MBA App Guru caught up with Tino Elgner, the Sr. Assoc. Director of Admissions at IE Business School
MBA App Guru: What would you like candidates to know about IE Business School?
Tino Elgner: IE is not your typical business school. Having been founded by a group of entrepreneurs, it is not only known for its innovative curricula and teaching methodology, but also for its unique approach to further education through entrepreneurship that has earned IE its spot among the top international business schools in the world.
I would like candidates to know that IE is not just intrinsically Spanish or European, but it is truly global, with more than a 100 nationalities that call IE home every year.
And I would like candidates to know that at IE, they are more than just a nationality, number or a name; that they are seen as vital ingredients for co-creating and turning every occasion into an opportunity of learning for the IE communicate as a whole.
MBA App Guru: What is the Master in Management and who is it designed for?
Tino Elgner: The Master in Management (MIM) is one of IE Business School´s flagship programs. It lasts 10 months and is specially designed for the needs of recent graduates from all academic disciplines and for young professionals in the initial stages of their careers. It is considered among the top ten in its category worldwide, and prepares its students to make the most of the challenges and opportunities that are a part of the ever-changing corporate world.
As part of the MIM, students have the unique chance to tailor their program, by choosing from a range of customization options that include: 5 specializations, Spanish language classes, internal and external dual degree options, global experiences as well as international exchanges.
In addition, students are compelled to continually develop their skills in team work, communication, leadership and strategic thinking, with a range of activities aimed at maximizing the students’ employability and market value.
[pullquote cite=”Tino Elgner” type=”left”]On average around 90% of the students find a job within the first 3 months of graduation[/pullquote]MBA App Guru: Candidates often ask whether business school is a worthwhile investment. What would you say with respect to the ROI of an IE Business School MIM?
Tino Elgner: The definition of ROI usually differs from student to student. Some see for example the time they spend at a business school as the main investment, whereas others value the monetary aspects to it. Nevertheless, the general definition of ROI, looking at IE students typically focuses on three aspects – personal, academic, and professional growth.
From a professional lens, one of the goals of the Master in Management is it to accelerate the development and growth of its students, to help them jump start their careers and obtain a competitive edge in the job market, whether working for a company or as avid entrepreneurs. As a consequence, around 90% of IE MIM students work shortly after graduation.
From an academic and personal lens, through its multicultural environment, hands-on learning experiences, and stellar faculty, the program offers students a unique platform to create their own global networks, learn from experts, and explore their personal boundaries.
Overall, the MIM enables students to seek their ROI on all three levels that I mentioned before in ways that are difficult to find outside of the MIM environment in just 10 months.
MBA App Guru: How does IE Business School differentiate itself from other schools in the region?
Tino Elgner: Over the years, IE Business School has been rooting its educational experience in three core values that build the stepping stones in any of its programs – entrepreneurship, diversity, and the humanities. Students are attracted to come to IE by a multitude of reasons, including: the school’s prime location, the case method as its main teaching methodology, its rankings, its focus on creating change agents and entrepreneurs, as well as the fact that it offers 1 year accelerated master programs, to only mention a few. However, IE is much more than that. IE is about human communication and group dynamics in a globalizing world. It is about going beyond predetermined paradigms. It is about challenging the status-quo, and learning from each other with the goal to leverage on each other´s differences. This is IE´s DNA, and this is what makes IE different.
[pullquote cite=”Tino Elgner” type=”right”]An ideal candidate combines three things: S/he has the capabilities of doing the program, understands and is aligned to IE´s core values, and portrays a strong motivation to study specifically at IE Business School.[/pullquote]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?
Tino Elgner: Assuming that the candidate has submitted a complete application form that includes all of the required additional documentation, the first step of the admissions process includes a holistic preliminary analysis that looks at every single aspect of the application with the same importance; let that be the entrance exam, the essays, the undergraduate GPA or the letters of recommendation. The goal of this step is to determine whether or not the candidate has the potential of being an IE fit. Once, the fit has been determined, the candidate is then granted an interview, during which s/he is given the opportunity to tell his/her story in much greater detail. After the interview, and together with all of the other application materials, a decision is made by the Admissions Committee on whether or not the candidate will be accepted into the MIM program and hence the IE family.
MBA App Guru: What are you really looking for in an ideal candidate? How can candidates stand out?
Tino Elgner: An ideal candidate combines three things: S/he has the capabilities of doing the program, understands and is aligned to IE´s core values, and portrays a strong motivation to study specifically at IE Business School.
Ideal candidates also portray humbleness in their behavior and show that they have thought about not only what IE can do for them but also what they can do for IE by becoming part of the IE community.
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?
[pullquote cite=”Tino Elgner” type=”left”] The Master in Management (MIM) is … specially designed for the needs of recent graduates from all academic disciplines and for young professionals in the initial stages of their careers.[/pullquote]Tino Elgner: As we take a holistic approach to admissions, 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. However, the GMAT is only one element among many others used in the evaluation process, and hence can tell us only a few things about an applicant, but never the entire story.
MBA App Guru: What percentage of the pool do you interview? What does your interview process look like? What percent of the interviewees are offered admission?
Tino Elgner: Due to the very diverse nature of IE MIM applicants, many are granted the opportunity to tell their stories during an interview, as the interview itself is a great source of information for the Admissions Department to determine who a candidate really might be. Human beings are complex and an admissions interview helps us to understand that complexity a bit better.
The interview usually last one hour, and is either conducted by one of the directors of the 28 international offices that we have worldwide, or by qualified alumni.
MBA App Guru: Do you have a pet peeve? What is the one mistake candidates make that gets them rejected outright?
Tino Elgner: Mistakes happen and are always a source of learning! Keeping that in mind along with the complexity of human beings, I cannot think of one mistake that I have experienced at this point that would have a candidate rejected right away. Nevertheless, a candidate can make a positive impression from the start, if s/he understands the importance of an elevator pitch, and has done the proper research on IE and the MIM program. These two things show an interviewer that the candidate has prepared for the interview; an aspect that sometimes candidates tend to forget.
MBA App Guru: How have your application numbers, acceptance rates, and yield changed over the past few years?
Tino Elgner: Over the last few years, application numbers have risen, whereas admission ratios have stayed stable. This has allowed us to enlarge our IE MIM alumni network, which in retrospect is of great value to our current students – not just professionally but also personally.
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?
Tino Elgner: On average around 90% of the students find a job within the first 3 months of graduation in a variety of sectors and industries, such as Financial Services, Consulting, Technology (IT)/Telecom, and Consumer Goods. There has been a shift from Financial Services in previous years to Consumer Goods and Technology. With regards to functions, Marketing & Sales rose to around 41% and Consulting accounts for 23%. We have also seen that Operations & Logistics is gaining traction. With regards to regions, we have experienced a 24% in geographical mobility. These new graduates joined the ranks of the more than 50,000 IE alumni who are based in more than 100 countries, both in public and private sectors, in all types of organizations.