My Reservations Concerning IESE?


Ok, before I continue I want to say that I was asked to go into this, so instead of writing out e-mails, so on and so forth I’m posting it here – one more thing – I know this is a smidge later than my usual progression of posts. I had a very very very long last week.

Anyways, onto the topic at hand.

That Whole Ranking Thing
Fist off, both schools are good, and although IESE is currently ranked higher overall, BW and especially WSJ rank ESADE higher, WSJ, in fact ranks it No.2 Internationally after IMD. For anyone who doesn’t know WSJ ranks based on the assessments of recruiters, meaning, if recruiters like you, you get hired. I would in fact consider this, along with the FT rankings the most important (Personally, I find The EIU’s rankings full of it. While The Economist is a brilliant publication, it’s rankings put E.M. Lyon above RSM? Absurd…).

Interesting thing about the FT rankings is if you look at ESADE, it looks to be one of the quickest movers of all the schools, rapidly heading into the top 20 globally (IESE is No. 13 in 2006).

So why a school that’s moving forward instead of one that’s higher but staying still? The way I see it, is as follows, I would rather see myself in a class where students are really shaping the university, I want to leave my mark on the institution, and I believe this will simply be easier to accomplish at ESADE. Furthermore, people are more inclined to talk about a school that is rapidly getting ever better than one which stands still. This is a good example of NYU for example. A number of years ago NYU wasn’t even ranked, today it stands as one of the best MBA institutions in the world.

¿Como se dice?
Languages. ESADE has the best language school in Spain, it’s MBA is bi-lingual, and in addition to teaching excellent Spanish, also offers courses in both French and German. Being that I will absolutely require full working knowledge of French if I want to go into, what, I want to go into. I saw the lack of a language program at IESE as one of the most crippling aspects of their program. By the time I graduate from ESADE, I full well know that I will be fluent in Spanish, and French, where as now, I just have a working knowledge of the former, and a laughable excuse for the latter.

Case Method contra Mixture of Everything
While I consider the case method of teaching to be valuable, I do not agree that relying as heavily on it as IESE does is the best way of actually conveying information to the students. As a graduate of Tulane University’s Business school, I can say that we worked with cases, as well as on projects, etc… the cases we did, proved very valuable, but at the same time, I feel that utter reliance on them leaves a lot to be desired knowledgably. Additionally, there specializations that ESADE has, especially Policy are exactly what I am looking for in a program.

Cambio in el Administración
ESADE and IESE are both run very well, both look at international markets, ESADE just called for a pan-European energy policy (that I actually agree with), while IESE opened an Executive Training Center in Warsaw (which the region needs). However, ESADE’s admin is grabbing the bull by the horns so to say, and really pushing for new program implementation. In this respect I believe that they are as much if not more-so forward thinking than IESE. ESADE is growing faster, it’s blooming, and IESE in my opinion has bloomed.

Finally, the culture – meeting people from the universities, students, faculty, and alumni, I just felt more at home with ESADE. It’s the same problem I had when I went to info sessions with Harvard and Wharton. I found most people from ESADE to have more of that Alpha cockiness which was relevant at Wharton as well, whereas IESE I found to be much more like Harvard, “nose in the air” snobby.

And the way I see it, while someone’s got their nose in the air thinking their shit don’t stink, it’s the guy who knows his shit stinks and doesn’t care that will see the goal and reach the finish line because he wont care about the odor. – Or something like that 🙂

All in all it all depends on personal decision, for me with was being in something motile, something moving forward, helping to make it better, and it also had a lot to do with the language school. Regardless, each school is great, and in spite of rivalry between the two schools, I’ve already managed to make two friends from the “other” school whom I will have drinks with in BCN. In the end, it’s about what you get out of it, and the network you build, and trust me when I tell you that mine will incorporate both the ESADE class of ’07 & ’08, but also the IESE ones.


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