In 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:
September: 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)
January-March: 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
About Cristina Sassot
Cristina is the MBA Admissions Director at ESADE Business School.
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