Ask MBA Admissions Team

IESE MBA InterviewIn the second part of the interview with Pascal Michels, we ask how IESE approaches Leadership development and the reasons why 1/3rd of IESE graduates pursue Entrepreneurship within 10 years of graduation.

How does the program develop leadership skills in MBA students?

“Leadership,” “Leader” are terms that get thrown around these days without much thought about what they actually mean. At IESE we teach Leadership as a subject in the first term, but I think it is very telling about how we look at leadership to see that this class is followed in the second term by “managing oneself” and “business ethics.”

All disciplines are woven into the cases we discuss, but it is particularly interesting to see these three connected.

Leading others starts with being able to manage oneself.

Leading people means managing emotions, and if you are not apt at reading and managing your own emotions, you will struggle to be a good leader. The positive impact we expect our graduates to have in their communities over their careers will...

IESE MBA InterviewIESE is among the few top MBA programs known for its Case Study Method. We ask Pascal how effective the method is for teaching new concepts and will the call for hands-on experience decrease the relevance of cases

What learning could be more experiential that discussing a real general management situation in a classroom combining roughly 2000 years of work experience across all sectors, functions and geographies?

What is amazing about the case-study method is that it is simply the most powerful way to leverage the incredible diversity that we bring into the classroom. The idea is to learn from your classmates as well as from the professors.

Our professors are all involved in cutting-edge research and consulting work for companies, so in a way, even if you discuss a case that might seem dated, it is really the classroom discussion that will produce the learning. Not only in your classroom, but the professor might also have taught the same case to a group of senior company executives on our New York campus a week earlier. The instincts she would have gained there will also...

IESE MBA InterviewWe had interviewed many MBA Admissions officers and Marketing Managers. It is rare that you encounter a school's representative that bleeds passion and belief in their program's potential to reach #1 in Global MBA Rankings.

In recent rankings, IESE has been challenging the dominance of INSEAD and London Business School to take over Europe's #1 spot. In such an exciting time for the Spanish Giant, we are pleased to publish the first part of the interview with Pascal Michels - the Director of MBA Admissions at IESE Business School

What is the biggest misconception about IESE Full-time MBA program?

I would say that with a predominance of one year programs in the European market there is an assumption that two-year programs are more relaxed. This is certainly far from true regarding IESE. Academically, our full-time MBA is extremely rigorous, especially during the first year. This is done on purpose because we believe that people get the best out of the learning experience only if they are stretched to their limits. I have no doubt that the first year of our program is at least as intense as the most intense one year programs out there.

Another feature of our full-time MBA which...

Oxford MBA interviewIn the first part of the interview with Mark O’Brien - the Associate Director of MBA Recruitment at the University of Oxford, Saïd Business School, we discuss the biggest misconception about Oxford MBA, the teaching tools at the MBA program, the unique integrative module and how Oxford MBA students can customize their curriculum.

What is the biggest misconception about Oxford MBA?

We aim to be a world-class business school community, tackling world-scale problems. Many people assume that our vision is fulfilled purely through our graduates who go on to work in the social impact space, but it is just as important that the majority of our community who are working in the more traditional MBA sectors believe in the School’s mission and play their part in tackling the problems we face in business and society.

We are a dynamic school balancing the spirit of a young,  and innovative class, with the values of an 800-year-old world-class university. The Business School itself was 21 years old in 2017. The Oxford MBA attracts candidates from 60 different nationalities, who come from a wide range of industries and functions.

We are incredibly proud...

Oxford MBA interviewIn the second part of the interview with Mark O’Brien, we find out why Oxford MBA is leading the trend in enabling candidates to pursue Entrepreneurship. We also learned how the MBA program nurtures Social Impact as a lifelong value.

From the 300+ size of the latest class, 11% are starting their Business. That is an incredible record. How does Oxford MBA encourage Entrepreneurship?

Oxford does have a strong cohort of entrepreneurs, both joining the programme and those switching to entrepreneurship after graduation. In addition to the integrative module on entrepreneurship, all students undertake an Entrepreneurship Project and develop a complete business plan which is presented to a panel of invited venture capitalists and other practitioners. Whether the student already runs a business, or they are considering making a move into entrepreneurship, this is a great chance to develop new products or business models in a safe environment.

We also offer an optional co-curricular course called VIEW (Venture Idea Generation Workshop).

Working in teams, participants will practice important...

