Vlerick vs ESMT


Hello, I have a standard comparison question. I have admits from both of these schools with a little larger scholarship from Vlerick. I am from the U.S., don't know either local language, and come from a humanities background. My goal is to work in Europe at a tech company. I have done some work for a well-known tech company, and I hope to use that experience along with the MBA to transition into a business role. With this in mind, does one of these schools have a slight edge over the other?
Hello, I have a standard comparison question. I have admits from both of these schools with a little larger scholarship from Vlerick. I am from the U.S., don't know either local language, and come from a humanities background. My goal is to work in Europe at a tech company. I have done some work for a well-known tech company, and I hope to use that experience along with the MBA to transition into a business role. With this in mind, does one of these schools have a slight edge over the other?
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Duncan
The LinkedIn data suggest there is not much in it. Vlerick has an edge for telecoms-oriented tech. ESMT does slightly better with larger firms. Without the local business language, it seems hard to see why a firm would hire you into your first business role. Of these two I would recommend ESMT, since you'll get better support for learning the language, and because ESMT placed more than twice the percentage of its most recent class into employment.
The LinkedIn data suggest there is not much in it. Vlerick has an edge for telecoms-oriented tech. ESMT does slightly better with larger firms. Without the local business language, it seems hard to see why a firm would hire you into your first business role. Of these two I would recommend ESMT, since you'll get better support for learning the language, and because ESMT placed more than twice the percentage of its most recent class into employment.
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Hi Duncan, thanks for the response. I also have an admit from ESADE. Do you think considering my situation, that ESADE offers an edge over these two schools?
Hi Duncan, thanks for the response. I also have an admit from ESADE. Do you think considering my situation, that ESADE offers an edge over these two schools?
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Duncan
Generally speaking, ESADE is clearly a much better MBA programme. The FT ranking shows that it is superior on almost all criteria. As an older and more broadly based school, it doesn't have the same percentage of students in ICT firms as Vlerick or ESMT but in absolute numbers it has a much greater network. It has much better careers services and, for example, placed one of this year's students at Apple. The 18-month format and the greater emphasis on language learning is greatly superior. It would also allow you to complete more than one 'lab' (their specialisation certificates) meaning that you could focus on innovation and marketing, for example, which seem better than ESMT's specialisation options.
Generally speaking, ESADE is clearly a much better MBA programme. The FT ranking shows that it is superior on almost all criteria. As an older and more broadly based school, it doesn't have the same percentage of students in ICT firms as Vlerick or ESMT but in absolute numbers it has a much greater network. It has much better careers services and, for example, placed one of this year's students at Apple. The 18-month format and the greater emphasis on language learning is greatly superior. It would also allow you to complete more than one 'lab' (their specialisation certificates) meaning that you could focus on innovation and marketing, for example, which seem better than ESMT's specialisation options.
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Duncan
I see that 22% of ESADE's full-time MBAs intern in tech firms. That's another big reason for ESADE: http://www.esade.edu/ftmba/eng/customized-programme/internship
I see that 22% of ESADE's full-time MBAs intern in tech firms. That's another big reason for ESADE: http://www.esade.edu/ftmba/eng/customized-programme/internship
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Thanks Duncan, your assessment is helpful. With the scholarships I am being offered, ESADE is 2x the cost of ESMT and about 3x the cost of Vlerick. It is difficult to know if the extra cost is worth it. Is ESADE 2x as good as ESMT and 3x as good as Vlerick? It doesn't seem likely. Also, wouldn't it be better to graduate in Germany, a country with a much healthier economy than Spain?

I also have an admit for IU Kelley, but I would rather work in Europe after the MBA, and with Kelley I will most likely end up in Chicago.
Thanks Duncan, your assessment is helpful. With the scholarships I am being offered, ESADE is 2x the cost of ESMT and about 3x the cost of Vlerick. It is difficult to know if the extra cost is worth it. Is ESADE 2x as good as ESMT and 3x as good as Vlerick? It doesn't seem likely. Also, wouldn't it be better to graduate in Germany, a country with a much healthier economy than Spain?

I also have an admit for IU Kelley, but I would rather work in Europe after the MBA, and with Kelley I will most likely end up in Chicago.
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Duncan
Luckily an MBA will teach you how to assess an opportunity. ESADE alumni earn $33,000 more initially, and that gap will widen. Over a 35 year career, that is over a million dollars -- much more than the small difference in fees. So, it's not a comparison between countries, but between schools. Barcelona has a much higher GDP per capita than Berlin, but of course many ESADE MBAs end up working outside Spain.

