I’ve had the chance to spend a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain at the Instituto de Empresa (IE), a university that is constantly ranked among the top 10 global MBA programs by the Financial Times.
I was interested both in learning a new language that could be useful for my professional career and in enriching my MBA experience by attending a different school with different professors, students and facilities.
The experience so far has been amazing. IE has a really global pool of students coming from everywhere in the world, and the group of exchange students is unbelievably diverse as well (a total of about 500 FT students and 70 exchange). All continents are represented, not only from the most important and developed countries but also from emerging ones. This contributes to the enrichment of students who get to know not only different cultures, but also different expectations, habits and skills of other MBA fellows.
IE students are really active in organizing events to meet and hang out together both in formal and informal situations. This is, of course, a great opportunity to network with people from many countries. Furthermore, IE makes it easy to get in touch with top notch companies that come to campus twice a year to meet with full-time students, as well as with exchage students. Companies from any sector attend the career fair, including consulting, energy, marketing and manufacturing organizations.
The format of the program in Madrid is slightly different from USD. Class schedules are not always organized weekly like in San Diego – sessions take place on different days every week and at different times of the day. The number of electives is also really impressive. You can choose from about hundred of electives from any field: finance, marketing, operations, entrepreneurship etc.
Last but not least, the city of Madrid is amazing, constantly alive, extremely beautiful and well connected with the metro. Its central location in Spain also allows you to travel anywhere in the country in 4 to 5 hours drive, or 2 to 3 hours train. Not mentioning the chance to travel Europe with really cheap flights by the myriad of European low-cost airlines.
Carlo is a second year full-time MBA student from Italy. He majored in Business Administration and worked in marketing for a fashion company in Italy.