Why Spain Is a Great Place to Study an EMBA | TopMBA.com

Why Spain Is a Great Place to Study an EMBA

By Linda Mohamed

Updated June 24, 2021 Updated June 24, 2021

Interested in studying in Spain and taking your executive career to the next level? Here are three Spanish EMBA programmes you should know about.

Studying in Spain can have many advantages for executive MBA candidates. For starters, it is considered one of the top destinations for higher education in Europe, with lower entry requirements for top institutions than countries such as the US.

Second, the majority of top EMBA programmes based in Spain have international flair. In fact, most are delivered in English with a dual Spanish language option, making it easy for professionals from all over the world to upskill without having to face a language barrier.

And finally, Spain is home to two of Europe’s biggest business hubs: Barcelona and Madrid. Thanks to lower living costs and high quality of life, the two cities are magnets for international companies like Amazon, Facebook, King, Accenture, Deloitte, IBM and EY.

If you’re interested in taking the next step in your executive career in sunny Spain, here are the three top-ranked Spanish EMBA programmes featured in the QS Global EMBA Rankings 2021 that should be on your radar.

IESE Business School

IESE Business School’s Global Executive MBA was ranked second-best in Europe and third-best in the world in the most recent QS Global EMBA Rankings 2021.

Based in the beautiful city of Barcelona, the programme is structured around nine two-month modules, each combining part-time at-home studying and full-time on-campus classes. Participants usually spend a total of 15 weeks together on campus in two-week intensive blocks.

IESE’s Global Executive MBA is highly international from a cohort and a curriculum perspective – the school, in fact, offers students the opportunity to complete modules abroad in multiple locations across the globe.

Arve Utseth, associate director of the programme, says this international exposure is the most important feature of IESE Business School.

He said: “The Global Executive MBA at IESE is unique in terms of its global exposure and extremely international nature. The blended learning format allows for participants to live anywhere in the world, and therefore we typically have 30 to 35 different countries represented in the class. Also, this 17-month long programme is itinerant through four continents, as the on-campus periods take place in Barcelona, New York, Munich, Silicon Valley, Shanghai and electives additionally are offered in Brazil, Ghana, India, and Southeast Asia.    

“Thus, the Global Executive MBA guarantees its participants a strong global awareness, since we also complement academic learning with locally embedded activities in each city, such as company visits, local panel speakers, and social/cultural activities to holistically understand each local setting. We are one of the very few to offer a truly global Executive MBA that is supervised and delivered by one business school only, guaranteeing a seamless and personalised learning journey throughout.”

ESADE Business School

ESADE Business School offers a 20-month part-time EMBA programme fully taught in English and based in either Barcelona or Madrid.

Students can choose between two tracks:

  • A monthly format, with classes once a month from Thursday until Saturday, two International Immersion Experiences and various off-campus initiatives, or
  • A weekly format, with classes on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, two International Immersion Experiences and off-campus initiatives.

At the end of the programme, students undertake a Final Master Project, which allows them to develop a business vision – whether it’s a start-up idea or a project to implement within their company – with expert guidance from ESADE’s entrepreneurial experts.

The programme received near-perfect scores for employer reputation and diversity in the QS Global EMBA Rankings 2021, showcasing the school’s commitment to fostering an international environment and a high-quality business network.

IE Business School

IE Business School, ranked eighth best in Europe in the QS Global EMBA Rankings 2021, offers a hybrid executive MBA programme that combines virtual and in-person classes.

Based in Madrid, IE Business School brings together talent from all over the world, boasting one of the most diverse environments in the EMBA Europe 2021 top 10.

Professor Ignacio Gafo, Associate Dean of IE’s Global Executive MBA, said: “Diversity is one of our pillars and something we constantly look for. By diversity we understand not only getting people from different nationalities but also people with different backgrounds, beliefs, perspectives and ways of looking at the world and business.”

IE’s Global Executive MBA takes place over the course of 15 months, featuring experiences locally and abroad with other business schools and companies, such as the Global Network for Advanced Management Week, the Global Immersion Week and the Leadership Development programme.

Gafo said: “Higher education and specifically executive MBA degrees turn out to be critical for managers. Managers need to prepare themselves to manage uncertainty, and this will come through programmes like executive MBAs, which provide you with the knowledge, competencies and skills to manage your business and lead your teams amidst unpredictability.

“We [IE] believe that managers need to a broad perspective to understand the market and be able to make the right decisions, and connecting with other disciplines will make a difference. I believe this is a very popular element of the programme for it helps students to build self-awareness, provides them with leadership tools they can apply in real life and a customised leadership development journey.”

This article was originally published in June 2021 .

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