Naman Agarwal, MBA Candidate, Class of 2012 at IESE Business School, Spain.
He is currently on exchange to Duke University’s – Fuqua School of Business, USA for a semester.
1. What was your pre-MBA profile?
Prior to MBA, I had worked with an Indian Multinational, Evalueserve in Intellectual Property Domain for couple of years. On the academic side, I pursued B. Tech & M.Tech in Information Technology from IIIT,Gwalior
2. Why did you decide to do an MBA?
According to me, an MBA is not a course but a life-time experience which provides a platform to have a close association with people from all over the world who are from such varied domains. It helps in understanding the business aspect in various regions of the world from more than one perspective and provides an excellent opportunity to learn from the peers and from the world-class faculty members.
Further looking from my long term and short term goals perspective, an MBA at this point is helping me in networking with the like minded people in my area of interest and is providing me an opportunity to discuss various thoughts with them.
3. Do you think your choice of B school has been proved correct?
IESE Business School,Spainhas been an excellent choice for me. The international diversity and case study based teaching methodology has delivered more than I expected. Given a second chance, I will not hesitate for a second to do it all over again!!!
4. Has the B school experience helped mold your personality?
Yes, definitely it has helped me learn about various cultures and about various country specific things. On the professional side, I have met with people from diverse fields and these experiences have helped me to have a broader perspective of things and think about business in a global scenario.
5. If you are asked to pick the 3 best things about your B school, what would those be?
Diversity: 80% students are international which is very difficult to get in lot of other global b-schools.
Case Study Methodology: I strongly think it is necessary considering we all come from lecture based teachings inIndia. To hear so many voices inside the class discussion helps you to understand different view-points and learning is more practical.
Faculty Commitment: Open door policy and 4:1 Student faculty ratio. They are very committed to make us learn.
6. Academically, what are the highlights of your curriculum?
It is very intense program, particularly in the first year. Since the course is case study based, we all have teams pre-assigned to us based on diversity. So, daily we are working closely with so many different personalities as part of our course structure. It is a General Management program, so we get a chance to see same things from lot many angles than a focused program student would do.
7. Does your B school offer financial assistance to students? Are there any specific criteria?
Yes, they have different scholarships. The main criteria are need and academics. Also, for girls and for people from developing nations likeIndia, there are separate scholarships.
8. What are placement prospects of your B school?
Placements are good with all major Investment Banks, consulting, healthcare sector and tech firms visiting the campus. Though there are visa issues in internship for non-europeans in some companies, normally the limitations is less in full-time recruitment. Overall, it also depends upon how much one networks with people. Overall, I am satisifies with the prospects offered there.
9. What will be your advice to MBA aspirants targeting your B school?
My sincere advice is to not go by the rankings for IESE. Though it is ranked high, come here only if you really believe it will deliver what you want to get out of MBA experience. Talk with as many current or past students to know more about their experience. IESE values personal commitment to the mission of the school. It seeks people with all-round personality apart from academic excellence. It is an intense course but at the same time you make friends for life once you are experiencing highs and lows together.
10. And finally, given the current economic slowdown, is this the right time to embark on an MBA programme?
I think there is never a wrong time to go for MBA. The good jobs are still in market though there is more competition. But this economic situation is probably going to stay for some time. So, even though it is a huge investment to go for MBA at this point, I think the returns are huge in terms of personality development and job prospects. And lastly, you got to do it to realize that you just cannot compare some things with money!!!