MBA Perspectives – IE doesn’t show promise…

Hi – I attended the Design Process Thinking workshop hosted by IE Business School this past week. While the concept is very interesting, I’m not sure a 2 hour presentation on it really appeases a wanna-be-MBA audience, mostly IIT’ians I must point out. I’ll be honest, I was a bit sluggish by the end of it because all I was hearing was how Design Process thinking can help but only one-liners of how IE or their current Alums have used it in their lives took away from concept. I’m sure a case study style workshop would give the future MBA’s more insight.

Well, the fun part began when the interaction with the Alum started. I must say if this Alum represents IE in my region then IE’s reputation is in for a spin. He may be the top shot at a finesse outfit and may even be academically out there but he couldn’t stand without waiving his arms or bobbing his head for half a second. It was hilarious. He was the perfect example of an MBA suit whose responds all other questions in the world but the one you asked. It was funnier watching people trying to hold conversation with him for more than 12 secs. This was hint #1 that IE isn’t the one because it didnt seem to give that life changing experience or work that humbling magic – probably had the “rock-star” effect on Mr. Alum!

Then, I met a couple of new admits who were starting IE from the upcoming term and ┬áit was more puzzling to learn that most of them had IE as their backup school. In fact , when one of us wanna-be’s asked the golden questions – “why not INSEAD or LBS? Why IE?” it was very difficult to hear the new admits concur, almost in whispers, that both the other school stand way above IE and they did not even try applying to those schools. Hint #2 that pride and faith in IE is lacking but full marks for the honesty of the admits.

Finally, I had a long and insightful chat with another Alum. She was just great sharing her experience at IE and very upfront. I’d give her my vote for the face of IE. She was straight forward about what the school can do and what it cannot do for you and one of those cannot do’s was – get you a job. I was a little worried to hear that so I enquired a bit more to learn that there are no companies on campus at the start of the program. In fact the career team at IE still needs to work on the marketing and outreach of the IE brand. Maybe it’s the Europe ill fated economy or maybe it’s the dominance of the other Euro school, but IE definitely needs more work on their identity. The other thing that stood out was the program doesn’t really inculcate the all round thinking approach, so any of you are looking at consulting post MBA iId say look elsewhere – *point to Fountainbleau or NYC*. On the other hand it does seem to encourage Entrepreneurial mindset, which is a big plus.

So IE, I walked in with lots of expectation but walked out bobbing my head and waiving my arms, so keep up with the “constantly evolving” tagline!