These are some of the most common questions about Global Executive MBA program.

1. How is the program structured?
The GEMBA is a modular program that combines on- and off-campus learning to ensure minimal disruption to your professional commitments while providing the community structure, support and immersion of a fully residential MBA. Both formats have the following components:

  • Pre-Module: Remote study before the residential session. The objective of pre-module learning is to make sure that all participants have at least a passing familiarity with concepts to be discussed during the residential session.
  • Residential Session: Intensive learning in a classroom environment. Residential sessions are predominantly case-based, but also feature lectures, guest speakers, company visits and activities. They include on average four classes per day.
  • Distributed Learning: Remote study that complements academic content, visits and lectures imparted during residential sessions. Participants connect via a technological platform called the Global Campus to discuss cases, take tests and exams, submit projects and work with their teams. Distributed learning requires approximately 15 to 20 hours of study time per week.

2. What role do teams play in the Global Executive MBA?
The team experience is central to the program. Participants will work with team members on assignments and case studies to jointly analyze them before presenting their conclusions before the classroom. Team discussions are a common thread throughout the program, whether face-to-face during residential sessions or virtually during the distributed learning segments.

Teams comprise 5 to 7 members and are carefully assembled to ensure a rich diversity of cultural, functional and sectorial backgrounds.
The entire GEMBA experience is designed to foster a stimulating exchange of ideas, experiences and viewpoints, so we you also have numerous opportunities to interact with other teams, classmates and faculty members.

3. What qualities do we look for in an applicant?
To apply for the Global Executive MBA, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Minimum of 10 years of work experience, with relevant managerial experience
  • An accredited university degree or its equivalent (in exceptional cases, demonstrated professional competence will suffice)
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English
  • Steady career progression
  • Solid analytical skills
  • Ambition and drive

4. I meet all of those criteria. Should I apply now?
We recommend completing our onlin survey to clarify your objectives and determine the program that best matches your profile. Our Admissions Mentors will then be able to guide you through the entire admissions process.
5. How long does the admissions process take?
Once the required documents have been submitted, the process takes an average of three weeks. However, we urge candidates to start the process as early as possible. It may take a while to collect all the supplementary documents required with your application and move forward with your program interview. Moreover, company support, scholarships and financing arrangements also require time.
6. How do I apply?
A written application must be completed online by clicking “Apply Online” on the right-hand side of this page. As part of this application, you will need to include an up-to-date résumé and submit 4 essays (plus 1 optional). By registering a personal username and password, you will be able to return to your own personal application form online and complete it over a period of time, at your leisure. Your online application will not be reviewed by IESE until it has been completed and submitted.

7. How long should the essays be?
Essays have a 300-word limit, with one exception at 500 words. The essays should be concise and directly address the question at hand. We are interested in learning more about you as a person and as a professional and evaluating your fit in the classroom and within the IESE community.

8. How much does it cost to submit an application?
A US$130 non-refundable application fee is payable upon submission of the online application form.

9. What else is required?
The following supplementary documents must be submitted prior to the interview:

    • 2 Letters of Recommendation. These can be submitted with the online application. However, for your convenience, we can send you a separate Letter of Recommendation form, on request. This is a Word document, which can be forwarded to your referees immediately for easy completion. Upon completion, the Letter of Recommendation form should be sent directly to the IESE Global Executive MBA Admissions Department. The contents of your recommendation letters will remain confidential.
      The letters of recommendation are an important tool for us to learn more about your professional development and capabilities at work. For this reason, the first letter of recommendation should come directly from your employer or director supervisor. The second letter of recommendation can be obtained from someone else who has worked with you (colleague, client, etc.) who can testify to your professional capabilities and development in a working environment. Letters of recommendation from friends, acquaintances or relatives are not accepted.
    • University Transcripts. University transcripts should be sent to us in an envelope sealed by the university. Transcripts should reflect coursework, results and degree awarded. Certified translations are required for transcripts in a language other than English. If a transcript is unobtainable, a notarized copy can be sent.
    • Letter of Company Support. Your employer should indicate that it understands the time commitment and travel necessary to complete the program. Your company should also indicate whether it is prepared to provide some financial support in order for you to take on the program; if such sponsorship details are not finalized at the time of submission of the letter of company support, these can be provided later.

While the letter of company support is not essential before your admissions interview, it must be submitted at least a month before the beginning of the program, in order for you to be able to receive your pre-module materials and start the program. We can provide you with a sample letter of company support upon request.

