Little more than a decade ago, in 2002, the school was ranked 35th on The Financial Times’ global MBA list and ninth in Europe behind Italy’s SDA Bocconi, Britain’s Oxford and Cambridge, and Spain’s IESE. Six years later, IE cracked the top ten of the FT ranking, placing eighth worldwide and third in Europe behind only London Business School and INSEAD. Ever since, IE Business School has ranked as high as sixth and never lower than eighth place worldwide.
The rise can largely be attributed to a highly market-oriented strategy that caught some rivals by surprise. IE doesn’t play by the normal rules of academia. The school’s leadership is entrepreneurial and innovative, pioneering degrees and programs that meet the demands of the marketplace–not of tenured professors who despise change. The school was among the first in the world, for example, to offer an online MBA program.
As an institution founded by entrepreneurs, IE believes that business school should be a place for talented professionals to cultivate the entrepreneurial thinking needed to bring meaningful change to existing companies or new ventures. Therefore, IE offers students the chance to apply for admission to its own internal startup incubator, the Venture Lab, where students have a dedicated space to work and can get academic credit for creating their own businesses.
IE Spain Application Essay Tips
This section is important in understanding who you are, not just as a student but also as a person in order to grasp the value that you could add to our program. Take this as an opportunity to showcase your unique attributes and personality. There are three formats you can choose to express yourself: a video (max. 3 minutes), a PowerPoint presentation (max. 10 slides), or a written essay (between 250-650 words). Please pay special attention to punctuation, structure and content.
What is the most important thing that you would like us to know that is not in your résumé or application?
Important advice on this Express Yourself section:
- Remember! It is more about the quality of the work than the quantity.
- For videos, we recommend to keep it around 2-3 minutes long and for presentations 10 slides or less. For written essays between 250-650 words maximum.
All of this “white space” might be daunting to some, but an easy way to approach this process is to ask oneself a few simple questions. What new and important information about yourself can you introduce to the adcom through this prompt? In terms of organization, are there separate topics to which you would like to devote a few slides each? Or would you prefer to create a sense of progression through a current activity, past experience, “day in the life,” etc.? We’re hesitant to provide too much guidance given the free-form nature of the task; the best advice we can offer is to think about who you are (and how this might be of interest to the IE adcom), consider how you could translate this into words and/or images, and then give it a try. Showing the initial result to someone who knows you well could be a great way to determine the effectiveness of a working draft.
As for medium, the video option and PowerPoint provide opportunities to make a vivid impression through visual communication. It also shows the admissions committee that one is willing to invest the time and effort to create something just for the IE application, underscoring one’s investment in gaining admission to the business school. Applicants whose leisure activities or workplace roles lend themselves well to film or design might do well to consider these options.
All of that said, while taking risks in the admissions process is often worthwhile, you don’t want to step so far out of your comfort zone that you ultimately don’t make a good impression (this seems especially possible for camera-shy applicants attempting the video option). Candidates choosing to submit an essay will want to use their words wisely to give the reader a sense of who they are and how they would enhance the IE community.