I have recently been accepted to three MBA programs in Spain and am having difficulty deciding between them: The full time MBA at UC3M and then two programs at IE Business School, the International MBA (full time) and the Global MBA (online). All programs would start Fall of 2020.
A little background... I am a native Spanish speaker with Dual Citizenship from the US and Spain and have worked primarily in real estate in the US. I have decided to pursue an MBA because I am looking to transition to managerial roles and am focusing on schools in Spain because I have always loved it there and want to explore the possibility of establishing myself there. That said, I am very much aware that the job market in Spain might not be the best, so I want to be open to opportunities throughout Europe and beyond that might provide a better salary. Financing is also a big factor for me, as I will be funding my own education with a portion of my savings mixed with loans and hopefully a scholarship (still waiting on scholarship decisions). With that in mind...
IE clearly has the better name recognition internationally. After looking at the rankings and the reported salary averages of graduates, I feel it would be easier getting higher paying jobs in different countries. Therefore, the freedom IE represents in terms of international opportunities is extremely attractive to me. IE has a larger intake of students (around 400) and from what I have seen, they have the advantage on networking. Their alumni network and diversity has truly impressed me, which were two things I was highly focused on. However, it does make me wonder what a class intake of 400 students does for personalized attention from professors. Would you be compromising focused/individualized education for social interactions? They also seem to excel in the entrepreneurial spirit and innovation, which are two things that really excite me. My biggest hesitation with IE is financial. The tuition for the full time program is around 72k Euro, so I would have to get a loan regardless of whether or not I am awarded scholarship. Although I want to do the full time program in Spain, I also have the option to do it online, which would be slightly less on tuition and is something worth considering, especially with everything that is happening with coronavirus.
UC3M on the other hand is a highly respected public university in Spain, which is great if I want to stay in Spain, but I don’t feel it would give me as much international reach as IE. Despite it being a large university, the intake MBA class is between 25-30 students. I think is wonderful when it comes to the focused attention you might get, but it does concern me with regards to networking purposes. Although, I am also not disregarding the fact that you can network with students majoring in different fields. The MBA program also seems to do very well on the diversity front, despite it being a smaller class size. The other major draw for me is from the financial perspective… as an EU citizen, my tuition would be around 13k euro, so I would be able to afford it without the need of a loan.
Essentially, what it all boils down to is whether the name recognition, international career opportunities, and network of IE is really worth putting myself in debt over… especially if I have an opportunity at a great program in Spain like UC3M debt free.
[Edited by Parrotfish209 on Mar 13, 2020]