If you really want to work in Germany, learn German and then go to Mannheim.
Luckily an MBA will teach you how to assess an opportunity. ESADE alumni earn $33,000 more initially, and that gap will widen. Over a 35 year career, that is over a million dollars -- much more than the small difference in fees. So, it's not a comparison between countries, but between schools. Barcelona has a much higher GDP per capita than Berlin, but of course many ESADE MBAs end up working outside Spain.

If you really want to work in Germany, learn German and then go to Mannheim.
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Duncan
Also read: The sad facts about scholarships http://www.find-mba.com/board/37055
Also read: The sad facts about scholarships http://www.find-mba.com/board/37055
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Thanks again Duncan. I believe you are citing FT salary numbers, which for ESADE seem a bit off to me. According to ESADE's website data, the average salary for the 2014 grads was 69k euros and 88% were employed within 3 months of graduation. FT uses a weighted salary calculated by using the average alumnus salary three years after graduation, and for this FT says ESADE grads earn 133k dollars. How can these two data sources both be correct? If they were, grads would start earning 69k euros in year one, and then by year three would need to have more than doubled that starting salary in order to pull up the average to 133k dollars. Even with exchange rate fluctuations, that seems unlikely.

And, according to ESMT's website data, 67k euros was the average salary and 88% were employed at graduation in 2014.

ESADE: http://www.esade.edu/ftmba/eng/your-career/placement-report
ESMT: https://www.esmt.org/degree-programs/full-time-mba/career-services/mba-placement-statistics

[Edited by LawOfTheJungle on Aug 19, 2015]

Thanks again Duncan. I believe you are citing FT salary numbers, which for ESADE seem a bit off to me. According to ESADE's website data, the average salary for the 2014 grads was 69k euros and 88% were employed within 3 months of graduation. FT uses a weighted salary calculated by using the average alumnus salary three years after graduation, and for this FT says ESADE grads earn 133k dollars. How can these two data sources both be correct? If they were, grads would start earning 69k euros in year one, and then by year three would need to have more than doubled that starting salary in order to pull up the average to 133k dollars. Even with exchange rate fluctuations, that seems unlikely.

And, according to ESMT's website data, 67k euros was the average salary and 88% were employed at graduation in 2014.

ESADE: http://www.esade.edu/ftmba/eng/your-career/placement-report
ESMT: https://www.esmt.org/degree-programs/full-time-mba/career-services/mba-placement-statistics
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Duncan
The FT data are audited by KPMG. Perhaps it is the case that ESADE has much better students and recruiters, and thus better outcomes. Consider the lower managerial premium in Germany also.
The FT data are audited by KPMG. Perhaps it is the case that ESADE has much better students and recruiters, and thus better outcomes. Consider the lower managerial premium in Germany also.
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Thanks Duncan. Perhaps you are right. Anecdotally, the American ESADE grads that I connected with and talked to on LinkedIn said that finding a job was very difficult after the program, mostly because of local language issues. ESMT starts in January and ESADE in September. With both ESMT and ESADE I can take light local language classes during the program. But with ESMT I can spend 6 months before the program intensely learning German. Many of your posts emphasize the need for the local language. With this in mind, couldn't ESMT be a better choice?

Also, could you please explain the managerial premium a bit?
Thanks Duncan. Perhaps you are right. Anecdotally, the American ESADE grads that I connected with and talked to on LinkedIn said that finding a job was very difficult after the program, mostly because of local language issues. ESMT starts in January and ESADE in September. With both ESMT and ESADE I can take light local language classes during the program. But with ESMT I can spend 6 months before the program intensely learning German. Many of your posts emphasize the need for the local language. With this in mind, couldn't ESMT be a better choice?

Also, could you please explain the managerial premium a bit?
quote
Duncan
Indeed, finding a job in Europe is difficult for Americans who don't speak the local language. However, the data show that in recent years ESADE does better than ESMT. Partly that is because ESADE is better at placing students outside Spain.

Six months learning German is a great idea, especially if you do it outside Berlin where you will have fewer temptations to speak English. Go to the smallest city or town you can find. That said, ESADE has Spanish courses inside its MBA and, indeed, the ESADE executive language centre is one of the very best places to learn Spanish.

