We can't all go to ESADE! What about a Spanish mba for


sally

I am an American interested in getting an MBA degree in Spain. I have read a lot of posts in other threads, where a lot of people consistently recommend the "top 3" business schools -- IESE, IE and ESADE - all of which are highly selective and very expensive.

I plan to apply to IE because I really like the description of the program; it sounds like a good fit for me, someone who is interested in entrepreneurship. However, I am realistic and know that I need to apply to some "back up" schools. (Not everyone can go to a top ranked school!) Note that I don't plan to work for a European corporation (or even an American one) post graduation, so the prestigiousness of the school's European reputation isn't that important to me.

Like most applicants, my numbers are not exceptional. I have a 610 GMAT (did great in verbal and writing, but not as hot in quantitative.) I also had a decent but not exceptional 3.4 GPA in undergrad. However, I have a pretty impressive career record to date. I hold a prestigious position in a very competitive industry. (Although, only 2 and a half years of work experience.)

I am looking for an MBA program that preferably puts more of an emphasis on leadership, management and organization, rather than one that is heavy on finance and accounting. (However, I realize that a grasp of those concepts is important in being a well rounded executive.)

Also, finances are a big consideration. I am looking for a university where someone with my credentials has a shot at a decent amount of financial aid. For undergrad, I went to a major state university in the U.S. and financed the whole thing through scholarships, grants and work. I am hoping to be able to do something similar, or at least minimize the amount of borrowed money. I'd also be interested in "graduate assistant" type positions that cover tuition.

Lastly, I'm looking for a program that's completely in English. While my motivation for coming to Spain is in part to improve my Spanish skills, I cannot speak Spanish well enough to excel in the classroom.

This is a recap of what I gathered from other posts:

Top tier schools:
IESE
IE
ESADE

Ranked and accredited but less prestigious:
EADA

Legit, schools that are decent:
Carlos III (has AMBA accrediation)
EOI
EAE
Pompeu Fabra (aka UPF)

Lesser known/fledgling programs:
BMI
European School of Management and Technology

These might actually be scams:
BBS (although some defended it)
Schiller International Uni. (sounds especially shady)

So, based on that information, in addition to IE I'm looking at also applying to EADA and Carlos III (although neither's Web sites intrigued me as much as IE). I also still need to research Pompeu further. Anyone have any other suggestions for Spanish business schools I should look into?

Also, anyone have any idea what my prospects will be like at any of these schools? Or, any other thoughts are welcome.

Thanks for your input!

I am an American interested in getting an MBA degree in Spain. I have read a lot of posts in other threads, where a lot of people consistently recommend the "top 3" business schools -- IESE, IE and ESADE - all of which are highly selective and very expensive.

I plan to apply to IE because I really like the description of the program; it sounds like a good fit for me, someone who is interested in entrepreneurship. However, I am realistic and know that I need to apply to some "back up" schools. (Not everyone can go to a top ranked school!) Note that I don't plan to work for a European corporation (or even an American one) post graduation, so the prestigiousness of the school's European reputation isn't that important to me.

Like most applicants, my numbers are not exceptional. I have a 610 GMAT (did great in verbal and writing, but not as hot in quantitative.) I also had a decent but not exceptional 3.4 GPA in undergrad. However, I have a pretty impressive career record to date. I hold a prestigious position in a very competitive industry. (Although, only 2 and a half years of work experience.)

I am looking for an MBA program that preferably puts more of an emphasis on leadership, management and organization, rather than one that is heavy on finance and accounting. (However, I realize that a grasp of those concepts is important in being a well rounded executive.)

Also, finances are a big consideration. I am looking for a university where someone with my credentials has a shot at a decent amount of financial aid. For undergrad, I went to a major state university in the U.S. and financed the whole thing through scholarships, grants and work. I am hoping to be able to do something similar, or at least minimize the amount of borrowed money. I'd also be interested in "graduate assistant" type positions that cover tuition.

Lastly, I'm looking for a program that's completely in English. While my motivation for coming to Spain is in part to improve my Spanish skills, I cannot speak Spanish well enough to excel in the classroom.

