IESE 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 infuse the case discussion with new ideas. I cannot think of a more intense, transformative and a fun way of learning about business than the case study
Going through hundreds of cases during the MBA transforms our candidates. If anything, I would argue that the case method will gain in relevance as it is perfectly designed to complement technological changes in the education industry. The human interaction in a case discussion is very direct, almost physical, with some professors walking up to students or cold-calling out of the blue. There is a lot of friction. This will not have a substitute anytime soon. I would add here that IESE has a very strong learning innovation unit and that we are at the forefront of initiatives such as virtual classrooms. These are things that will complement and enhance the case method, not replace it.
Finally, beyond our focus on the case method, IESE is very active in the field of experiential learning. Maybe this is something that I should have added earlier about misconceptions.
Our curriculum, through the Capstone consulting project in the first year but especially the second year, is specifically about experimenting. This is reflected in some of the available electives as well as in the work we do during overseas modules.
The EXIM elective, for example, is an extremely intense team-based business simulation where each team runs a virtual company in competition with others. During our modules in Nairobi and Sao Paolo, participating students spend one week working on concrete business problems with entrepreneurs and SMEs in these cities.
IESE Case Study Method
Capstone Consulting Project
About Pascal Michels
Pascal Michels heads the MBA Admissions at IESE Business School. Before taking on the role as the Gatekeeper for the 350+ Full-time MBA class, Pascal was with the career services team managing the relationships with key stakeholders in the Financial Services sector and coached Full-time MBA students pursuing a career in the industry.
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