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This MBA will increase your pay 139%. Will it get you into investment banking?

Not actually a passport to investment banking (Photo credit: Christopher Elison)

The Financial Times' 2012 ranking of European business schools is out. Top of the list is Madrid-based IE, formerly known as Instituto de Empresa - not to be confused with Barcelona-based IESE, which ranks 6th.

Having beaten off the likes of INSEAD and London Business School, IE evidently has a lot going for it. According to the FT, IE MBA alumni earn an average of $157k  per annum in the three years after graduating. This is $4k a year more than London Business School alumni and $12k a year more than MBAs coming out of INSEAD. In fact, IE MBAs are the best paid of the lot: on average, the IE MBA course increases its students' pay by 139%.

Should you be applying to IE if you want a pay fillip, therefore?

If you work in financial services, the answer is probably no. IE tells us that only 21% of its most recent MBA graduates went into finance jobs and our own database is notably lacking in CVs from IE MBAs. Instead, our own data suggests that most financial services professionals study at a handful of European MBA schools: INSEAD, London Business School, Cass and HEC in Paris. An MBA recruiter at an investment bank in London tells us the only Spanish MBA school she looks at is IESE, and that they've stopped visiting the IESE campus this year and are targeting students from afar.

Daniel Macedo, a former IE MBA now working as an analyst at Maritime Strategies International, a shipping consultancy, says that when he studied at IE in 2008 many of the students were either Spanish or from Latin American countries. "It was a great experience and the money was well invested - they have great quality teaching," says Macedo. But he adds that, even in 2008, some of his fellow student struggled to find a job: "It was the start of the financial crisis and a difficult time."

The location of IE's alumni clubs suggests many of its alumni stay in either Spain or Portugal. The state of the Iberian economy may make it hard for the school to repeat its careers success in 2013. On the other hand, IE also has plenty of alumni in Central and Latin America, which may prove helpful if you intend to build a career in the fastest growing investment banking market.

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Za
    4 December 2012

    I did the International MBA at the IE in 2010, the one ranked at the FT. At IE they have another MBA with far more pupils, less selective in terms of admissions and teachers in my view and with a strong focus on Spain and Latin America. Do not confuse both, as the top one, ranked at the FT, is the International, not the more local one.

    In my class, from circa 70 students, 8 were Spanish, approx. 20% from Latin America, 20% Continental Europe, 20% former USSR, 20% Asia and 10% Middle East with some additions from countries such as Uzbekistan, Bhutan, Congo, etc.

    The teaching is very good tough as always there is some room for improvement in certain areas. The learning experience with such a diverse group is excellent and the quality of the people in terms of potential and intelligence is usually optimal too.

    In my view the only area to improve is the careers management in finance, as do not have significant contacts at the City and New York in the investment banking world. The majority of graduates 1) find good jobs in consulting as the school is very good in entrepreneurship 2) find a job in multinational companies or 3) go back home to work for their rich dads.

    They try to improve their link with the financial world and probably they will we successful on the mid term as their product in terms of graduate MBAs is solid. Right now is an excellent option if you want to be a consultant, secure a good job in a multinational or focus your career in Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, etc).

    You may try investment banking after it as well but you will have to do all the hard job of finding interviews by yousellf.

    I hope this is helpful.

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