My managerial premium, I mean the percentage premium over the average salary that managers are paid. That's also reflected in wage inequality generally, which is greater in Spain than in Germany: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SI.POV.GINI
Indeed, finding a job in Europe is difficult for Americans who don't speak the local language. However, the data show that in recent years ESADE does better than ESMT. Partly that is because ESADE is better at placing students outside Spain.

Six months learning German is a great idea, especially if you do it outside Berlin where you will have fewer temptations to speak English. Go to the smallest city or town you can find. That said, ESADE has Spanish courses inside its MBA and, indeed, the ESADE executive language centre is one of the very best places to learn Spanish.

My managerial premium, I mean the percentage premium over the average salary that managers are paid. That's also reflected in wage inequality generally, which is greater in Spain than in Germany: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SI.POV.GINI
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Thanks so much for your help Duncan. If learning the local language is very important, why would I learn Spanish at ESADE which places most of their grads outside of Spain? (Only 19% end up in Spain.) If I went to ESADE I wouldn't even know what language to study as I would have no idea which country I would get hired in. With ESMT it is more direct. If you look at the employment reports for each school, ESADE places 51% of grads in Europe, whereas ESMT places 79% of grads in Europe, and most of those are in Germany. My goal is to stay in Europe and ESMT beats ESADE by almost 30%, a significant number. With ESMT I know to study German. With ESADE I have a 19% chance of being in Spain, a 32% chance of being somewhere else in Europe, leaving a 49% chance of ending up in who the heck knows.

Also, from talking with ESADE career services, they said that often times multinational companies like Amazon will come to ESADE to recruit, but will hire you only in the country from which you have a passport. Meaning I would go back to the U.S., which is not my goal.

In your "Do You Need the Local Language?" post, you suggest that for people who want to move to Europe, a good plan would be to first take an intensive language course then do the degree. I have that option with ESMT but now it seems you are saying that because ESADE outranks ESMT, that ESADE is a better choice. At what point do rankings/historical employment data outweigh the need for the local language? ESADE isn't on the LBS/INSEAD level, or even on the IE level, so I am not getting much more prestige out of an ESADE MBA than I would and ESMT MBA.

ESADE: http://www.esade.edu/ftmba/eng/your-career/placement-report
ESMT: https://www.esmt.org/degree-programs/full-time-mba/career-services/mba-placement-statistics

[Edited by LawOfTheJungle on Aug 21, 2015]

Thanks so much for your help Duncan. If learning the local language is very important, why would I learn Spanish at ESADE which places most of their grads outside of Spain? (Only 19% end up in Spain.) If I went to ESADE I wouldn't even know what language to study as I would have no idea which country I would get hired in. With ESMT it is more direct. If you look at the employment reports for each school, ESADE places 51% of grads in Europe, whereas ESMT places 79% of grads in Europe, and most of those are in Germany. My goal is to stay in Europe and ESMT beats ESADE by almost 30%, a significant number. With ESMT I know to study German. With ESADE I have a 19% chance of being in Spain, a 32% chance of being somewhere else in Europe, leaving a 49% chance of ending up in who the heck knows.

Also, from talking with ESADE career services, they said that often times multinational companies like Amazon will come to ESADE to recruit, but will hire you only in the country from which you have a passport. Meaning I would go back to the U.S., which is not my goal.

In your "Do You Need the Local Language?" post, you suggest that for people who want to move to Europe, a good plan would be to first take an intensive language course then do the degree. I have that option with ESMT but now it seems you are saying that because ESADE outranks ESMT, that ESADE is a better choice. At what point do rankings/historical employment data outweigh the need for the local language? ESADE isn't on the LBS/INSEAD level, or even on the IE level, so I am not getting much more prestige out of an ESADE MBA than I would and ESMT MBA.

ESADE: http://www.esade.edu/ftmba/eng/your-career/placement-report
ESMT: https://www.esmt.org/degree-programs/full-time-mba/career-services/mba-placement-statistics
quote
Quick summary of employment reports:

Grads employed 3
months after graduation: ESMT: 88% ESADE: 88%

Average Salary in euros: ESMT: ~67k ESADE: ~68k

Grads in Europe: ESMT: 79% ESADE: 51%

[Edited by LawOfTheJungle on Aug 21, 2015]

Quick summary of employment reports:

