ESADE MBA - Misconception, Curriculum Structure and Alternatives to Specializations

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.

We have now three blocks, one in each of our core terms: Awareness, Create & Innovate, and Transform.

We start the MBA by gaining awareness. In awareness, it is critical to understand the big picture and also to improve your self-awareness to better leverage and develop your strengths. Then, we move to “Create and Innovate”. Here, the idea here is to give students the tools to design new strategies to move organizations to the next level. And our third term is “Transform”. There, students get equipped with the tools to make things happen to transform the way in which companies work and also have an impact on the industry and society.
ESADE offers three formats: 12 months, 15 months, and 18 months. What is the goal of each format?

The most popular option is the 18-month program, as it allows students to make the most of the MBA’s full scope. However, because of their professional commitments, some students prefer to take the more compact 15-month track. Exceptionally, a 12-month fast-track program is available, although the candidate must meet strict requirements. The final decision regarding course length need not be made until as late as the end of Term 3, in April or May.

18 months: students can take an internship between Year 1 and Year 2 and an exchange program during Year 2.

15 months:
students have to choose between taking an internship between Year 1 and Year 2 and an exchange program during Year 2.

12 months: students can take neither an internship nor an exchange program.

All the participants start the full-time MBA at the same time, complete the mandatory number of credits (90 ECTS), and graduate together, no matter which of the three options is chosen.

What percentage of the latest class chose the 18-month option?

2018 class – 70.21%

Skill acquisition is a big factor when it comes to getting maximum value out of the ESADE full-time MBA. What teaching methodology has the faculty at ESADE adopted?

It is clear that knowledge of management is not achieved by applying any single method of study; our experience and academic research proves this. So ESADE's is a balanced approach, combining theory, practice and a measured use of case studies. The methodology varies depending on the objectives pursued in each of the subjects, and the skills, attitudes and behavioral patterns sought from an MBA.

The academic theory provides an essential grounding for management knowledge, but the decisions faced daily by executives can only be tackled successfully through practice. With this in mind, classes are small and active, and feature case studies, simulation games, teamwork, tutorials, role-play and other activities. The aim is to give an accurate picture of the complexity of the business world. The cooperative methodology employed in the MBA seeks to simulate real-life working conditions and encourage cross-functional and multicultural teamwork.

The Student First project at ESADE, based on the flipped learning methodology, is reshaping the innovative learning ecosystems for students and participants.  Classroom experiences enable students to play a central role in their own learning, solving real-world (i.e., fuzzy and multidisciplinary) problems. They are given guidance, recommendations, and support throughout the process of solving the proposed challenges, and not just as a feedback at the end of the process. Students get the opportunity to improve their self-knowledge, to hear their own voice and, to be and do their best.

ESADE is featured among one of the best international MBA programs. Also, the ESADE team attracts over 96%, international students. How is the curriculum structured to help candidates gain an international perspective?

Our students come from more than 40 countries, so diversity is fostered through integrated teams with a wide variety of geographic, academic and professional backgrounds. This makes for a global perspective and nurtures leadership, teamwork, negotiation and project management skills.

When can students customize the full-time MBA program?

Right from the start of the program. The schedule to customize the program is as follows:

Career Acceleration Programs (CAP) (CAP-Consulting, CAP-Investment and Private Banking, CAP-in Technological Disruption)
December: Business labs (Innovation Lab, Entrepreneurship Lab, Family Business Lab, Marketing Lab)
February/March: exchange program and CBI: a project course, where students from multidisciplinary teams collaborate with researchers at CERN to solve problems that would impact the future of humankind
April/May: track decision (12-15-18)


they can decide whether they want to participate in the language program (Spanish, German, French)
June: they can go on a study tour (USA, Korea, Colombia, South Africa, Germany)

How many specializations can they choose?

The ESADE full-time MBA is a General Management MBA program with no provision for specializations as such. If students have a special area of interest, they can elaborate on it through the following:

Career Acceleration Programs (CAP) (CAP-Consulting, CAP-Investment, and Private Banking, CAP-in Technological Disruption): provide MBA students with the hands-on learning, knowledge, insights, and tools to succeed in the industry.

Business labs
(Innovation Lab, Entrepreneurship Lab, Family Business Lab, Marketing Lab) is an excellent opportunity to specialize in areas of interest to increase their potential when preparing for a niche career post-graduation.

