2012 IE Business School MBA Admissions Q&A with Jean-Marie Winikates and Nita Swinsick

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2012 IE Business School MBA Admissions Q&A with Jean-Marie Winikates and Nita Swinsicku

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Linda Abraham: Hello. My name is Linda Abraham. I am the founder of Accepted.com and the moderator of today’s Q&A. First I want to welcome all applicants to the Q&A today, and I want to congratulate you for taking the time to learn more about IE’s MBA program. It is critical to your decision making process and your admission chances that you know as much as you can about the schools you are applying to. Being here today allows you to ask experts about this top business school and make informed decisions.

I also want to give a special welcome to Jean-Marie Winikates, IE Director of North America Admissions and Nita Swinsick, Associate Director of Admissions at IE. Thanks to everyone for joining.

I am going to take advantage of my position as moderator and ask the first question. What’s new at IE?

Nita Swinsick: In terms of the International MBA program itself, we had a couple of new elements introduced to our Change Modules, making them more practical. So with our Making Change Happen module, rather than working on a static case, we’ve had a case prepared by a consulting company. For our last November intake, they actually worked on a case that was prepared by Accenture, where Accenture was taking the class as well. In terms of our Change in Action module, which focuses on change at a global level, in the class we have worked on energy problems. Recently though, especially given the focus of our school on social responsibility, we’ve started working on a micro finance problem in various different developing countries.

In terms of rankings, we were recently ranked No. 3 by Forbes for non-US schools. And in terms of the program content as well, we are continuously seeing new multimedia cases as well. So that’s what is new in a nutshell.

Linda Abraham: IE obviously is a leading international business school. It is located in Spain. What distinguishes the IE experience from the typical US business school experience?

Jean-Marie Winikates: If you look at IE being a European school versus the US schools, there are a few things that really differentiate all programs. I would say it comes down to professorship, participants, and the actual program itself. So I would say from a professorship standpoint, one of the unique things that we offer that most US schools do not offer as extensively would be the number of international professors that we have. 50% of our professors are actually international and they are of 23 different nationalities. And we have over 500 different professors that teach at our school, and all of them work on applied research or some kind of consulting.

In terms of our participants, we are 89% international even though we are based in Madrid, Spain. We have offices located throughout the world, more than 25 of them now, and we are able to recruit people from all over the world. So 89% of the participants are international. We represent 75 nationalities in the course, and most of them are multi-lingual in some way. So you have a unique experience from that perspective.

And the last thing would really be the program. The format is accelerated, so most of our programs are 13 months in length, so it’s faster than the typical two-year program that you see here in the US. And those are probably the biggest things that differentiate our school from the US schools.

Linda Abraham: When you say that 85% of the participants are internationals, you mean that they are non-Spanish passport holders, right?

Jean-Marie Winikates: That is correct.

Linda Abraham: From an admissions perspective, when you are evaluating applications and numbers are in the ballpark for IE in terms of GMAT, grades, and experience level, what puts one applicant in the “admit pile” and others in the “rejected” or “wait-list” piles?

Nita Swinsick: While reviewing applications, one thing we really look for are applicants that are aligned to our business school culture, which is a collaborative culture, and also to our core values. Just in case you don’t know our core values, they are entrepreneurship, innovation, social responsibility, and diversity. And how students can demonstrate this as well is really quite important.

Linda Abraham: Nishma asks, “Is the International MBA degree globally recognized, specifically in the US?”

Jean-Marie Winikates: The reality is that we have a growing brand presence here in the US. And really I say that because it wasn’t until about 2007 that most of the media out there that offer rankings in the US market started looking at international schools to be a part of the ranking reports. So I think as the big publications such as Forbes and Business Week and the Economist and published editions here in the US began ranking international schools, we’ve had more exposure to this market. And I think that we’ve really grown our brand. We were one of the first schools that have been reviewed for rankings so we’ve been in the rankings since 2007, and we came in as No. 1 in Business Week. So I think that you will see that we are continuing to gain recognition. But most people go to rankings to learn about different schools, so that is a major source of people being branded on different schools and understanding what the rankings are all about. So that has had an impact, and I think we will see that continue to grow as we have more years behind us of being included in the rankings, as we have been.

