESADE’s flexibility and the plethora of innovative and unconventional learning opportunities definitely peaked my interest.

Managing, thriving, leading and succeeding in a multicultural team is the essence of the ESADE MBA.  Every minute on campus is a learning opportunity. ESADE professors strongly encourage peer-to-peer learning in class and give students the opportunity to share their perspectives no holds barred.

ESADE also provides numerous opportunities to interact with company representatives, by inviting them on campus, organizing career fairs, promoting student led career treks across the world and access to alumni worldwide. Resume books sent out to these companies, as well as the ESADE network, help tremendously with exploring professional opportunities in Europe.

Obi Nwosa, MBA ‘17


Obi worked as an engineer in the US and his native Nigeria, and founded his own oil and gas consulting company, prior to his MBA. He hopes to land a job in the high tech sector after graduation.

I chose ESADE for its values, diversity, and international reach. Ranking was a consideration but the culture of the school and the location, just outside Barcelona, put it right at the top of my list.

The ESADE MBA has given me a toolkit of concepts and frameworks to draw from. Engineers are known to be very analytical people and I fit that mold to a tee. What’s evolved since I’ve been at ESADE is the manner in which I analyze things; getting an overall picture of a problem, breaking it into parts, considering all the dynamics at play, and formulating a solution.

The ESADE community projects and embodies a feeling of belonging which I am proud to be a part of. In the not too distant future, starting my own venture will be a priority. We have a strong entrepreneurship community here at ESADE that I will always pull from.

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