IMD DeanWe interviewed Seán Meehan – the Dean of the MBA program at IMD Business School. In the first part of the interview, we find out the biggest misconception about the full-time MBA program, the teaching methodology, chances for younger applicants, and the unique class profile.

What is the biggest misconception about IMD Full-time MBA program?

Some people believe our program is not diverse. The IMD MBA is the most diverse program in the world! With one section of 90 students of which 26 are female, our participants ranging in age from 25 to 38 represent 43 nationalities and come from every industry imaginable. We see a growing interest in technology and healthcare as well as from female applicants.

What is the teaching methodology adopted at IMD?

IMD is a business school not a university.

Our faculty are constantly consulting, researching and working with executives on current issues and challenges being faced by companies today. They therefore bring into the auditorium a...

IMD DeanIn the second part of the interview, we learn how IMD pioneered the International Consulting Project, the career motivation of the MBA class, post-MBA roles, and the value the program offers for career switchers.

Consulting is the most popular industry for MBA candidates. The International Consulting Project (ICP), the 2-month experiential learning program looks extensive. Is the course only for candidates interested in consulting? Can you give us an overview of the type of projects?

IMD was first on the scene with ICPs almost 40 years ago, and companies come back to us year after year as they really appreciate the value of the insights they gain from our MBAs.

The ICPs take place in the second half of the program and are a great platform for all of our participants to put into practice everything that they have learned during the year and realise how far they have come. It is a step back into the real world. They are no longer working within the safety of the IMD bubble but are working on a real strategic challenge faced by a...

Interview with Esade MBA Admissions DirectorIn the first part of the interview with Cristina Sassot –ESADE’s MBA Admissions director, we find out the biggest misconception about ESADE Full-time MBA, the program length options, the curriculum structure and alternatives to specializations.

What is the biggest misconception about the ESADE full-time MBA program?

The ESADE full-time MBA is not a traditional MBA. Traditional MBAs prepare students to take existing leadership positions in large and well-established companies. Non-traditional MBAs, like The ESADE MBA, help students find ways to create new opportunities, in large-established companies, or entrepreneurial organizations.

How can you do that?

By challenging the status-quo and thinking beyond what exists, to create what might be. As an example, a number of our graduates have created the position of Director of Partnerships in companies such as Square and FormLabs, acknowledging the importance of working with others and thinking in ecosystems.
The structure of The ESADE MBA has also been transformed to reflect this mentality....

Interview with Esade MBA Admissions DirectorIn the second part of the interview, Cristina shares how the ESADE MBA Admissions team choose the ideal candidate.

How do you choose an ESADE MBA candidate?

Admission process: Candidates submit their application, which is then reviewed by the MBA Admissions Committee

• The Committee makes a shortlist of candidates who are called to an Official Interview. This may be held on our Barcelona campus, in the candidate’s region of residence, or exceptionally via video conference.

• On the basis of the interview, the Committee reviews the full application again and reaches a final decision regarding his or her admission. From the moment the candidate submits his or her application materials (GMAT scores, English proficiency exams, etc.), the process lasts four to six weeks in all.

• Non-academic qualities

In addition to fulfillment of the application requirements, the Committee asks itself three key questions about MBA candidates:

i. Do they show potential for leadership? In other words,...

In the third part and the most sought after part of the interview with Imran Kanga, we discuss the Curriculum Structure and the Post-MBA opportunities at Schulich School of Business.

Schulich offers 18 specializations. Among them, which are the top 3 in popularity? When can students start their specialization?

Students choose their electives and specializations in the 2nd year of the program and have the opportunity to specialize in up to two areas. Many of our students combine Marketing with Strategy, or Finance and Strategy for example. Students are also able to combine functional specializations such as Marketing or Finance with one of our many industry specializations – everything from global mining and retail to health, entertainment or real estate and infrastructure. This ability to combine functional areas with industries helps differentiate our graduates. There is a lot of choice and flexibility given to students that allow them to customize the program to meet their individual needs.

The three most popular specializations are Finance, Marketing, and Strategic Management.


In the second part of the interview, Imran Kanga - Assistant Director, Graduate Recruitment & Admissions reveals the biggest misconception about Schulich Full-time MBA program and the massively popular International Field Study project.

What is the biggest misconception about Schulich Full-time MBA program?