Linda Abraham: Approximately what percentage of your graduates gets jobs in North America?

Nita Swinsick: In total, our placement in the US is 10%. But from American students coming over, 50% actually stay in Europe and 50% will go back to the States as well.

Linda Abraham: In terms of recruiting sectors, I know there is a tremendous focus on entrepreneurship at IE. If I recall, approximately 20%-25% of your graduates typically start up their own company upon graduation, which is a very high number. But for those who don’t start up their own business, where, in terms of industry function, are they usually headed?

Nita Swinsick: I mentioned that one of our core values is diversity, so when we are actually recruiting, within the admissions process, we are looking for people that not only come from different countries but also come from different professional sectors. And so we have a lot of diversity in that as well. But in terms of where people go, it is incredibly diverse. Probably the biggest industries represented though are consulting, financial services, technology, and consumer goods. But we also have a fair number of people that go to NGOs and other areas like that as well.

Jean-Marie Winikates: And I would say pharmaceuticals is a big one too.

Linda Abraham: Do you have any sense if your application volume is climbing, staying stable, or going down at this point?

Nita Swinsick: I think at the moment there is a global trend with MBAs. And I think most MBA programs are experiencing a slight decrease. This is the same with us as well – there is a slight decrease.

Linda Abraham: Yes, I think that is pretty much what everybody is reporting. A lot of schools are also saying in terms of admissions requirements that they are looking at “hire-ability” or the realism of one’s goals post-MBA. Is that one of the things you also consider when looking at somebody?

Jean-Marie Winikates: When you say “realism of their goals”, what exactly are you asking about?

Linda Abraham: I was using that as a synonym for “hire-ability”. So if somebody says that they want to go into management consulting and you look at their profile and feel that you don’t think this person is going to make it, even if they get a degree from IE, is that a factor in an admissions decision?

Nita Swinsick: One of the questions that we do ask in all of our interviews is what people want to do afterward. And I think really from that level as well, if somebody did say management consulting and we thought that they had no way of getting into it, we would try to find out the motivations of the candidate -- why they want to go into management consulting, what they would do as a backup choice -- and those elements are what we take into consideration.

Linda Abraham: In terms of the program, obviously it is a very compressed program. Can you just go over the structure of the curriculum briefly?

Nita Swinsick: Firstly, we have three core periods which are about ten weeks in duration. And before that starts, in addition to the program we have intensive Spanish classes which lots of international students do like to take. We also have two pre-programs; one in accounting and one in quantitative methods. And these are all included in the price, and you can actually do the pre-programs online as well. Then when the program actually starts, we have our three core periods.

We have our Change Modules. We really believe in equipping our students with soft skills, and we also believe that in a world where the only constant is change, we need to be able to equip our students to be able deal with change. So we have three modules that are about a week in duration between the core periods to try to do this. So the first is LAUNCH which focuses on change on a personal level. The second is Change in Action which focuses on change at a global level, and the third is Making Change Happen which focuses on change at an organizational level.

After the core period, there is a summer break, and then afterward are the elective periods. We have two elective periods which is what we call IMBA+, and that is where the students really have the opportunity to customize their MBA. So there are a number of different options they can do. We offer over eighty different electives, which is quite an extensive selection.

Students also have the option to go on an exchange program. We partner with over forty different schools. So they can either do their three months abroad at a different school or we also have a short exchange which is just a week in duration. We have Venture Labs. I mentioned earlier that we focus on entrepreneurship, and this is one of the ways that we do focus on that. And there is also an internship option as well as the various dual degree programs. So there are lots of different options and lots of customization options.

Linda Abraham: Nishma asks, “Are only GMAT scores accepted and not GRE scores? Additionally, do we need to have a bachelor’s in business in order to apply for the International MBA program, or can we have a bachelor’s degree in another field?”

