MBA Careers in Finance Q&A: IESE Business School |

MBA Careers in Finance Q&A: IESE Business School

By Craig O

Updated May 10, 2019 Updated May 10, 2019

Released earlier this year, the QS MBA Rankings by Specialization 2019 reveal which MBA programs provide the best preparation for careers in a range of different fields, from finance to technology.

IESE Business School – University of Navarra is ranked as the fifth best MBA program in Europe and 14th best in the world for careers in finance. To learn more about how the MBA program at IESE can prepare you for a career in finance, we spoke to Lassi Albin Viljakainen, Associate Director for Finance at the IESE Career Development Center.

What elements of the MBA program at IESE are ideally suited for preparing students for a career in finance?

In preparation for a post-MBA career in finance, our students will benefit from our program’s core courses like Capital Markets, Financial Accounting, Corporate Finance, among many others.

In addition, our Career Services Center, together with our three finance sector student clubs (Finance, Private Equity & Venture Capital, and Fintech) have intensive preparation modules for banking and other sub-sectors of finance.

Finally, second-year students can further build their finance knowledge through finance electives of their choice.

Why should prospective students interested in a career in finance consider your school? What can IESE offer which makes it distinct from other business schools?

The majority of top finance recruiters attend our on/off-campus recruiting activities. These include top investment banks, wealth managers, corporate finance departments, private equity and fintech. Being a truly global program with 60 nationalities, our recruiting partners can be found on all continents.

If you were an MBA student interested in a career in finance, what do you think you’d enjoy most about the MBA program(s) at IESE?

I would enjoy the core finance-related courses taught by IESE’s world-class faculty. Moreover, I would appreciate the structured finance preparation process that starts instantly after arriving on-campus.

I would find it useful that IESE-MBA’s finance club has approached me even before I’ve arrived in Barcelona, to help kick-start my preparation. Finally, I would benefit greatly from my second-year finance club mentor who will support me in various ways.

What proportion of recent graduates are going to work in this sector? How has this changed over the last decade?

Currently, 19 percent of our graduates decide to continue their post-MBA careers in the finance sector. Fintech is the fastest growing sector impacting many of the sub-sectors of finance. MBA recruiting in global markets has been slowing down, whereas recruiting trends for other sub-sectors have remained relatively stable.

What feedback has the school received from employers in this sector about the skills required by today’s graduates?

Finance-sector recruiters have diverse needs. Whereas investment banking recruiters are looking for solid technical skills and a very good fit, fintech recruiters are searching for candidates with product management or business development capabilities. The common requirement across sectors is a good personal fit, coupled with solid motivation for your chosen career.

This article was originally published in May 2019 .

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