    • 1 digital photograph or passport-sized photograph
    • GMAT. The Admissions Committee considers a number of criteria when making the decision to admit a participant to the program, with the GMAT being just one of these. The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) measures language, quantitative and writing skills. It provides an independent and objective measure of your skill level to help us assess whether you have the basic ability to keep up with the rigors of the program. For information on where to take the GMAT, visit: www.mba.com. The GMAT is waived if a candidate has more than 15 years of experience, however, in exceptional cases, the Admissions Committee might still request it.
    • English Language Test. Fluency in written and spoken English is an absolute necessity; therefore an English language test is required for all candidates who are not native English speakers. The requirement may be waived for those with a minimum of 2 years professional experience in an English-speaking country. We accept the following English proficiency tests:
      • TOEFL: Minimum score of 100 on the internet-based test, 250 on the computer-based test, or 600 on the paper-based test (more information: www.toefl.org).
      • TOEIC: Minimum score of 950 (more information: www.toeic.org) Cambridge Certificate or proficiency in English: Level A or B (more information: www.cambridge-efl.org).

      Please speak with your Admissions Mentor about the advisability of requesting an English Language Test waiver.

10. How does the admissions interview work?
Once your application file is complete, the Admissions Committee will invite short-listed candidates to a personal interview. The interview usually lasts about an hour. It is an opportunity for you to share additional information about yourself and your experiences beyond what is covered in the written application, as well as for you to clarify any questions you may have about the program. Interviews are conducted in person with an IESE representative or a faculty member. In addition to our Barcelona and Madrid campuses, we are able to accommodate many interview requests coinciding with residential modules, Open Days, MBA fairs and other events which are organized on a regular basis all over the world.

11. I need to secure sponsorship from my company. Can IESE help?
We can work with you to prepare a tailored proposal to your employer for sponsorship of the Global Executive MBA. In addition, we can help present the program to your employer.

12. Is a university degree required?
Yes, a university degree is required for the program.

13. What distributed learning technologies are used?
Our IT team will provide support so that your laptop is fully compatible with the Distance Learning requirements. Technological features include: application-sharing software; asynchronous group discussion software; electronic bulletin boards; IESE CD-ROM multimedia courseware; Internet-based data search engines; real-time chat; streaming audio; web browser; e-mail; computer-based video conferencing; streaming video; and voice-over network synchronous discussions.
Participants are responsible for their own internet access while they are physically away from the campus.

14. What if I am unable to attend one of the residential sessions?
Admission to the program requires the letter of company support, as well as your own personal willingness to commit yourself fully to the program. Therefore, all modules are compulsory and must be attended. Under no circumstances would job commitments, nor personal situations that are not truly exceptional, be accepted as sufficient grounds for absence.

If you needed to miss an individual class, this would have to be pre-arranged with the professor and a member of the program management team. Should circumstances force you to miss a residential session, you may discuss with the program management team the possibility of deferral to the following year.

15. How much time should I expect to dedicate to the program between residential sessions?
During the distributed learning sessions, expect to dedicate around 15 to 20 hours per week to the virtual classroom and team-based projects. As a continuation of the residential session, this segment allows you to apply what you have learned at IESE directly to your unique professional context. Both you and your organization will benefit even before you graduate. Because participants are based around the world and have different professional commitments, you will never be required to be online at a specific time. All work is asynchronous.

16. What's the difference between IESE’s Executive MBA and its Global Executive MBA?
IESE´s Executive MBA is a part-time, 19-month bilingual (English/Spanish) program. There are 2 different formats for this program:

      • Weekly Format: This Executive MBA format which historically has only been offered in Madrid is now being offered on the Barcelona campus. Classes take place on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings. There are also three intensive residential weeks during the first year and two during the second.
      • Biweekly format: Offered exclusively on the Madrid campus, there are classes all day on Friday and in the morning on Saturday. Additionally, there are 7 intensive 1-week modules.

The Executive MBA requires a minimum of 5 years work experience, fluency in Spanish, and the ability to commit to weekly or biweekly class presence.
In contrast, the Global Executive MBA has a modular format, with residential sessions held in Barcelona, New York, Silicon Valley and Shanghai + 2 out of 4 elective modules. The program is taught entirely in English. With at least 10 years professional experience, the Global Executive MBA participants generally have a more senior profile and must, in addition, have an international component to their responsibilities.

17. What are the best ways to learn more about the program?

An MBA is probably one of the most important investments you will make, and we encourage you to do your research thoroughly. Besides consulting our brochures and websites, you can attend our events, and speak to as many people as possible about the program to get different perspectives. We highly recommend:

        • Informational interviews. These are individual meetings with the admissions mentors to address your informational needs regarding the program. They can usually be scheduled before or after our events around the world.
        • Residential Module visits. During all our residential modules, these visits are individually arranged, in which you can witness a class, enjoy a presentation about the program and interact with participants and professors over lunch.
        • Alumni contact. Let us know if you’d like to get in touch with alumni of the program. They are a good source of insights!
        • Admissions mentors. They are on hand to guide you along your decision process. Feel free to contact them anytime. To sign up, visit: globalexecutivemba.iese.edu/events/.