Jean-Marie Winikates: We do accept the GMAT and the GRE. Just so you know, the GMAT average is about 670 and the GRE average is 1300. In terms of the bachelor’s degree that would be brought forth in this part of the application, you don’t have to have a bachelor’s in business. In fact, we really look to have diversity in the broadest sense in the classroom so we are really looking for people with different specializations within their bachelor’s degrees.

Nita Swinsick: In addition to the GMAT and GRE, we also have our own admissions test.

Linda Abraham: Is that required for everybody, or is that instead of the GRE and the GMAT?

Nita Swinsick: All applicants are required to take one entrance exam, but it can be the GMAT, the GRE, or the IE admissions test.

Linda Abraham: Approximately what percentages of students in the International MBA program use the different tests? Is it a third, a third, and a third? Or do half take the GMAT and twenty-five, twenty-five take the other two?

Nita Swinsick: The GMAT is a lot more popular than the GRE. I suppose that is because it’s been around a lot longer, so applicants are more familiar with that. So we probably have about 60% of our applicants who take the GMAT exam and a few of them take the GRE and then the bigger chunk takes the IE admissions test.

Linda Abraham: What do you believe is the biggest challenge for North American applicants considering IE, in terms of making that decision to go for an MBA program located in Spain?

Jean-Marie Winikates: I think a lot of it comes down to what they want to do post-MBA. It’s important for people to look at what they think their career trajectory is going to be and determine if an international MBA is something that they want to go after. It is a big commitment to move to another country, and also to work with such a diverse international student body because there are things that you come up against that really take you out of your comfort zone. So you have to be committed to really wanting to work in a global organization and on a global level within an organization.

I think the people that we typically see wanting to join our programs are those that want to work internationally, who understand that it is a global world and that sourcing takes place not just in one country but in multiple countries. And to be competitive you need to understand how business is conducted worldwide. So I think the people who are looking out and have that kind of visualization of what the future looks like for them and also what the industry looks like for them are the people that are typically most geared to go to our programs, and really find it to be the best experience. But I would say that 99% of the people that apply to our programs have that vision and share that realization that it is becoming more of a global economy. And they want to be first to market, to understand how to work in multi-national finance, to understand country risks, to understand pricing modules and how those work if you have operations in various countries, and also to just understand a lot of the soft skills. When you are working with people from other countries it is important to understand culturally how they might operate and how they might work on projects with you and those kinds of things, to really motivate people to your initiatives.

Linda Abraham: Rachel asks, “Could you briefly discuss the format of the IE admissions test?”

Nita Swinsick: We have a numerical part, a verbal part, and there is also a diagrammatical part. You can’t really prepare for it. What we do recommend is that applicants get a good night’s rest before taking the test. Having said that, it’s not like the GMAT or the GRE where you can actually do practice tests; you won’t actually see it before it’s done. The idea of the IE admissions test is basically to determine the candidate’s ability to make management style decisions under pressure. And the pressure in this case is time.

Linda Abraham: When I was applying to schools, we didn’t prepare. We just walked in and took the test. By the time I took the GMAT, there were some GMAT prep courses. But I think that when I took the SAT test, they didn’t exist, so I’m dating myself!

How important is fluency in Spanish? Obviously your language instruction in the IMBA is English, and there is also a Spanish track. I understand that. But how important is fluency in Spanish in terms of taking advantage of the program, of being in Spain, etc.

Jean-Marie Winikates: Just so you know, I am an alumnus of the International MBA program. I went through the program in 2003. So from my experience I can tell you that I went to Madrid, and I had a very limited knowledge of Spanish. I did take the Spanish pre-courses, and I took additional classes through the school throughout the duration of my program to really hone in my language skills, and I found that to be extremely beneficial. While on campus you can absolutely speak English, but when you are off campus, you do need to be able to speak some Spanish to be able to eat, drink, and pay your telephone bill -- that kind of thing. But for the most part, you can get around without knowing Spanish at all. But I would say that if you are going to make a commitment to go to Spain and to study, you would be doing yourself a disservice not to learn the language and take advantage of the language programs that are offered.

