My name is Kristin and I have just started the Master in Management at IESE! I am writing this blog to share my thoughts and to give you guys an idea of what my life at IESE is like. As this is my first blogpost of a few, I also want to tell you something about my background and what the entire admission process felt like. Maybe you also want to apply to IESE in the future?!
While I am writing this, I just realized that the first five weeks are already over. Time is flying by so fast, but I still remember the first day as if it was yesterday. I hope my tips and recommendations will help you in your master admission process and will hopefully convince you to also apply for IESE! You will definitely not regret it.
What have I done before the MIM?
Before applying to IESE I worked for more than five years in the oil & gas industry. Right after high school I applied for an undergraduate management program at the multinational oil company BP. Here I got the unique opportunity to accomplish my Bachelor degree in International Management all company-sponsored at a business school in Germany while being part of a rotational program inside the company. For four years I did job rotations at eight months intervals across the entire organizations. So I got insights into all kinds of different departments ranging from executive HR over Supply Chain Management to Finance. After program completion I worked for one year as a Project Analyst in a finance project where I was part of a European PMO team responsible for an implementation in 13 different countries.
Why did I decide for the MIM?
The reason why I decided to apply for a full-time MiM program was closely linked to the Undergraduate Management Program which I completed at BP. The program was super rewarding but due to the double burden of working 50 hours a week and going to university on the weekends and in the evenings, I have never really had the chance to just focus on one.
Thus, when looking for a Master program, I wanted to decide for a program in which I get the most out of the entire experience. The Master in Management program at IESE seemed like the best fit for what I was looking for: First class education in a compact program with the focus on general management while having vast networking and career opportunities! Moreover, it was important for me to not be “out of the job” for more than one year.
Why at IESE?
I remember when I was checking the IESE homepage for further information about the program there was one specific aspect that got stuck in my head: In the brochure they were not only advertising the MiM with IESE’s outstanding academic education or its vast networking opportunities, but it was explicitly mentioned that the IESE team wants to create inspirational leaders who put people first and have a positive impact on the world. The moment I read it, I got excited. Going through rankings of the Economist or the Financial Times, many business schools have outstanding academics and offer vast networking and career opportunities. IESE hereby is on top of the list, however, what really made me apply in the end was IESE’s focus on putting people and the world first. In today’s society with all its challenges and changes, this is what matters in the end and what will make the difference.
The same feedback I received when I was talking to multiple alumni. Everyone described IESE as a big family: You care about each other and stick together no matter what happens. IESE teaches the motto that those people will succeed who help the others grow with them. This methodology inspired me, which is why the decision for IESE was an easy one in the end: The combination of first-class education, vast networking and career opportunities paired with the prospect of being part of a lifelong family made me choose IESE.
What was my experience during the admissions process?
The admission process at IESE was very structured and super easy to follow. I started with filling out an online form concerning all kinds of questions regarding myself as well as my academic and professional work experience. After this I had to write two essays and turn in a letter of recommendation. Having passed I was proceeded to the personal interview.
Honestly, this interview was the crucial factor in favour of IESE! Of course – as many other students – I did not only apply to one school. And this is something I highly recommend to all of you: Don't put all your eggs in one basket as competition for these programs is pretty high. But it is not only because of competition: By having different admission processes and interviews at different business schools, people do not only test if you are the right person for their school, but you get the chance to find out if the school is the right place for you!
During the interview with IESE I have never had the feeling to only be an anonymous applicant in a huge admission process. I felt very much appreciated, as my interview partner already knew a lot about me and was very interested in me as a person. Even though the questions were challenging, the vibe was very warm and welcoming. And this is what IESE very much stands for: IESE is not only a business school, here you feel like being part of a big family.
Any tips for future candidates?
- Prepare for the GMAT as early as possible!
- Spend time talking to alumni to get first-hand information e.g. via IESE events or LinkedIn (Don’t hesitate to approach me on LinkedIn – I am more than happy to help!) or even attend a IESE MiM Webinar!
- Have your documents and a recommender ready, before you start the actual application process – It will make things a lot easier, when you have already asked someone beforehand to help you in the recommendation process!
- And in the end: Be yourself! Preparation is a must, but once it is done, you should focus on trying to think about why you are a great candidate for IESE, what makes you unique and in which ways you could contribute to the school.
These questions help you to stay natural during the interview, even though you will be extremely nervous. See the interview as an opportunity to present the most of your personality.
How was my first week at IESE?
My first week at IESE was very exciting and intense! I remember being very nervous before the first day, as I did not know any of my class members yet. I was asking myself thousands of questions before going to sleep: Will I find friends? Will I be able to keep up with the speed of the others? However, the day I arrived at IESE in the morning, my nervousness completely disappeared. As we were all in the same boat and having the same worries, I immediately clicked with my peers. Everything was new for everyone! We started with 47 people from all different kinds of backgrounds and I cannot say that there is one person who is not fun, friendly and open-minded!
The first week began with a so-called “Career Bootcamp” and I guess, nobody really knew what to expect. Looking now back, I can say that the week did not only bonded us all into a huge team, but it also helped everybody to learn more about ourselves and our career goals. In various team sessions and speeches, we had to get out of our comfort zones and talk about our inner feelings, weaknesses and failures, which was not easy for everybody. However, we learned what we're great at, what we value, what we're passionate about and which impact we wish to make in the world. To be honest, the first week was what very challenging, but it made me realize that I chose the best program possible and the year ahead is going to be filled with fun people, numerous chances and the best education I could think of.