This is a recap of what I gathered from other posts:

Top tier schools:
IESE
IE
ESADE

Ranked and accredited but less prestigious:
EADA

Legit, schools that are decent:
Carlos III (has AMBA accrediation)
EOI
EAE
Pompeu Fabra (aka UPF)

Lesser known/fledgling programs:
BMI
European School of Management and Technology

These might actually be scams:
BBS (although some defended it)
Schiller International Uni. (sounds especially shady)

So, based on that information, in addition to IE I'm looking at also applying to EADA and Carlos III (although neither's Web sites intrigued me as much as IE). I also still need to research Pompeu further. Anyone have any other suggestions for Spanish business schools I should look into?

Also, anyone have any idea what my prospects will be like at any of these schools? Or, any other thoughts are welcome.

Thanks for your input!
quote

Sally,

First, I would try to increase your GMAT, how many times did you take it? It should not be difficult to increase some 20 to 40 points. Second, try to apply for the top schools also. Third, the cost of the MBA does not reflect if the program is expensive or not. For instance, you may pay 60.000 euros for the tuition but you get 80.000 euros for your post-MBA job, but at the other school you may pay 20.000 but you get 40.000 for your post - MBA. This is what happens.

Regarding the rest of the schools: Pompeu Fabra, which is a high quality university in Barcelona, gives me a great level of confidence, so go on with more research about this program. Pompeu Fabra is a young program, good Economics teachers, good university brand.

Sally,

First, I would try to increase your GMAT, how many times did you take it? It should not be difficult to increase some 20 to 40 points. Second, try to apply for the top schools also. Third, the cost of the MBA does not reflect if the program is expensive or not. For instance, you may pay 60.000 euros for the tuition but you get 80.000 euros for your post-MBA job, but at the other school you may pay 20.000 but you get 40.000 for your post - MBA. This is what happens.

Regarding the rest of the schools: Pompeu Fabra, which is a high quality university in Barcelona, gives me a great level of confidence, so go on with more research about this program. Pompeu Fabra is a young program, good Economics teachers, good university brand.
quote
sally

Thanks for the advice. I have only taken the GMAT once.. I took it a few weeks ago, since I made a snap decision to start applying for business schools for this fall. I didn't study much at all, but thought it'd be OK since I usually do well on standardized tests. However, the quantitative question types threw me off; got caught on questions, and I ran out of time only about 2/3 of the way through on that section! So, you're right, with some practice I could probably do a lot better if I tried again.

A lot of deadlines are approaching, so I figure I should just apply with my current score... I'm going to see what kind of offers I get and if I'm not satisfied I might take the GMAT again and try again next year or semester.

How important is GMAT in Spain? In the US you can sometimes make up for a mediocre score by writing really good essays --- so that's been my strategy. Hopefully it will work! I'd rather not spend another $250 and four hours to take the test again!

Thanks for the advice. I have only taken the GMAT once.. I took it a few weeks ago, since I made a snap decision to start applying for business schools for this fall. I didn't study much at all, but thought it'd be OK since I usually do well on standardized tests. However, the quantitative question types threw me off; got caught on questions, and I ran out of time only about 2/3 of the way through on that section! So, you're right, with some practice I could probably do a lot better if I tried again.

A lot of deadlines are approaching, so I figure I should just apply with my current score... I'm going to see what kind of offers I get and if I'm not satisfied I might take the GMAT again and try again next year or semester.

How important is GMAT in Spain? In the US you can sometimes make up for a mediocre score by writing really good essays --- so that's been my strategy. Hopefully it will work! I'd rather not spend another $250 and four hours to take the test again!
quote
LP

Sally,

1. The Pompeu Fabra MBA is not accredited. Be careful with the information that shows on the schools' web sites. Always double check by visiting the accreditation agencies' sites.

2. When visiting the schools' web sites, try to focus on the objective facts: how good is the faculty? who will actually teach in my program? how is the curriculum? how many students per class? how are alumni placed?

3. Be intelligent about tuition costs. The fact that a program is very expensive doesn't imply that it is very good, and the fact that a program is not so expensive doesn't imply it is bad.

4. Always check by yourself what people say in fora (like this one). Comments can be useful, but you don't know anything about those who make these comments. Some of them may be working for business schools, for alumni associations and may be quite partial.

5. Try to visit the schools, get as much info as possible, and do not trust schools that give you vague pieces of information.

Sally,

1. The Pompeu Fabra MBA is not accredited. Be careful with the information that shows on the schools' web sites. Always double check by visiting the accreditation agencies' sites.