If you do have a really good proficiency in Spanish, we do have the option to take bilingual courses. So you can take your classes all in Spanish, you can take them all in English, or you can do a combination of the two. So for example, if you decided you want to do a combination of the two, you would have to choose for the first three core courses if you wanted to take those in English or in Spanish. And you could take them in English or in Spanish, which would be about 60% of the curriculum. And during the elective period or the fourth core period, you could take the courses either in Spanish or in English or both. So you could actually take 60% in English and 40% in Spanish or vice versa as part of the course. It’s really up to you. But I would never recommend that somebody take a course in Spanish to help improve their language skills. It would be because they had proficiency and they wanted to use that proficiency to learn more about a specific program course.

Linda Abraham: Rachel asks, “How can applicants with no international, professional experience demonstrate their “international profile”? How can they show that they are interested in an International MBA if they haven’t worked abroad or anything like that?”

Jean-Marie Winikates: I would say we do run into quite a few people who have an interest in studying for an International MBA and they don’t have that international experience. But I think you can show that you have an interest by some of the extracurricular activities that you participate in, by showing that you have some knowledge of the global workforce and what is happening with corporations worldwide. I think if you can exhibit that you have an interest in it and that you’ve studied up on it to some degree, then that is pretty easy to transmit in your essays. We want to help people grow their interest in international business and to be better at what they do. So we are looking for people that show demonstrated interest in learning about international business. We know that not everybody is going to have experience in those areas, but there should be something that shows that you have that demonstrated interest in it.

Linda Abraham: Could that be travel? Could it be reading? Could it be activities in college? Would any of those potentially be the kind of indicators that you are looking for?

Jean-Marie Winikates: Yes, those are all great indicators. Travel, or just working with other people of diverse backgrounds in the workplace is something that is great, maybe just researching different topics, or just staying up on the news -- like for example, you read The Wall Street Journal report on global news every day. So if someone asked you about something in another country, you may not know something greatly in depth about it, but you would have some concept of it. So I think it is just basically having some kind of worldly knowledge that shows that you are not just living in a bubble.

Linda Abraham: Nishma asks, “If I was interested in taking the International MBA program and the International Relations program, can I undertake both of the programs together?”

Nita Swinsick: You can’t do them at the same time because both are very intense programs. You could of course start by doing one and then do the other. That is probably the best way that would work.

Linda Abraham: Are you seeing any trends in terms of recruiting at IE? Are any industrial sectors particularly active or not?

Nita Swinsick: We actually have the Career Information Report as well which has quite a lot of in-depth information, so anyone that is interested in this should definitely look at that. In terms of big trends, we still have most of our students who go into consulting and financial services, so it’s pretty stable I suppose in that sense.

Linda Abraham: How did you weather the recession?

Nita Swinsick: We have seventy-five different nationalities in just our current MBA class. I think because of that and because different countries are facing different types of problems and to different extents, we’ve weathered it pretty well. Also we are recognized as being a top program which certainly helps and we are quite established which also helps.

Linda Abraham: Are there any special considerations for re-applicants? Are there any specific special things for re-applicants from North America to consider, or just in general what should re-applicants to IE be looking at?

Jean-Marie Winikates: I would say that typically if you weren’t accepted to the first round, you should get some feedback on your application, and find out maybe why you were denied admission. We try to give some information at least for why we think that your background is not well-suited for the program. But if you are unable to get that directly from admissions, I think the easiest thing to do is to look at the placement reports and have an understanding of what the profile is for the typical person going through the program. And I know there are a lot of variations, but even so. For example, the number of years of work experience. You do have to have a minimum of three years of professional experience to join the program. So if you applied and you only had two, you are not meeting the profile. And we do look to make sure that there is some equality in terms of the people going into the classroom. While there is diversity, there still has to be some equality because we have to make sure that everybody has a good experience going through the program. So I would first look at the placement report profile going in and see what the differences are between your application and your profile and how that matches up to it.