In addition to the special programs, a wide range of elective programs in innovation, finance, branding, consultancy, management, or entrepreneurship, help students channel their career towards professional goals.

Who should opt for the Dual MBA program?

The Dual MBA program is intended for those candidates who want to make the most of both European and Chinese outlooks and to get a grasp of the world’s two most important languages for business. It is also highly recommended for those candidates who want to maximize their international experience during the MBA, as they will have the opportunity to study in both Barcelona and Beijing at two of the best business schools in the world, with a year at each. Two MBA degrees are awarded after graduation in Beijing. From the perspective of professional development, this program entitles students to the career services and alumni associations of both schools.


Esade Full-time MBA
Esade MBA Admissions Director

About Cristina Sassot

Cristina is the MBA Admissions Director at ESADE Business School.

2020 MBA Research Guide - Choose your MBA

"I attended three MBA Tours in US and Canada. I could just scratch the surface compared to what the guide has included. Thank you guys for the amazing book"

F1GMAT's Comprehensive MBA Research Guide will teach you how to select MBA programs through a bottom-up approach. 

Articulating your Post-MBA Goals and Career Path is the FIRST step. Which program will give you that hike in Salary, Switch in Career, Change in Location or Job Satisfaction?

We cover them all through our extensive analysis. 

Pages: 506

+ How to Choose the Best MBA Program: Factors to Consider
Define Post-MBA Goals
Pick your Path: Generalize or Specialize
Use Moral Algebra Method 
Use Multi-Attribute Utility Theory
Understand the Top 5 Risks
Measure MBA Career Service Team's Effectiveness
Use Bookending to Calculate MBA Admission Chance
Use Net Present Value to Calculate MBA Return on Investment
Don't Fall for the Mere Exposure Effect
Best Practices to find the truth in MBA Information Session or MBA Tour

Comprehensive MBA Research Guide:
Top MBA Programs by 19 Specializations:
+ General Management
+ Finance
+ Consulting
+ Marketing
+ Strategy
+ Operations Management
+ Supply Chain Management
+ Luxury Management
+ Information Systems
+ Hospitality Management
+ Accounting
+ Energy
+ Non-Profit
+ Wine
+ Sports
+ Sustainability
+ Leadership Development
+ Military &
+ International

+ Top MBA Program Ranking
Top 20 MBA Programs - Tuition Fee  
Top 31 MBA Programs in United States – Total Cost & Salary

Top 60 MBA – GMAT and GPA (Average & Median)
Top 20 European MBA Programs - Tuition Fee, Total Cost & Salary    
Top 20 European MBA Programs (Based on Actual Salary Increase)    
Top 20 European MBA Programs (Short-term return on investment)    
Top 20 Affordable European MBA Programs    
Top 10 MBA in UK – Salary & Fee   
Top MBA Destinations Based on Happiness Index    
Top MBA Destinations based on Innovation Index    
Top 10 MBA Job Markets based on Cost of living and Purchasing Power    
Top MBA Destination: By Economy    

+Comparisons - Top MBA Programs
Wharton vs. Columbia MBA
MIT vs. Stanford MBA  
Haas vs. Ross MBA    

Kellogg vs Ross MBA    
Booth vs Wharton MBA    
MIT Sloan vs Tuck MBA    

IIMA vs. ISB   

Harvard vs. Stanford MBA

+ MBA in France (2018)
Top Industries in France   
Top MBA Programs in France  

  Class Profile   
  Post-MBA Salary

Scholarships in France
External Funding 

+ MBA in the UK (2018)
Top Industries in the UK   
Top MBA Programs in the UK

  Class Profile   
  Post-MBA Salary

Scholarships in the UK
External Funding 

New Visa Rules: Post-Brexit

+ Germany: Industry Trends, Post MBA Jobs and Salaries (2020) (NEW!)
  • Manufacturing  
  • IoT and IIOT   
  • Technology   
  • FinTech   
  • Management Consulting   
  • Post-MBA industries (German Top Schools)   

Download F1GMAT's MBA Research Guide (2020)

Navigate F1GMAT

F1GMAT Services (MBA Applicants) 

F1GMAT's Books

MBA Salary(Latest Salary Data)
MBA Admission Interview Tips



MBA Application Essays

MBA Recommendation Letter

GMAT Tutorials

GMAT Question Bank

Top MBA Programs

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