2. When visiting the schools' web sites, try to focus on the objective facts: how good is the faculty? who will actually teach in my program? how is the curriculum? how many students per class? how are alumni placed?

3. Be intelligent about tuition costs. The fact that a program is very expensive doesn't imply that it is very good, and the fact that a program is not so expensive doesn't imply it is bad.

4. Always check by yourself what people say in fora (like this one). Comments can be useful, but you don't know anything about those who make these comments. Some of them may be working for business schools, for alumni associations and may be quite partial.

5. Try to visit the schools, get as much info as possible, and do not trust schools that give you vague pieces of information.
quote
sally

jaitego ---

Thanks for the practical advice. You're right, it is really hard to make a judgment when you're thousands of miles away. Hopefully once I narrow it down I might be able to visit some campuses.

The legitimacy or weight of the degree is also something I am concerned about. I received some literature about GISMA in Hannover, Germany. I like that the program offers MBA degrees from both Purdue University and the University of Hannover. Is there anything like that in Spain? One that offers both an American and a Spanish degree? I like that idea because a Purdue degree, for example, is pretty highly regarded in the U.S. and there's a good chance I will be coming back to work here after I graduate. I saw some dual degrees offered but it was usually paired with an engineering degree or something else; not two MBAs. Or the Carlos III, for example, requires that you go to Arizona for the second degree.. which takes a whole additional year of study -- sounds a bit redundant. Plus, I have no desire to go to Arizona...

I am pretty cynical -- so don't worry, I certainly won't make any decisions based on forum comments alone!

Sally

jaitego ---

Thanks for the practical advice. You're right, it is really hard to make a judgment when you're thousands of miles away. Hopefully once I narrow it down I might be able to visit some campuses.

The legitimacy or weight of the degree is also something I am concerned about. I received some literature about GISMA in Hannover, Germany. I like that the program offers MBA degrees from both Purdue University and the University of Hannover. Is there anything like that in Spain? One that offers both an American and a Spanish degree? I like that idea because a Purdue degree, for example, is pretty highly regarded in the U.S. and there's a good chance I will be coming back to work here after I graduate. I saw some dual degrees offered but it was usually paired with an engineering degree or something else; not two MBAs. Or the Carlos III, for example, requires that you go to Arizona for the second degree.. which takes a whole additional year of study -- sounds a bit redundant. Plus, I have no desire to go to Arizona...

I am pretty cynical -- so don't worry, I certainly won't make any decisions based on forum comments alone!

Sally
quote

Regarding Pompeu Fabra MBA:
The MBA is not acredited because is a young program, but Pompeu Fabra is a top university in Barcelona and very welll regarded for recruiters. Moreover, it has a new economic school Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (which is not for MBAS but linked to Pompeu Fabra, similar to the London School of Economics). So in terms of prestige is very good. Probably similar to Carlos III, but I have no more knowledge about Carlos III. Strong points are university prestige, top research in Economics (many of them similar to IESE and ESADE), recruiters similar to the University. By contrary, is still young, not still recognized for the MBA, but I think that it has a good future.

Regarding Pompeu Fabra MBA:
The MBA is not acredited because is a young program, but Pompeu Fabra is a top university in Barcelona and very welll regarded for recruiters. Moreover, it has a new economic school Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (which is not for MBAS but linked to Pompeu Fabra, similar to the London School of Economics). So in terms of prestige is very good. Probably similar to Carlos III, but I have no more knowledge about Carlos III. Strong points are university prestige, top research in Economics (many of them similar to IESE and ESADE), recruiters similar to the University. By contrary, is still young, not still recognized for the MBA, but I think that it has a good future.


quote
LP

Sally,

I don't think there is anything like that in Spain. I know that Carlos III has an agreement with ASU, but if you don't want to spend an extra year in school, it won't help. Since most U.S. MBAs last for 2 years, I'd be surprised if you could spend one year in an MBA in Europe and have your degree recognized by a U.S. school.

You could perhaps check the Lisbon MBA, which has a partnership with MIT. There is no double degree agreement, though.

Sally,

I don't think there is anything like that in Spain. I know that Carlos III has an agreement with ASU, but if you don't want to spend an extra year in school, it won't help. Since most U.S. MBAs last for 2 years, I'd be surprised if you could spend one year in an MBA in Europe and have your degree recognized by a U.S. school.