I think a common misconception students have about our MBA is that our program is best suited for students who would like to pursue careers in Finance and Marketing. While the Finance and Consumer Products sectors do tend to recruit a large number of Schulich graduates, I think our program has strengths beyond just these two sectors. For example, our students gain live consulting experience in Canada by working with companies on consulting projects during the program, so students that would like to pursue a career in Consulting would also benefit immensely from our program. We also offer some very niche and unique industry specializations like Arts and Media, Real Estate and Infrastructure, Social Sector Management, Business and Sustainability and Healthcare Industry Management. So students that have diverse interests in these areas would also be a great fit for our program.

Schulich MBA AdmissionsIn the first part of the interview, Imran Kanga - Assistant Director, Graduate Recruitment & Admissions shares about the various MBA program options and the teaching methodology used at Schulich School of Business.

The Schulich MBA has an unusual option – switching from Full-time to part-time and vice versa. How does it work logistically? When should candidates opt for this option?

The Schulich MBA program is one of the most flexible programs in the country today. Students have the option to start the program part-time or full-time but can also switch back and forth during the program.

Students need to complete 20 full courses (60 credits) to graduate. They can do this full time in 4 terms (taking 5 courses per term) or part-time over 10 terms (taking 2 courses per term).

A student would benefit from this option because it helps students maintain a work-study balance. Let’s say a student is working with a company and he starts the program part-time in the Fall. During the winter term, if work is relatively slow the student can add a few more courses and study Full time for that term. In the next term, as work...

Director of MBA Admissions - Texas MBAIn the first part of the interview, we ask Rodrigo Malta, the Director of MBA Admissions at The McCombs School of Business about the biggest misconception, the curriculum structure, and the record 20 concentrations that the MBA program offers.

1. What is the biggest misconception about Texas Full-time MBA?  
The misconception I hear is about the class size. There are a couple of items that I like to highlight for applicants considering the Texas Full-Time MBA Program at McCombs. The first is the fact that we are an intimate program at a large university. This allows our students to build a strong community with other students, faculty, and staff while taking advantage of the resources at a large, top-ranked research university. The second is the fact that we have a highly flexible MBA program that allows you to select from over 20 concentrations and tailor an MBA path that is right for you.
2. The Texas Full-Time MBA curriculum has an interesting mix of concentrations. Tell us the thought process behind the grouping.
We have over 20 concentrations for our Texas MBA students to explore at McCombs....

Director of MBA Admissions - Texas MBAIn the second part of the interview with the Director of MBA Admissions, we discuss the support Texas MBA offers to the military family.

McCombs is known for the strong support for applicants from the Military background. How does the program help them transition from Military responsibilities to post-MBA careers?

At the university level, our Student Veteran Services office is an amazing resource for our military applicants and students. We also have a very active community in Texas Veterans in Business, the student organization at the School.  The organization fosters camaraderie among MBA students who previously served, or continue to serve, in any nation’s armed forces.

Texas Veterans in Business focuses on drawing parallels between the principles learned in the military and the skills required to be successful in business. This organization maintains relationships with other ex-military MBAs at top business schools around the country and provides information to current or ex-military applicants.  On the career advancement side, our military students can take advantage of our one-...

Director of MBA Admissions -<br />
Texas MBAIn the final part of the interview with the Director of MBA Admissions, we find out how experiential learning at Texas MBA help career switchers.
Experiential Learning is a vital part of the learning experience at McCombs. How does the program help career switchers gain the leadership and consulting experiences needed to switch into consulting and General Management roles post-MBA?
At the Texas MBA Program, we have several opportunities for our students to put into practice what they are learning in the classroom.

One of the highlights of our program is the MBA+ Leadership Program. This program is available to all our students and is designed to help them discover, strengthen, and polish their leadership style, so they can step confidently into a new career path ready to create lasting impact. It's an optional program individually-tailored towards your Texas MBA degree, including personalized coaching, seminars featuring industry leaders and micro-consulting projects.

Ivey MBAWe interviewed J.D. Clarke - the Executive Director, Recruitment of Admissions (Masters Programs) to learn about the biggest Misconception about Ivey MBA and the admission process for getting into the one-year MBA program.

What is the biggest misconception about Ivey MBA program?

The one that causes many potential candidates to self-select out of the process is probably the misconception that we only have students from business or engineering backgrounds in the program. In fact, we seek out students who have diverse experience as it adds to the overall classroom experience. We have had doctors in the program, military personnel, students with arts and music backgrounds, professional athletes, and the list goes on. 