Grads employed 3
months after graduation: ESMT: 88% ESADE: 88%

Average Salary in euros: ESMT: ~67k ESADE: ~68k

Grads in Europe: ESMT: 79% ESADE: 51%

quote
Duncan
I am saying that ESADE is a better choice in general, and not that it's a better choice for you. Obviously I find the three-year data in the FT rankings more useful, not only because they are audited but also because they show trajectory. Obviously Spanish is not only spoken in Spain and German is not spoken only in Germany. However, firms which go to schools in those countries to recruit for elsewhere often look for language skills and cultural familiarity with the country where they are studying: were it not the case, why would you go to those schools rather than better ones? So, many ESADE alumni working outside Spain are either working in their home country or are in roles where knowledge of the Spanish-speaking countries' language and business cultures useful, for example in Spanish-speaking countries themselves, in firms with major bases in Spanish-speaking countries, or where Spanish-speaking markets are important. The same is true for ESMT alumni: even those in the Americas are often working for Siemens, Allianz, Mercedes-Benz, etc.

So, I think that when we put together the number of in-country roles with the reality that language and culture skills are useful for roles in other countries, the case for learning the language is important even before we add in, for example, the greater networking that comes with the language, the stronger capacity to enjoy the host country and the ability to take courses outside the MBA programme.

The statement that ESADE outranks ESMT and is thus a better choice is rather tautological, but it is a general statement rather than one that is a point of specific guidance for you. Were you a client, I would help you refine your career goals so that you are not choosing between two such different schools. However, the fact that your goals are somewhat fluid does give more weight to ESADE, with its 18-month option allowing an internship, more than one concentration and, as the FT data show, much better career services.

[Edited by Duncan on Aug 21, 2015]

I am saying that ESADE is a better choice in general, and not that it's a better choice for you. Obviously I find the three-year data in the FT rankings more useful, not only because they are audited but also because they show trajectory. Obviously Spanish is not only spoken in Spain and German is not spoken only in Germany. However, firms which go to schools in those countries to recruit for elsewhere often look for language skills and cultural familiarity with the country where they are studying: were it not the case, why would you go to those schools rather than better ones? So, many ESADE alumni working outside Spain are either working in their home country or are in roles where knowledge of the Spanish-speaking countries' language and business cultures useful, for example in Spanish-speaking countries themselves, in firms with major bases in Spanish-speaking countries, or where Spanish-speaking markets are important. The same is true for ESMT alumni: even those in the Americas are often working for Siemens, Allianz, Mercedes-Benz, etc.

So, I think that when we put together the number of in-country roles with the reality that language and culture skills are useful for roles in other countries, the case for learning the language is important even before we add in, for example, the greater networking that comes with the language, the stronger capacity to enjoy the host country and the ability to take courses outside the MBA programme.

The statement that ESADE outranks ESMT and is thus a better choice is rather tautological, but it is a general statement rather than one that is a point of specific guidance for you. Were you a client, I would help you refine your career goals so that you are not choosing between two such different schools. However, the fact that your goals are somewhat fluid does give more weight to ESADE, with its 18-month option allowing an internship, more than one concentration and, as the FT data show, much better career services.
quote
Hi guys,

LawOfTheJungle, here to the resque so that you don't make up your mind over a 1:1. Duncan you seem very deep into the topic, what is your profession actually?
Still, my humble take: 26, less than 3 years of experience, started at 6 figures and a BMW 5-series, in Germany, hired 3 months pre-graduation, ICT company. Actually Microsoft - not a secret since I'm registered with my facebook profile, so you guys can find out anyhow. School: ESMT. Reality behind ESMT is a bit more complex than FT rankings reflect, as it is a new school and it takes ages to climb FT the way they are constructed. If you check out any other rankings like Economics or Bloomberg and see the wild fluctuations, you'll understand. The story behind ESMT is that it has the aggressive ambitions of the DAX30 and the government to become an at-par rival of INSEAD and LBS ASAP. Vlerick is not on its competitive radar, ESADE is a great school as far as I know, but it is suffering a lot by the blow on Spanish economy. The class size at ESMT is around 60, so anecdotal evidence should matter, part of which is: the MBA Director of ESMT is the ex-MBA Director of INSEAD. The Macroeconomics professor is also the Humboldt economics professor, coming from HBS. Managerial analysis and decision making (probably the most transferable skill of the MBA, you'll see) is taught by an ex-INSEAD prof as well, Innovation - Stanford guy, Supply chain - Stanford, etc. etc. What I am getting at is how much of investment, corporate backing, and strategy there is behind this school. Look beyond rankings and talk to alumni is my best advice. Obviously I am super satisfied with ESMT, talk to a few ESADE alums (not just US). I think from the above it's clear your choice is basically betewen ESADE and ESMT (totally side with Duncan regarding return on your investment - difference in tuition you will have forgotten after your first annual bonus if you play your cards smart :)). Happy to take this offline and best of luck in your MBA quest!
Hi guys,