And if needed, I would tell you to go to the local office for your area and ask the representative to look at your CV or your resume, and perhaps provide you some additional feedback. Because we may not have the specific feedback on your previous application, but we can look at your CV and give you a good idea for profile. And most likely it is something that has to do with the profile. Or if you applied, for example, really late in the game, maybe there weren’t enough spots. But we would typically try to extend you an offer for a future intake if that was the case. So I would say it could be a variety of different things, but the easiest thing to do would be to look at the profile first, and ask for feedback from the local office secondarily.

Linda Abraham: What are the chances of getting a job in Europe after getting your International MBA if you do not have a passport from any country in the EU?

Nita Swinsick: I suppose it really depends on your profile. It is of course difficult to do at the moment, like anything. It depends on what your experience is in, and what you want to work in. We certainly do have students who don’t have a European passport and are able to get jobs in Europe afterward. But of course it is going to be a lot easier if you have, for example, experience in marketing and you want to go work in marketing. We always say there are three big changes that you can do after your MBA. One is a geographical change, another is a change in industry, and a third would be a functional change -- to go up. And it’s obviously easier to do one change rather than three. Doing three changes is obviously going to be quite difficult, or even doing two. But if you have a plan and you work with your career adviser, it is certainly attainable, although it is difficult at the moment. But if you are not able to get it, make sure you have a back-up plan as well.

Linda Abraham: So it’s doable but difficult.

Nita Swinsick: Yes.

Linda Abraham: There is a tremendous focus on entrepreneurship at IE in your marketing materials and in what your graduates do. It seems to be really in the programming. I am assuming that you are admitting people that are interested in entrepreneurship. But what about the program makes it that your grads are coming out entrepreneurs? 20% graduating and starting up their own businesses immediately is a very high percentage.

Nita Swinsick: Firstly, it is our program. During the core course you have a subject in entrepreneurship, and then in the electives you also have a number of different electives that focus on entrepreneurship, as well as the Venture Lab. The Venture Lab is basically where students get to work with local entrepreneurs here in Madrid, to work on their business plans. There are a series of different competitions, and at the end they are able to present their business plan to a venture capitalist while looking more actively to invest in businesses, and these tend to be quite successful. With our last Venture Lab, five out of the six projects were able to get funding, and I think that is a big thing.

In addition to Venture Lab we also have something that is called the Knowledge Incubator. The Venture Lab is selective and not all students will get in. If anybody is interested in Venture Lab, I highly recommend that you look at the website and the Venture Lab brochure. And for those who don’t get into Venture Lab but still want to present their own business plan -- they think they have a good idea -- we have something called the Knowledge Incubator. And there it is our professors that will mentor and guide the business plan. We have 110 full-time professors here at IE, all of whom maintain links with the business world, either through consulting or applied research. And we have over 400 part-time professors who are actively working, so they have quite good business links as well. I think that is probably a big reason.

Jean-Marie Winikates: I probably attend120 different events and I recruit students from those events, so I see a lot of different people come through. One of the things that I find is that a lot of the students that come to us are working in big corporations like Google or Microsoft because we are so close to the Silicon Valley here. What we find is that there are a lot of people that have ideas for a business and they want to go to business school because maybe they are at a plateau in their career or maybe they don’t have really good mentorship in their career so they feel like they are stagnating. And they feel like they have good ideas to start a business. So I would say that a lot of the people have an idea for a business and like the idea of being able to formulate that with a think-tank of diverse people in a program like ours in Madrid. And at the same time, they are able to develop the global network. And then they can go through these programs, whether it’s the Knowledge Incubator or the Venture Lab and really develop their ideas, and really find partners that they can develop those business plans with. So I think that a lot of people do already have an idea that they want to be able to create something that is their own.

