MBA Career Counselling in Europe |

MBA Career Counselling in Europe

By Nicole Willson

Updated November 20, 2019 Updated November 20, 2019

Following the publication of 2012/13 QS Global 200 Business Schools Report, Nicole Willson speaks to leading business schools in Europe to find out what careers services are on offer to help MBA graduates maximize their employment prospects.

Like many North American business schools, leading European schools begin career counselling early on in their MBA programs.

“An early start is critical”, states Lucía Andrés, associate director IE Business School’s Career Management Center. “We believe that the more time and effort they put into their career development the more likely they are to reach a satisfying outcome.”

At IE, incoming MBA students must complete several career related tasks before even setting foot on campus. These include: completing a self-assessment test, writing a summary of professional intent, researching companies, completing a career marketing plan, updating their LinkedIn profile and writing a CV and a cover letter.

European Global Elite business schools also emphasize one-on-one career counselling. To Helga Kirchner, director of MBA career services at ESADE Business School, “offer[ing] a personalized service to students and recruiters” is one of the most important aspects of career services at ESADE.

IE’s Career Management Center also offers personalized service through hour-long one-on-one advising sessions and sector-specific advising sessions, “open door” advising.

One-on-one counselling allows for personalized attention. Claire Lecoq is IMD’s MBA director of marketing, admissions and career services. She states that IMD’s diverse MBA class, with 90 students of 45 different nationalities, makes “taking each individual in his/her individuality” the most important part of the career services at IMD. “We address each situation individually and we counsel MBAs on their careers but we also look at personal/family/long-term career implications.”

Since career counseling departments link students with recruiters, personalized attention for employers is also important. Javier Muñoz is the director of career services at IESE Business School. He states that he and the rest of IESE’s career services team “are like headhunters for the full-time MBA program in the sense that what we’re doing is to try to understand what the companies are looking for, and what our students are offering.”

In order to build relationships with recruiters, IESE has an international team of 14 executives who are stationed in locations in different parts of the world. In addition to IESE’s main campus in Barcelona, IESE has career service offices in New York, New Delhi and Singapore. This puts career services executives in close contact with recruiters, and helps the IESE gain recognition as a provider of global talent.

European business schools are also creating programs that reflect the changing economy. While the MBA job search has not changed, Kirchner points out, “ESADE has evolved to hone in on the skills recruiters look for,” such as “teamwork, flexibility, collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit.” In order to help their students foster an entrepreneurial mindset, ESADE opened the Campus Barcelona Sant Cugat, which is home to over 60 startups and SMEs.

This article was originally published in January 2013 . It was last updated in November 2019

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Nicole is the SEO manager of, as well as a contributing author. She holds a BA in history and sociology, and a master's in library science. Aside from her work for QS, Nicole is a long-time contributing editor and administrator for WikiHow.