In Conversation with Karan Gupta, MD ( India and South Asia), IE Business School

Last updated on July 5th, 2013

Reading Time: 4 minutes

IE Business School has been at the forefront of management education. Ranked 3rd on the Business Week listings, it is the place to be for Entrepreneurship, General Management, Leadership, Corporate Social Responsibility and International Business. We got in touch with Karan Gupta, the Managing Director for India and South Asia, IE Business School, to answer some of the pressing questions that IE Business School aspirants have. Here are the highlights of the interview:

1. How is your MBA program unique or different from others, in terms of the school’s focus, curriculum, pedagogy etc.?

Our programs have many unique factors including the following:
The diversity of the class is one of the highest among all business schools worldwide, not only in terms of nationality but also in terms of backgrounds – this enriches our class discussions and projects.
We have top notch students combined with top notch faculty from all over the world. Many of our faculty members are practitioners so they share their experience in the corporate world with the students.
Our practical approach is based on the case method where students are constantly wearing the consultant shoes and giving solutions to real life cases.

2. What are the most important parameters considered by the Admissions team to evaluate applicant profiles?

We value diversity and want candidates with different profiles. We tend to prefer candidates who have demonstrated leadership in everything that they do. We want candidates who are motivated, focused and ready to work in teams.
The most important characteristic for us is the fit! We need someone that can fit with the IE culture – Motivated, with an international mindset, and with an excellent profile academically and professionally. As well we want to see how this MBA fits in your future career plans.
We have a holistic approach which means that we look at everything from undergraduate grades, to the GMAT scores, to the professional experience, social work, interview and so on. At IE, your test scores are as important as your personality and attitude, that´s why all of our students are interviewed before getting their final admission.

3. What are the typical mistakes you see applicants – especially Indian applicants – making?

The candidates should really know where they want to be after they finish their program. In addition, they should know why they wish to be part of IE Business School. Candidates should have done their homework on IE Business School and should apply early.
We don´t like clichés. We read so many applications, so to remember you, you have to be special and be yourself. We don´t want people telling us what they think we want to hear.
Don´t let anyone write your essays, we can guess when someone helped!

4. How does a student who belongs to an over-represented demographic profile fit in?

As previously mentioned, IE is very diverse in terms of backgrounds, so in a typical class we would of course have people with a business background. However, at the same time we would have engineers, lawyers, biologists and event artists. So all profiles are welcomed and we believe that every person can have a special contribution to the class.
To improve their candidacy, IT applicants should show professional growth and improvement. Therefore, their career advancement is very important.

5. Do you consider the ability of the candidate to adapt to a new country and culture as factor in judging the application?

We value students who are culturally sensitive and are open to learning more about cultural differences. We don’t expect our students to know Spanish but at the same time, if a student does learn Spanish, it will make his or her experience in Spain more memorable.



6. How do students typically fund their studies at your program? What are the deciding factors for a student to win a scholarship?

We have several scholarships that students can apply for. We also have co-signor free loans that are offered to international students. The maximum scholarship that a student can get at IE is 50% of the tuition fees. More information on loans and funding is available here.
While determining financial aid awards, we take into account a candidate’s academic and professional achievements as well as the financial need.

7. What career services does the school offer to help students obtain internships and jobs? How has the hiring scenario been for Indian students, given the visa regulations and the economic climate?

Unfortunately nowadays it is a bit difficult to get a job in Europe or Spain due to a tough and long visa process. However, it is not impossible. Many of our students end up in top jobs in Europe or Spain. My advice is to learn about the visa processes as soon as you land in Madrid, and start networking with top companies from day 1 of the program.
Our latest career report is available here. 
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