And I think another reality is in this economic day and age, it has been particularly challenging and a lot of people are not moving up as quickly as they want to, and some people are getting laid off. And people are realizing that maybe they need to rethink what they are going to do in the future. So I believe that a lot more people in this economic time are developing new businesses. And sometimes it is out of need, or sometimes it’s just because we are in a situation like this where people have to rethink things. So I think that we are really offering something unique to those people that realize that by having those entrepreneurial skills, whether it be as an entrepreneur in an organization or as an entrepreneur outside, they can really affect change and wellbeing wherever they are because they know how to . So it doesn’t matter if you are in Entrepreneurial Management or Strategic Management or Marketing, we are always asking people -- so how would you use that in a corporation? How would you use that on your own to develop a business?

Linda Abraham: Nishma asks, “Would volunteer experience count for work experience, or does work experience have to be paid, professional work experience?”

Nita Swinsick: It doesn’t have to be paid work experience. I suppose the more important question is what sort of experience did you gain from doing that volunteer experience? What we are really looking for is the quality experience.

Linda Abraham: How would you define quality? What makes work experience quality work experience?

Nita Swinsick: The types of projects that you’ve been exposed to; what you are working on. Were you just sitting in an office answering a phone or whatever it might be, or were you actually involved, speaking to people, to the colleagues you work with, etc.

Jean-Marie Winikates: In terms of quality experience, I had a really great meeting with a person from Korn Ferry the other day. We were talking about people coming for interviews and what really differentiates the people. And one person came in for an interview for a finance position. She said that they interviewed five different people for the position, and four of the five people came in and talked about very specific ideas for that finance position. But only one came in and didn’t really talk that much about the financial position itself but what the state of the industry was and how that might be affecting the organization and what were the strategic goals of the organization. And I would say at the end of the day, that quality experience to me is someone who can understand the tactical measures of doing their job, but also understand the bigger picture of what impacts their job. So I would say when I am looking at someone’s profile regarding quality experience, it doesn’t really matter what they’ve done, but how they’ve been a part of the strategic decision-making process. Do they understand what the results are of their actions for what their job is? And are they thinking of it in a more global perspective? Because I think that is the most important thing – that they have some bigger picture.

Linda Abraham: Your last comment was very interesting because my husband was vice president of an insurance company for many years, and he was working with very intelligent, well-credentialed individuals. But he said that many of them completely lacked that big picture. And that was one of the things that really differentiated those people who were headed towards leadership and management roles and those people who were functionaries. He wasn’t talking MBA admissions; he was talking about the staff that he was working with. Most of them he had a really high opinion of and really valued their efforts in work. But that was such a consistent thing that really distinguished the people on his staff who were going to continue to advance and those who were going to be basically tactical functionaries, despite the fact that they were very bright and highly accomplished in a narrow niche.

Jean-Marie Winikates: What we call that is the “leadership gap”. And I just spent about a year developing a program for one of our other degrees that we offer – the IE Brown Executive MBA course. We are putting people through leadership training to make sure they know how to bridge that leadership gap because it’s great to be able to understand the functional area, but if you can’t understand the strategic nature of it, then you really can’t grow and lead an organization. So you are absolutely right, and we do call that the “leadership gap”. And we put together a whole program with Corn Ferry that we’ve delivered this year for that program, and we are really addressing that, which I think a lot of schools are not. And I think it really puts us at the forefront of understanding what people’s needs are in school and when they graduate and go beyond because we’ve seen a lot more job offers even for that program since we’ve instituted that.

Linda Abraham: And isn’t that part of your Change Modules that Nita was talking about before? I was preparing for the Q&A today and I saw a reference to the leadership gap. It wasn’t what prompted my comment, but I think that it is something that IE is very proactively addressing.

Jean-Marie Winikates: Absolutely. As Nita mentioned, we do have the Change Modules, the LAUNCH and ACCELERATE programs, Change in Action and Making Change Happen. And those address the needs that people need to have really to improve their interpersonal and management skills at the personal, global, and organizational level.

Linda Abraham: IE is a really intense program; it is under a year. Many MBA candidates want to use the MBA to change careers. Typically, the summer internship in the two-year programs is used to facilitate that kind of change. How would an IE student make that change? Clearly you do see IE as a career changing program or a transformative program, according to the video that I saw.

