Arjun Anil Kumar, a 22 year old from Chennai, India was recently admitted to Young Talent Path (YTP), IESE's MBA pre-admissions program. How does the YTP application process work? Here, Arjun tells us more about the Bootcamp that he attended in Barcelona that is part of the admissions process.
IESE Business School is one of the few schools across the world to provide college seniors and professionals in their first year of experience the chance to be pre-admitted to its MBA program and the chance to receive a scholarship through the Young Talent Path (YTP).
While most schools follow the process of an application and an interview before the admissions decision, IESE in addition organizes a week-long Bootcamp before the final admissions decision. The Bootcamp has dual benefits. Candidates, on one hand get to experience life as an MBA student and the school gets to know its candidates really well and how they are in person before admitting them.
About the Bootcamp
The Bootcamp comprises of classes and a group project which is to be presented on the final day in front of a panel. The main criteria on which students are assessed are the following (in no particular order):
- Class participation
- Team work and discussions
- Presentation and analysis of the business case
As the pre-admitted students will be joining a group of experienced classmates once they start the MBA, it is important that one has clarity on the career path he/she is planning to undertake.
The first day of the Bootcamp started with a registration and coffee at the South Campus of IESE, post which we went into the classroom and sat as per the seating arrangement. It was great to meet Patricia, our YTP coordinator who had organized and had also assisted me throughout the process up to my arrival in Barcelona.
Once we went into our classrooms and were seated, Pascal Michels (MBA 10), who serves as the head of MBA Admissions, gave us a brief about IESE and the YTP. Professor Luis Palencia then took us through the case method, which forms the core of the IESE curriculum.
The 70+ Bootcamp attendees were then split up into 10 teams and assigned their respective team rooms where cases are to be discussed amongst ourselves in the mornings before the class takes place. The teams were also given a separate case for which a solution was to be prepared and presented on the final day of the Bootcamp.
Over the first 4 days, Prof. Palencia, Prof. Hafenbadl, Prof. Calleja, Prof. Engeler and Prof. Lago discussed cases covering the topics of the analysis of business problems, managing people in organizations, ethics, marketing and operations respectively.
For the project, we were given a business case which put us in the shoes of owners in a loss-making franchise. We had to decide which strategy to adopt to make the company profitable again, which was not an easy task!
One thing that really opened my eyes was how diverse my team was. My team comprised of Diana, Cole, Alexander, Fernando and Juan who brought in different kinds of academic and professional backgrounds. From Tuesday-Thursday in the afternoons, the teams met up in the meeting rooms to prepare for our final presentation. This exercise helps one build teamwork and to play off each other’s strengths.
After the teams presented their solutions in front of the panels, two winning teams with the best presentation were selected.
During the Bootcamp, we also got to network with alumni from consulting, tech, finance and entrepreneurship industries as well as current students which enabled us to clarify our doubts about the MBA and the career prospects post-MBA.
IESE had also organized some social activities for the participants, with a biking tour and dinner by the beach on the first day of the Bootcamp. Apart from this, there were also a few informal dinners we had organized by ourselves. On the final day of the Bootcamp, a networking drinks event was held at the North Campus. The local Spanish students had some extra homework and were tasked to organize a social activity for the entire group. On Saturday, we were treated to a paella-making experience in the fantastic setting of Tibidabo.
My key takeaways
- The Bootcamp helps you experience life as an IESE student.
- You get to experience IESE’s values and culture. Mutual respect and teamwork is something that I learnt the most from my week at IESE.
- IESE is a truly diverse school. I got to experience this after seeing the composition of different teams.
- IESE is an academically rigorous business school that works on the case method, which should give anyone who attends the MBA a comprehensive education.
- IESE is a closely knit community, with a smaller batch size compared to other schools. I bonded with quite a few of my classmates during the week and can imagine the camaraderie that will form over the course of two years during the MBA.
- The doors are always open for advice and help from professors, career services and the alumni community.
- At IESE, teamwork plays a huge role as cases are discussed in teams before being discussed in class.
As someone who hasn’t had an international education before, the Bootcamp was a wonderful and challenging week that really opened up my mind and shaped my thought process. It was the first time I had interacted and worked with such diverse colleagues and I hope to build up on this experience.
Thanks Arjun, and congrats on being a part of IESE YTP 2018!
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