My life-changing experience at the YTP Bootcamp

IESE Young Talent Path (YTP) is a unique early admissions pathway to our full-time MBA program. Selected applicants from all over the world are invited to join us for a 3-day Assessment Bootcamp in our Barcelona campus to get a small taste of life as an IESE MBA student. Based on their application and Bootcamp performance, successful participants become part of our YTP community and enjoy special benefits such as a reserved seat in our full-time MBA program for up to 4 years, a 22,000 euro MBA scholarship (if the GMAT/GRE requirement is met), career counselling and development workshops, early access to our alumni events and more! In this post, Juan Pablo Aguilar Alvarez YTP Candidate 23 shares his personal experience from the YTP Bootcamp held in July this year.

I knew about IESE years before finishing my undergraduate degree, when I was researching the best MBAs worldwide and I realized that IESE was one of them. From there, I started looking into the different ways in which I could join the MBA of my dreams and discovered that the Young Talent Path (YTP) was the best option for me.

YTP is an early admissions pathway to IESE MBA. It is specially designed for recent graduates and final-year university students with outstanding skills and who are eager to improve themselves by gaining some exposure to one of the most important MBAs in Europe. I was hesitant of being selected for YTP, however I applied and received one of the most unexpected emails of my life. The first sentence read, “We are happy to inform you that after reviewing your application, we would like to invite you to join this year’s YTP Assessment Bootcamp.”

Knowing that I had progressed to the next stage of the YTP admissions process, an ocean of joy and excitement hit me but it was met with a wave of uncertainty. Questions like: “Where am I going to stay?”, “What activities will I be doing?”, “Who are the people I will meet?” popped into my mind. The approachable Admissions team was with us from the very start of this journey and answered each of the questions we had. They also gave us great advice in order to feel confident and safe as the 70+ participants travelled to Barcelona from all over the world.

The 3-day Assessment Bootcamp at IESE’s Barcelona campus was an unforgettable, unique and life-changing experience.

Previously, I had had the opportunity to take classes abroad and that does not compare to how enriching this adventure was. The program consisted of spending three days in the life of an IESE MBA student, together with other future young leaders who are drawn to IESE’s mission of demonstrating “the professional excellence, integrity and spirit of service.”

During this time, you are assigned to a team of 7-8 people to discuss the business cases as a group and to come up with a solution. My approach was to follow the theory, “two minds are better than one.” I was excited to share my ideas with extremely bright people, who each had different perspectives of life and different ways of reaching the result. It was fascinating to see that each person’s biases are the result of our multicultural backgrounds, our professional careers, countries or communities. In those 3 days, I had the opportunity to learn about IESE’s Case Methodology as well as Job Searching Strategy and Interview Preparation during a session hosted by the Career Development Center.

We had many insightful discussions in & out of the classroom!

Another takeaway I would like to highlight are the experiences and moments shared with my peers from more than 20 different countries, both on and off-campus.  Some of the local participants (Pablo Martinez and Silvia García – Balibrea) had kindly organized some outings before, during and after the Bootcamp for the participants to get to know each other better. I discovered that most of the YTP participants were funny, intelligent, with huge hearts and I have no doubt they will be very successful. In fact, my most important takeaway are probably the friendships that I made during the YTP (Cyprien Roche, Ale Aristizabal, Roberto Sevilla, Lucia Donoso, Roberto Stifani, to name a few)

At the end of the Bootcamp, the Admissions team asked us several questions to reflect on our experience. One in particular caught my attention, “How smart do you feel?” On a scale of 1 to 5, the average response was 2. That answer struck me because I understood that even though my fellow YTP peers are some of the most versatile and intelligent people I have ever met, they were also the humblest in identifying what they can improve.

If you want to belong to one of the best business schools such as IESE, you cannot stay in your comfort zone, you must continue preparing to compete with the best in the world. Now, I have come back to my home country with a completely different mentality. In the words of Carlos Llano, Panamerican University founder at Mexico, he says that a magnanimous mind “is not the one who achieves it, in fact is the one who aspires for more”. After my return from the Bootcamp, I want to aspire to more.

After several weeks of waiting, I was elated to find out that I had been selected as an IESE YTP candidate! Based on my application and performance at the Bootcamp, I had demonstrated that I had the potential to join IESE’s MBA in the future once I have gained more work experience.

If I could give an advice to any Bootcamp participants, it would be to participate actively in the sessions, read the cases, have fun and, above all, be yourself.

I had an incredibly enriching experience at the 3 day Assessment Bootcamp, and can’t wait to be back at IESE!

Finally, I want to emphasize to all young MBA aspirants that the IESE’s Young Talent Path will make you grow as a person, friend, student and professional and is certainly one of the most enriching experiences of my life.

Written by Juan Pablo Aguilar Alvarez, YTP Candidate 23

Thank you Juan Pablo for sharing your YTP journey so far! Applications for YTP 2024 intake will be open from December 2023 – March 2024, for more information please check our website

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Camille Chow View more

Associate Director, Admissions (MBA '16)

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