You could perhaps check the Lisbon MBA, which has a partnership with MIT. There is no double degree agreement, though.
quote
sally

Thanks to both of you for the advice.

Yeah; the GIMSA program seems kind of unique.. it's only 11 months, yet you get the same degree as a Purdue student who has to spend 2 years.. it says, however, that it's an intense, compacted program. So you have to take a larger course load apparently.

I am also looking at some American universities that have study abroad options in Spain. So.. I might go that route. I will apply to both though and see what happens! I might post an update when I have more accomplished.

Thanks to both of you for the advice.

Yeah; the GIMSA program seems kind of unique.. it's only 11 months, yet you get the same degree as a Purdue student who has to spend 2 years.. it says, however, that it's an intense, compacted program. So you have to take a larger course load apparently.

I am also looking at some American universities that have study abroad options in Spain. So.. I might go that route. I will apply to both though and see what happens! I might post an update when I have more accomplished.
quote
gaur6534

quote
mba101

It sounds like Sally did her research! What was your succes percentage? or how many schools did you apply to verses how many you were accepted to?

I am currently working on getting my GMAT score up so that I am competitive enough to actually submit my application to many of the schools you mentioned in your initial post.

I'm eagar to hear where you landed.

It sounds like Sally did her research! What was your succes percentage? or how many schools did you apply to verses how many you were accepted to?

I am currently working on getting my GMAT score up so that I am competitive enough to actually submit my application to many of the schools you mentioned in your initial post.

I'm eagar to hear where you landed.
quote
sally

I only ended up applying to 3 schools this year: ESADE, EADA, and Case Western Reserve University (it's in my backyard in Cleveland.)

Case is a four semester program.. and you can do an exchange with ESADE for one semester.

EADA accepted me.
ESADE told me I "meet their profile but need more work experience." (I have 2 years experience.) They told me they could reconsider me for 2010.
Case accepted me and offered me a half tuition scholarship.

I have not yet made a decision. I am actually considering retaking my GMAT, applying to all the Spanish universities and seeing if anyone will give me a scholarship/fellowship. That would be nice...

I am working right now so I am not under too much pressure to start this fall... I would really like to, though.

---
PS I just reread my initial post and realized it might seem odd that I didn't end up applying to IE afterall.. My plan was to apply to all the Spanish schools.. and I started with the ones with the soonest deadlines.. then I was kind of like, well, I'll see what happens with these before I shell out hundreds more dollars to apply to the others. Plus IE has rolling admissions so I could still apply ...

I only ended up applying to 3 schools this year: ESADE, EADA, and Case Western Reserve University (it's in my backyard in Cleveland.)

Case is a four semester program.. and you can do an exchange with ESADE for one semester.

EADA accepted me.
ESADE told me I "meet their profile but need more work experience." (I have 2 years experience.) They told me they could reconsider me for 2010.
Case accepted me and offered me a half tuition scholarship.

I have not yet made a decision. I am actually considering retaking my GMAT, applying to all the Spanish universities and seeing if anyone will give me a scholarship/fellowship. That would be nice...

I am working right now so I am not under too much pressure to start this fall... I would really like to, though.

---
PS I just reread my initial post and realized it might seem odd that I didn't end up applying to IE afterall.. My plan was to apply to all the Spanish schools.. and I started with the ones with the soonest deadlines.. then I was kind of like, well, I'll see what happens with these before I shell out hundreds more dollars to apply to the others. Plus IE has rolling admissions so I could still apply ...
quote
gaur6534

quote
Haute MBA

dont do the Lisbon MBA. The admissions team is 10 times better than the actual people running the program. They dont care at all about their candidates outside the classroom.

dont do the Lisbon MBA. The admissions team is 10 times better than the actual people running the program. They dont care at all about their candidates outside the classroom.
quote
vbnk10

I coudln´t disagree more. I am currently a student at The Lisbon MBA and the one thing I value most is the familiar environment that we have. If I have a problem I can immediately email the management team or even stop over at their offices. We are not numbers here....

I coudln´t disagree more. I am currently a student at The Lisbon MBA and the one thing I value most is the familiar environment that we have. If I have a problem I can immediately email the management team or even stop over at their offices. We are not numbers here....
quote

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