Interview with Cristina Sassot - ESADE MBA Admissions Director

ESADE MBA1. What is the biggest misconception about ESADE MBA programs?

Probably, that you have to speak Spanish to start an MBA at our school; you don’t need to have studied Spanish at all before arriving to ESADE. You take your classes in English but will learn Spanish throughout, so you’ll be fully able to speak it by the time you graduate.  Before class starts, we offer a summer crash course in Spanish for absolute beginners, just before Welcome Week.

2. Spain's Economy is 12th largest in the world. But from 2007 onwards, Spanish economy began to slow down. Has the state of the economy affected the job prospects for ESADE MBA Students?

We have been very lucky in that the economy has not affected the number of students looking to study MBAs. In such economic turmoil, the more academically prepared you are, the better, so an MBA is the string to your bow that you need to help you get ahead.  Our longstanding relationship with some of the biggest companies across a wide variety of sectors has meant that we are still relied on heavily to provide recruiting companies with top calibre students – they trust our methods and come back for Career Forums time and time again. Our graduate placement percentage within 3 months of graduation has always been exceptional, but despite the financial downturn we are still seeing some 90% and above placements on graduation.

3. ESADE MBA Class is comprised of 75% international students. What attracts International students to ESADE?

Just that! We actually have 85% international students! Where better to study your MBA than in a school where in a tight-knit group you have people from 45 other countries, all with business experience in their country and respective sectors. It really makes for an enriching experience. Our small groups, our team work oriented class structure, the flexibility of our programme, (12, 15, 18 months).

4. What are some of the networking opportunities provided by ESADE?

Apart from the frequent events organised by our 19 MBASA student clubs (Mobile World Congress, Business in Cleantech Energy Forum, Spring Event) open to the public and with acclaimed guest speakers and networking opportunities, ESADE Career Services offer many types of Round Table events, company presentations, business breakfasts and seasonal career forums, in addition to regular events held by ESADE Alumni.

5. Does the ESADE MBA Program give emphasis on Entrepreneurship?

Absolutely. In fact, Entrepreneurship is one of the four strategic lines we focus our courses around and more importantly the foundation upon which this school was built. We are immensely proud of our entrepreneurial heritage.  Integrated into the core curriculum, our mandatory Entrepreneurship Programme helps participants consolidate and apply the knowledge acquired during The ESADE MBA in the development of innovative business plans.  Numerous new businesses are launched by graduating students annually.

6. How is the student life in ESADE Business School? What measures are being taken to help international students acclimatize with Spain?

Immersion and acclimatization starts way before the first day of class. We reach out to students from much earlier on, keeping them up to date with what’s happening round campus, what they can expect to find when they arrive, fun stuff through social media and the buddy programme, where a current student becomes like a pen-pal for any queries or issues you may face before joining. This works really well and goes a long way to helping integrate students ahead of time. Welcome week is a full week of fun activities in teams to both break the ice, but get their strategic minds ticking over with a taste of what’s in store in the classroom. Outings take place from the minute students arrive in Barcelona to get the ball rolling!

7. Every school promotes its MBA program based on its Accreditations, ROI, Job prospects and Unique learning methodologies. What makes ESADE stand out from the competition?

Our biggest assets are our students without a doubt, whilst like other schools we pride ourselves on our accreditations too! Our students choose us because of their compatibility with the ESADE culture, a family community of working together for a common cause, and as a result we all relish the successes of each and every one of them, which are numerous and well deserved. The ESADE community really has to be felt to be believed.

8. Can you give our readers a demographic snapshot of the latest Full-time MBA program?

Esade MBA Full-time MBA CLASS OF 2013

1) Number of Countries Represented: 43
2) Average Age: 28 
3) Number of Students - Full-time MBA: 171 Students
4) Age range 24-33
5) Average work experience: 5 years (required a minimum of 2).

Esade Business School Gender

ESADE MBA Geographical Background

9. What are some of the unique courses offered in ESADE Full-time MBA program? How will these courses help MBA students?

The thing that by far sets us apart from other business schools is our programme flexibility. You can choose to study your MBA in 12, 15, or 18 months, something that you don’t need to decide until well in to Term 2, which means you can get a feel for school and have your objectives clear before you make up your mind. You might like the opportunity to go on exchange to another university, an internship or you may want to get back to work as quickly as possible and finish the programme earlier.

10. What are the entry criteria in terms of the number of years of experience/GMAT/ for ESADE Full-time MBA program?

Candidates should have a minimum of 2 years work experience, though the average is normally at around 5. We’re proud to have an average GMAT score of 670; it has stayed consistently high and reflects the high quality of our students.

11. What are some of the defining characteristics that you look for in an ESADE MBA candidate?

Ultimately, we are looking for an all-rounder; someone who is target driven, open-minded and flexible, who works well in a team with exceptional communication skills and who is socially responsible… We base our decision on the individual and their achievements and personality to ensure the right “fit”, but take these and other factors into account when we meet potential students.

Cristina Sassot is the director of Admissions at ESADE Business School. You can follow Cristina (for the MBA Program updates)

 For the latest about ESADE MBA visit ESADE MBA Programs Page

 ESADE MBA Program Quick Facts and Summary

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