LawOfTheJungle, here to the resque so that you don't make up your mind over a 1:1. Duncan you seem very deep into the topic, what is your profession actually?
Still, my humble take: 26, less than 3 years of experience, started at 6 figures and a BMW 5-series, in Germany, hired 3 months pre-graduation, ICT company. Actually Microsoft - not a secret since I'm registered with my facebook profile, so you guys can find out anyhow. School: ESMT. Reality behind ESMT is a bit more complex than FT rankings reflect, as it is a new school and it takes ages to climb FT the way they are constructed. If you check out any other rankings like Economics or Bloomberg and see the wild fluctuations, you'll understand. The story behind ESMT is that it has the aggressive ambitions of the DAX30 and the government to become an at-par rival of INSEAD and LBS ASAP. Vlerick is not on its competitive radar, ESADE is a great school as far as I know, but it is suffering a lot by the blow on Spanish economy. The class size at ESMT is around 60, so anecdotal evidence should matter, part of which is: the MBA Director of ESMT is the ex-MBA Director of INSEAD. The Macroeconomics professor is also the Humboldt economics professor, coming from HBS. Managerial analysis and decision making (probably the most transferable skill of the MBA, you'll see) is taught by an ex-INSEAD prof as well, Innovation - Stanford guy, Supply chain - Stanford, etc. etc. What I am getting at is how much of investment, corporate backing, and strategy there is behind this school. Look beyond rankings and talk to alumni is my best advice. Obviously I am super satisfied with ESMT, talk to a few ESADE alums (not just US). I think from the above it's clear your choice is basically betewen ESADE and ESMT (totally side with Duncan regarding return on your investment - difference in tuition you will have forgotten after your first annual bonus if you play your cards smart :)). Happy to take this offline and best of luck in your MBA quest!
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Duncan
Hi Excelerator,

I'm a career coach, and have a portfolio career also involving market research and PhD study. You can read more about me on my profile.

I don't think ESMT has the sort of aggressive expansion plans or financial backing to allow it to compete with INSEAD or LBS. IMD maybe?

Duncan.
Hi Excelerator,

I'm a career coach, and have a portfolio career also involving market research and PhD study. You can read more about me on my profile.

I don't think ESMT has the sort of aggressive expansion plans or financial backing to allow it to compete with INSEAD or LBS. IMD maybe?

Duncan.
quote
Thanks to both Duncan and Excelerator. With ESMT being so young, what do you think the probability is that it will go out of business and not be here in 20 years?
Thanks to both Duncan and Excelerator. With ESMT being so young, what do you think the probability is that it will go out of business and not be here in 20 years?
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Duncan
Well, look at what happened to GISMA.
Well, look at what happened to GISMA.
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Thanks, I'm reading about that school now.

Do you think the source and the terms of debt should be an important factor when choosing what school to attend? ESADE is about 30k dollars more than ESMT for me, but at ESMT I can use U.S. government financial aid to attend and at ESADE I have to use a standard bank loan. U.S. gov aid allows for income based repayment if needed at 15% of your earnings, and if you aren't earning anything, then no payments are due. U.S. gov aid has more competitive interest rates and I can consolidate a new U.S. gov aid loan with the preexisting loans I am still paying off from undergrad. With ESADE I would get a standard Sallie Mae bank loan will basically no leniency in comparison. Any thoughts on this?
Thanks, I'm reading about that school now.

Do you think the source and the terms of debt should be an important factor when choosing what school to attend? ESADE is about 30k dollars more than ESMT for me, but at ESMT I can use U.S. government financial aid to attend and at ESADE I have to use a standard bank loan. U.S. gov aid allows for income based repayment if needed at 15% of your earnings, and if you aren't earning anything, then no payments are due. U.S. gov aid has more competitive interest rates and I can consolidate a new U.S. gov aid loan with the preexisting loans I am still paying off from undergrad. With ESADE I would get a standard Sallie Mae bank loan will basically no leniency in comparison. Any thoughts on this?
quote

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