MBA App Guru caught up with Pilar Vicente Maese, the Sr. Assoc. Director of Admissions at IE Business School
MBA App Guru: What would you like candidates to know about IE Business School?
Pilar Maese: We are a Business School based in Madrid, specialized in 1 year programs and with a focus on innovation, entrepreneurship, diversity and humanities. As our Dean often mentions “we are an unusual school for unusual people”, and we would like candidates to get to know us, meet us in face-to-face and virtual events and find out more about our values and culture. We encourage candidates to meet alumni and current student as they provide a unique perspective of what IE is.
MBA App Guru: Who is the IE MBA for?
Pilar Maese: The full-time International MBA of IE Business School is for unconventional thinkers with an average of 5 years of work experience with a global mindset, career progression and varied exposure.
[pullquote cite=”Pilar Vicente Maese” type=”left”]At IE we host the Career Fair in October and more than 125 companies attended the fair in 2014.[/pullquote]MBA App Guru: Candidates often ask whether an MBA is a worthwhile investment. What would you say with respect to the ROI of an IE Business School MBA?
Pilar Maese: It is not easy to measure the ROI of an MBA program at IE as it includes not only the short and long term job position after the MBA, but also the network of alumni, students, faculty, together with the interpersonal skills and entrepreneurial mindset you acquire during the program and that will help you throughout all your life. In addition to that the experience to live in a vibrant city like Madrid and the opportunity of learning Spanish and the innovative approach of our programs. The MBA is a life changing experience so everything should be taken into account while deciding which school to enroll.
MBA App Guru: How does IE Business School differentiate itself from other schools in the region?
Pilar Maese: IE offers a network of more than 50,000 alumni all around the world, offering full-time and part-time programs as one of the pioneers in blended education (combination of face-to-face and online). IE was one of the first schools to include entrepreneurship in the MBA curriculum and there are many entrepreneurial opportunities in our programs.
[pullquote cite=”Pilar Vicente Maese” type=”right”]13% of our recent graduates are working in APAC, 35% in Europe, 28% in LatAm, 12% in North American and 10% in Africa and the Middle East.[/pullquote]MBA App Guru: You offer multiple rounds of applications. Are there any advantages to applying in particular rounds compared to others?
Pilar Maese: At IE we offer a rolling admissions process and we review the applications as soon as we receive them and the admissions process takes around 3 to 6 weeks. We recommend our candidates to apply as soon as possible in order to secure a place in the desired intake.
MBA App Guru: What happens to an application once the applicant hits the Submit button? Walk us through your evaluation process. How many people read each application?
Pilar Maese: Once the application is sent, the admissions committee reviews it and lets the candidate know if there is anything else that needs to be submitted or if they think that the candidate´s profile is aligned to what we are looking for, the candidate will be invited to a formal interview. The interview can be conducted in person in Madrid or in one of our offices all around the world or by skype. The admissions committee is made up of admissions officers, faculty, and program directors and the application and all the application material are reviewed thoroughly by different members of the admissions committee as well as by the admissions department.
MBA App Guru: What are you really looking for in an ideal candidate? How can candidates stand out?
[pullquote cite=”Pilar Vicente Maese” type=”left”]There is certain information that we are only able to capture during the interview and that is the reason why we interview almost all our candidates.[/pullquote]Pilar Maese: We want students who think outside the box, have an entrepreneurial and global mindset and are ethically responsible. We welcome candidates from all around the world and from diverse professional and academic backgrounds. We recommend candidates to show how they are aligned with our values and culture such as innovation, entrepreneurship, social responsibility and share with us everything that makes them unique.
MBA App Guru: How important is the GMAT in your decisions? What, if any, roles do the AWA and IR sections of the GMAT play in your decisions?
Pilar Maese: We take a holistic approach to admissions, therefore, the entire application is important and we will take everything into account and review it in detail. In particular we evaluate the work experience and career development, international exposure, motivation to do the program, interpersonal skills, academic background and performance, entrance exam as well as the language skills. The AWA and IR will be analyzed together with the other parts of the GMAT when evaluating candidates but the GMAT is one element among many other used in the evaluation process.
MBA App Guru: What percentage of the pool do you interview? What does your interview process look like? What percent of interviewees are offered admission?
[pullquote cite=”Pilar Vicente Maese” type=”right”]We want students who think outside the box, have an entrepreneurial and global mindset and are ethically responsible.[/pullquote]Pilar Maese: We interview approximately 90% of our candidates. At IE Business School we believe that there is certain information that we are only able to capture during the interview and that is the reason why we interview almost all our candidates. Interviews take place on campus in Madrid and also through one of our many offices worldwide. For the candidates that are not able to visit us then we can schedule a skype interview.
MBA App Guru: Do you have a pet peeve? What is the one mistake candidates make that gets them rejected outright?
Pilar Maese: One mistake that candidates often make is to send documents such as the letters of recommendation that are tailored to several schools. In addition to that applications that are not proofread or include inaccurate information will be rejected by the admissions committee.
MBA App Guru: How have your application numbers, acceptance rates, and yield changed over the past few years?
Pilar Maese: The acceptance rate are stable and we accept approximately 30% of our applicants. The application numbers have changed depending on the program and the regions, recently we have experienced a slight increase of applications for MBA programs due to the economic recovery. In terms of yield we have seen that since the economic crisis of 2008 less companies are willing to sponsor postgraduate programs and candidates apply for financial aid more often.
[pullquote cite=”Pilar Vicente Maese” type=”left”]We offer a rolling admissions process and we review the applications as soon as we receive them and the admissions process takes around 3 to 6 weeks.[/pullquote]MBA App Guru: What percentage of last year’s incoming class found jobs within 3 months of graduation? What jobs did they find? With which companies? In which locations?
Pilar Maese: I would recommend you to check our latest career report.
As you can see in the career report 92% of the previous class secured a job within 3 months of graduation. We have a very diverse class with many industries represented such as consulting, consumer goods, financial services and banking, manufacturing, real estate and construction, pharma, media and nonprofit among others. If we take into account the region, 13% of our recent graduates are working in APAC, 35% in Europe, 28% in LatAm, 12% in North American and 10% in Africa and the Middle East. At IE we host the Career Fair in October and more than 125 companies attended the fair in 2014 and the list of top recruiters last year includes Accenture, Microsoft, Telefonica, EY, Google, IBM, Pfizer or Siemens.