Friday, October 16, 2015

Interview with a recently graduated IE MBA student

I am pleased to present here an interview with a recent graduate from the IE MBA program in Spain.

1. After you were admitted, looking back on the way you prepared for the MBA in the spring and summer, is there anything you would change? Anything you would have done more of or less of?

If I could go through the whole process again, I would make 3 changes, TOEFL, Campus visit and interview training.

I would not go to a private school for listening and reading. It’s all about training to improve those scores and the program of those schools did not work well to improve the scores.

- Campus visit
Campus visit provides us with plenty of information which helps us work on application documents and choose school to go. In addition, it helps us know which kind of perspectives on B-schools we should have before choosing schools. 

- Interview training
I would do more interview training because it is more important than I thought. Interviewers carefully check applicants’ answers and your words and behaviors in the interviews greatly affect their decision. Therefore, I strongly recommend that applicants should carefully choose what to speak in the interviews and train for them in order to deliver your idea effectively.

2. What's a typical day in the life of an MBA student in your program?
8:00                 Wake up and have breakfast
9:00 – 15:00 3 sessions, 1.5 hours each session
15:00 – 16:00 Gym
16:00 – 21:00 Group work or preparation for the next sessions
21:00 – 22:30 Dinner (cook by myself)
22:30 – 2:00 Preparation for the next sessions
2:00 – 8:00      Sleep

3. Can you write a bit about a course that you would recommend future students take?

Financial Entrepreneurship & Private Equity: 
The professor is also working as a partner of a PE and she shared her real experiences which helped me understand how PE works and make their investment decisions deeply.

“Entrepreneurial Acquisition” and “Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital”:
Those courses are about Search Fund, a kind of small PE. Fund managers of those funds are also entrepreneurs and they raise a fund, search companies to invest and increase the value of the company they invest. Only 4 B-schools in the world (HBS, GSB, IESE and IE) provide with courses about Search Fund.

M&A Boot Camp:
This course is about M&A coordinator and the professor requires us to develop real M&A project, in which I could learn a lot about real M&A process. In addition, the professor has vast network in finance and he invited some of them to students which is a great opportunities to develop network in finance especially in Europe.
The professor, Prof. Paris, likes Japanese culture and he is really helpful to Japanese students. Sometimes he invited us to a party in his house.

4. Did you have the time to get involved in any extra-curricular activities? If so, what ones and what were you doing in them?

Yes, but I did not spend much time on club activities. I was in the Japan club in IE and my role was representative of the club.

5. What were your experiences like in learning/project teams? 

IE is known as its diversity and it gave me a plenty of opportunities to work with a variety of people. Through those experience, I could improve my skill to communicate with people with a variety of sense of values and people of multiple nationality.

6. Can you share your plans post-MBA?

I’ve already started to work in a management consulting firm in Japan. I will start to look for another opportunities in industrial area a few years later.

7. Looking back, what has been most surprising to you about your MBA life, compared to your original expectations before you enrolled?

Diversity of values, careers and life. Many Japanese students go to MBA for better salary, company, position and status in society. But I could see many students from other countries who have different type of motivation. For example, one Taiwanese girl came to MBA because she wants to live her Spanish partner in London and MBA helps her find the better job in London. It was eye-opening experience and enriched my perspective of my life.

Thanks very much for the information and your time! 

John Couke