Every year at IE, hosts of MBA students apply for jobs at the big three management consulting firms. Now, Spain’s number one school—ranked eighth in the world by the Financial Times’ Global MBA Rankings—is using new techniques—like AI-powered video interview feedback and social media analysis—to help its students stand out.
In 2016, 89% of International MBA students at IE landed new jobs within three months of graduation. 19% went into consulting; a steady growth from the previous year. McKinsey was one of the top-five employers of IE MBAs, alongside Amazon and Microsoft.
Bridging the gap between MBA students and top MBA employers, IE’s Talent & Careers team advise students on a range of career topics—resumes, internships, networking, interviewing, and salary negotiation.
“We want to become a top talent school for Bain, McKinsey, and BCG,” says Juan Oyarzabal Lodge, a senior associate director in IE’s Talent & Careers team, responsible for the strategy consulting sector. “But we cover the entire spectrum of consulting firms; AT Kearney, EY, and Accenture included,” he continues.
IE’s careers offering ticks every box; with careers coaching services, an online jobs portal, an international career fair, and over 50 company presentations and networking opportunities each year.
In the past few years, Juan explains, the school has kept updating its methods in response to employers’ needs. “There’s been an increase in the use of online tools,” he says.
“I’ve also seen an increase in the requirements consulting companies have in terms of GPAs and having an engineering background,” he continues. “More and more, having skills in big data and artificial intelligence is more appreciated.
“We have specialized courses focused solely on big data and business analytics that have close to a 100% placement rate.”
IE Business School integrates core courses in entrepreneurial thinking and digital innovation into its full-time MBA too. “Having knowledge of what’s happening in blockchain, fintech, AI, or the Internet of Things (IoT) will give you an advantage today. In the future, I think it will be a requirement,” says Juan.
Alongside his role at IE, Juan is the founder and CEO of social media management platform Qnary. Launched in 2012, Qnary helps manage and grow the reputations of executives and companies online. It’s grown hugely in the US in the past year. “There’s a big potential market,” Juan explains.
And MBA students should appreciate the importance of a well-managed social media presence too. “People generally don’t take enough care of their presence online,” Juan continues. “When I mention Twitter, people connect that with what Donald Trump is doing, but if you build a professional network on Twitter it can really make a difference. You need to use social media platforms to your advantage.”
Juan took an Executive MBA at IE while working in marketing at Telefónica in the late 1990s. One of his favorite professors from his EMBA—Gonzalo Garland—helped him get his current job at the school.
“What really helped for me was the networking part. IE gives you an edge for growing professionally and that’s true for me, even today,” he says.
What advice does he have for IE International MBA students applying for jobs at management consulting’s big three?
“If you’re really serious about consulting, you have to prepare well. It’s a long career—it involves a lot of sacrifice—and you have to be really passionate about it,” he says.
“Each one of the big three is very particular. It’s important to do the homework before an interview and have an adapted CV highlighting the skills most relevant for the position and company you’re applying to.
“And you need to network,” he continues. “Use all the social media—LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter—and online tools that we have today. Offline too, students should attend as many events as their schedule allows them—every hand you shake is an opportunity.”