Must Knows for IESE MBA Application for Sept 2024 intake

Hello everyone, I hope you’re having a great summer so far! We are excited to launch our new application for the Sept 2024 intake and wanted to share some updates to the application here to help you get started. I have been in your shoes before, so I hope that this will ease some of your anxiety and clarify some of your questions!

Deadlines – 4 rounds

The first thing to note is that we have streamlined our application deadlines to 4 rounds with Round 1 starting in September, Round 2 in January, Round 3 in March and Round 4 in May. We no longer have an Early Round, however those of you who are keen to get your business school decisions early can apply for R1 and will receive your decision by November. For Round 4, we will have a rolling process for 2 weeks in May to better accommodate those who decided to apply for their MBA later in the cycle and may still be missing GMAT / GRE scores or other parts of their application. You can refer to our website for more details on the specific dates, decision and payment deadlines.

Typically the earlier you apply, the better chances you have with scholarships as we tend to allocate majority of our scholarships in Rounds 1 – 3. Most importantly, make sure you apply when you’re ready instead of rushing your application to meet an earlier deadline. This is your chance to show us your best self, so make sure you’ve put in sufficient thought and energy into it and can be proud of what you’re submitting.

New GMAT and GRE exam formats

I’m sure many of you are excited by the new shorter formats of the GMAT and GRE exams. We will accept the results from both the GMAT Focus edition and the GMAT Exam, as long as the results are still valid. The same applies to the GRE exam. The modification of the exam does not have any impact on IESE’s admissions process and the requirements for being accepted to the program. We will consider your scores based on the score scale for the respective exams. To have a competitive score, I would advise you to target a score close to 680 GMAT and at least within our accepted range of GMAT scores or GRE equivalent. As always, we will only consider your best score so it is not a disadvantage to take the test more than once. A friendly reminder that the GMAT score is only one aspect of your application that we look at, and while a strong score can strengthen your application (particularly for those applying for scholarships) it does not guarantee admissions. The Admissions Committee will consider your profile holistically, and take into account all aspects of your application, interview and assessment day performance.

While it is definitely a relief to take a shorter exam, I would still highly recommend that you start your test preparation sooner as this is typically the most time consuming part of the application process.

Be well-prepared for your GMAT or GRE exam, and get help early if you need to!

Kira video assessment

This year you will have to complete Video Essays as part of the application. This is a new feature, and replaces the personal essay. The purpose of the personal essay has always been for the Admissions Committee to get a deeper understanding of who you are and what drives you. By changing it to a video format, we hope to get more authentic and direct answers from applicants that will give us more insights into your thought process and communication style.

Once you submit the written application and pay the application fees, you will receive a Kira Video Essay link (within 24-hours) to be completed by the Application Round Deadline. The link will expire in 48-hours after receipt. All instructions will be provided to you together with the link. Please click on the link, create a Kira account and you will be given a chance to practice before submitting your video essay. There will be two video essay questions that you will be required to complete. For each question, you will be given some time to prepare before your answer is recorded.

Be concise, you only have 1.5 minutes to provide an answer and be genuine in your answers. Again, the Admissions Committee wants to know who you are so don’t worry so much about what you think we would like to hear.

Remember that we will consider your application as complete and ready to be reviewed only after we have received all components of your application including your video essays.

Make sure you give yourself a few days before the deadline to complete the video essays too, to make sure your application is fully submitted before the round deadline.

Alumni interviewers

Traditionally, admissions process interviews have been conducted by members of the Admissions Committee who are also IESE alumni or in some cases, with IESE staff or faculty. Last year, we invited IESE alumni to help us conduct process interviews and will continue with this practice again this year. Our alumni are eager to contribute and give back to the community, by dedicating their time to support MBA Admissions while applicants can benefit from meeting someone who has gone through the program and hear their first-hand perspective. The alumni interviewers have been carefully selected and fully trained by the Admissions Committee to identify suitable candidates for our MBA program.

Applicants who are invited for a process interview will either be interviewed by a member of the AdComm or an alumni, matched based on your profile and interests. Whenever possible, interviews may be conducted in person but majority of interviews will likely be conducted online for convenience of scheduling. Due to the international nature of our team and applicants, we are very comfortable with conducting virtual interviews. If applicants wish to do their interview on campus in Barcelona, they may also contact us to make such arrangements.

Assessment Day

Assessment Days are a unique part of IESE’s admissions process and while it’s not new, I’ll take this opportunity to remind you why it is important for us. We typically host them in our campuses in Barcelona, New York or Sao Paolo and since the pandemic, have been offering them in a virtual format too. The objective of this is for the Admissions Committee to see how our candidates perform in group settings. As there is a strong emphasis on teamwork and collaboration at IESE, we would like to see how our candidates work in diverse groups and their potential to thrive in a community like ours. At the same time, candidates will get a chance to meet future classmates and other members of the Admissions Committee so it is a win-win for both sides.

We always strongly recommend candidates to participate as it provides the Admissions Committee with an additional data point to make the final decision, and can also have an impact on scholarship decisions. However it is not mandatory and if for any reason you’re not able to attend, please inform us in advance and we will base our decision on the information that we already have or you may be invited for a second interview if needed.

Selected candidates will be invited to attend our Assessment Days, if you did not receive the invitation it doesn’t mean that you did not proceed to the next stage of the application process. Candidates whom the Admissions Committee may have interacted with on multiple occasions or know very well may not receive the invitation to join due to limited spaces. There is no difference between the in-person or Virtual Assessment Day in terms of how we assess candidates, however if you are able to attend an in-person Assessment Day in our Barcelona campus please do let the Admissions team know and we can send you the relevant details.

Assessment Day is usually a fun, group activity that will hopefully help you to decide if IESE is the right school for you or not so if you are invited, do join us!

If you have any further doubts about the application process, please do not hesitate to contact your regional Associate Director and they can assist you. We are happy to review your profile and discuss your candidature with you, if you submit your CV here. Best of luck in your journey, and I look forward to reviewing your applications!

Our team look forward to seeing you on campus in Barcelona soon!


Paula Amorim (MBA 16)

MBA Admissions Director


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One comment

  1. It is a helpful resource for prospective MBA candidates. I appreciate the guidance provided here, which can help me prepare a strong application. It’s a timely and informative read for anyone aspiring to join the Sept 2024 intake at IESE.

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