Our students have mentioned learning from peers as the most surprising part of the classroom experience.

If you’re a candidate with a non-traditional background who is wondering whether you could be a fit for our program, we encourage you to have a conversation with us!

With the emphasis on real-world experience, do you think case study method would become irrelevant and replaced by experiential learning modules? ...

In the third part of the Interview Series with Christie St-John, the Director of MBA Admissions at the Owen Graduate School of Management, we find out the entry criteria, application process, and scholarship opportunities.

Q) What are the various criteria for scholarships? Is there a separate application? How many scholarships are on offer for the latest class?

Because we are a private university, our scholarships are funded by alumni or corporate friends. Each donor may request that the scholarship be limited to certain students. For example, a woman who plans to work in finance, an engineer who will focus on technology advancements, a student with a military background, etc.  The one requirement that they all have in common is “merit."

For that reason, we examine the undergraduate transcript and the GMAT scores of each candidate, the work experience and projected career path and interpersonal skills. Candidates who are at or above our “average” may be awarded a scholarship. There is no separate application and students will learn about their scholarship award at the time they are admitted.

Vanderbilt awarded need-based or merit scholarships in the range of 15,383 - $72,212 to 62 students (one third of the class) for the Fall 2017 class.

What are the entry criteria for the...

Vanderbilt MBA Admissions DirectorIn the first part of the Interview Series with Christie St-John, Atul Jose - the Editor of F1GMAT asks about the biggest misconception about Vanderbilt MBA, how the curriculum is structured for career switchers, and the rise of the health care specialization.

What is the biggest misconception about Vanderbilt MBA?

Many people believe that because we are in the Southern part of the United States, we are a regional school;  that most of our students come from this area and also that they stay here for full-time jobs after the MBA. It is not true. Our students come from everywhere in the United States and abroad, and their post-MBA employment is just as varied in location, from San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Miami, and points outside of the United States.

How is the curriculum structured to help career switchers?

First, our classes are set up in seven-week modules, so students finish all the core classes early and begin taking classes in their area of specialization. This prepares them for a career switch because they will have the knowledge, both from class work and from practical, hands...

Vanderbilt MBA Admissions<br />
DirectorIn the second part of the Interview Series, we look at the popularity of Military MBA applicants, diversity of the class, impact of Visa Rules on placements, and the latest Post-MBA placement trends.

The % of Military MBA candidates in the class is 11%. What encourages applicants from the military background to join Vanderbilt MBA?

I have made a concerted effort to reach out to military candidates through various events and resources. We value the discipline, leadership, maturity, and humility that veterans bring to the classroom and their study groups. So do our corporate recruiters. Veterans often need a little extra coaching on translating their military experience to the civilian world. We have a very strong support system that helps them in any way necessary. That, plus word of mouth from our current students, seems to attract more veterans to the program each year.

Is there any conscious effort to maintain diversity in the Full-time MBA class?

Absolutely. We value diversity in all its aspects.  We have one recruiter dedicated to international recruiting...

Categories : Insead, MBA Consulting

Insead MBAIn the Second Part of the Interview with Minh Huy Lai, the Managing Director of INSEAD MBA Programme, we discuss the Admission process (Essays, Recommendation Letter and Interviews), the entry criteria (GMAT, International Exposure, Experience), and the scholarship opportunities for MBA Applicants.

Read the first part of the interview to learn about INSEAD's MBA Curriculum, Campus Structure and the program's success in attracting top recruiters from Management Consulting.

Are there any criteria in terms of International exposure when you accept INSEAD candidates? Should they have travel experience or is it just working with an International (Multinational) company that counts?

Minh (INSEAD MBA): First, let us discuss what International experience means. An applicant might be working in their home country for an International company, but if they have traveled and stayed in another country for work, we consider it an international experience. Or they should have worked with an international team and interacted with them on a regular basis. Even if the applicant has no...

Get F1GMAT's Newsletters (Best in the Industry)
Included in the Newsletter:

  • Ranking Analysis
  • Post-MBA Salary Trends
  • Post-MBA Job Function & Industry Analysis
  • Post-MBA City Review
  • MBA Application Essay Tips
  • School Specific Essay Tips
  • GMAT Preparation Tips
  • MBA Admission Interview Tips
  • School Specific Interview Tips
  • Funding Guidance and
  • Special Consultation Service (only for Subscribers)

Subscribe to F1GMAT's Newsletter