Application Tips Running Series, Tip 1 – Enjoy the MBA Application Journey

Luis Jover (MBA 11), Associate Director of Admissions in IESE, writes a blog series offering MBA application tips as he runs marathons throughout Spain. Enjoy the views of Spain while learning how to strengthen your MBA application.


Some weeks ago, I participated in the Madrid Marathon. After my experience in Barcelona (previous post), I decided to take it easy and take the time to enjoy Madrid before the marathon.

madrid downtown 1We arrived in Madrid in the early evening and had time to go for a stroll downtown. I noticed that the race had a tricky profile with lots of slopes. I knew that already, but reading it on the race website and seeing it with your own eyes are different things…

We had dinner at a nice restaurant where I of course ordered…pasta! and I went to bed early after making sure that I had everything ready for the race.

Here are some views of Madrid from the restaurant:

madrid views


On Sunday, I woke up early to get ready and together with my friend Jorge, we went to the start line an hour before the start of the race. People were happy and nervous at the same time. Tons of training sessions for this particular moment and just one chance to give your best.

The race started punctually at 9.30am and we suffered during the first 7km, as it was a steady slope until we turned the corner and started the descent. At km 13, my family was cheering me on: nothing like them supporting me could have provided me with more energy! I was having a great time and following the 3-hour pacer, I realized as I ran past the Royal Palace.

Vista-frontal-del-Palacio-Real-de-MadridFrom km 13 to km 21, I started thinking that we probably ran too fast, crossing the half marathon mark in 1 h, 28 min and feeling my legs to starting to cramp. Things were looking bad and I had the temptation to give up. At that moment, I started reflecting on my family and friends who were supporting me in the distance, and all those training sessions early in the morning one day after the other. I could not give up!! I adapted my pace and ended finishing in 3 h, 19 min with a solid leg cramp in place!

I have reflected a lot on the last months and my training specifically for the marathon. It is true that I missed my objective, but it is also true that I have enjoyed it a lot! This leads to my point: applying for an MBA is a like running a marathon. It is a time, similar to my race, for self reflection.  Use this time wisely. Let your self reflect on your past and where you want to be in the future. Allow your family and friends to support you in this process by helping brainstorm essay ideas or recommenders. When you write essays, write them from your heart. The IESE MBA is not just a degree but a personal life transformation, which begins from the first moment you decide to apply.


Until the next race…..Luis

Luis Jover View more

MBA '14
IESE MBA Admissions, Associate Director


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