Nita Swinsick: Firstly, we do have an internship option. Our internship option is a 7-10 week internship option, though it is of course shorter than in the US. And a number of students do take this, though not everybody. And throughout our program as well, we’ve mentioned the Change Modules, and just the thinking through the different core periods as well really does address the career change that people want to do. Another big thing is we focus on diversity. Jean-Marie and I are both alumni, and I think we can both say that it was an incredible experience just sitting in a class or a work-group where people were not just from different countries but from different professional sectors as you. For example, if I came from one background and I wanted to go into marketing, I’d be learning from someone who had worked five years in Procter & Gamble’s marketing department. Not just that, but you also make contact with these people. So the diversity of our program helps you to network with these people as well, and that is obviously a big way to change careers and get a job after your MBA.

Jean-Marie Winikates: I would say related to internships, when I went through my program the internship was part of it. I went through a fifteen-month program, and it was the year after mine that they took out the internship program. We have an average of 5.2 years of work experience for students coming into the program. And what we really found, as someone speaking as a pupil in the class, is that most of the people coming in do not want to do the internships because they don’t necessarily see the value in it in terms of opportunity costs. Usually they are not that well compensated, and they already have a lot of great work experience. So that coupled with having the International MBA and the global network, we are finding that more people would rather forgo the internship opportunity and just really get back to work. That is one of the reasons why we offer the accelerated program in thirteen months because we see that people want to minimize their opportunity costs and maximize their learning going through it.

But what we find is that for people who are really career switchers, they are usually the best prospects for an internship. Because if you really want to do one of those three changes, whether it be in the geographical area or functional or industry area, those are great people that are targets for the internship program. And also consulting and financial services are big areas where those companies don’t necessarily require it, but they expect that you do an internship. So there are a few targeted people that I would say should look at doing internships, but I would say that I don’t think it is for everybody anymore.

Linda Abraham: Rachel asks, “Do you have a preference in terms of which test applicants should take? Is there a preference for people who take the GMAT or the GRE or the IE test?”

Nita Swinsick: No, absolutely not. We just require one and there is no preference.

Linda Abraham: There is no advantage of taking one or the other.

Nita Swinsick: No.

Jean-Marie Winikates: I would just add that if you are applying to multiple schools, then your best option is to take the GMAT because that is the most widely accepted.

Linda Abraham: Nita, you mentioned earlier the four core values. We’ve discussed entrepreneurship; we’ve touched on diversity in terms of geographic diversity, professional diversity, all different kinds of diversity in the classroom. We haven’t yet discussed innovation and CSR-Corporate Social responsibility.

Nita Swinsick: In terms of social responsibility, we have a core course called Business, Government and Society in core period 3. We also have an elective -- Social Entrepreneurship. And also with the Venture Lab, the more innovative and more disruptive ideas get through to Venture Lab, and often they do focus on social responsibility whether it is corporate social responsibility or not. I think another way that we focus on social responsibility is certainly through the students that we have here at IE. Of course we are looking for people that are aligned to our core values, and this means that there are more people that are aligned to social responsibility within the classroom.

I’ll give you an example of one of the initiatives that one of our clubs, the Net Impact Club, recently did. They’ve worked with the Ashoka Foundation and they basically got together different social entrepreneurs from around Spain to work with our students, to work on current problems that the Ashoka Foundation was working on, and come up with solutions to that. So that’s a number of different ways. In terms of innovation, we of course mentioned the Change Modules which is something that is quite different to perhaps what other schools are doing. We are constantly introducing multi-media material as well, and we are really trying to make sure that our program is the most-up-to date. And this again you can see from our electives. Our electives change every year, and there will be new electives according to what is relevant in the business world.

Linda Abraham: Thank you again all for participating today. Special thanks to Jean-Marie and Nita for joining us today. If you have additional questions for Jean-Marie or Nita, please email them to imba.admissions@ie.edu.

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Once more, thank you Jean-Marie and Nita for joining us today. Best of luck to all with your applications!

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