IE vs ESADE CEMS vs Bocconi MIF

Hi everyone,

Just wondering if I could hear your thoughts on choosing which program to go for. The way I see each option for now is as followed:

IE: solid curriculum, good rankings, 1 year, great city and good opportunities in IB
ESADE: growing reputation, good rankings, MIF + CEMS would take 2 years, good placements in europe
Bocconi: intense program, 2 years (just for MIF), good placement for IB jobs in london after though

As you can see, each case has its advantages, I am leaning towards IE as I think it merges a solid curriculum + opportunity for IB jobs with studying in a great city. However ESADE's program is also great and I would get the CEMS on top, but that's an extra year, and what's the added value? Finally, Bocconi is a great option, but for just an MIF I have to take two years.

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!

Many thanks!

Comments (15)

Mar 29, 2016 - 8:12am

Bocconi or IE. Bocconi will give you some intern options being 2 years, IE is intense, if you are good it wont be a prb for you to land smthing in London after graduation, I know quite a few ppl how did that. However, Bocconi traditionally has more presence in London banking scene that is true.
Location wise IE is much better than Bocconi in terms of student life, thats what I observed.
I'd say Esade should be your last choice, know some grads from there..dont think it is close to IE or Bocconi.

Mar 29, 2016 - 11:26am

Do you speak Spanish, Catalan or Italian? Don't underestimate local language skills in enjoying your time/networking. If you only speak English, it gets much more difficult on the continent to get a job post-grad. Even in London, most Bocconi grads speak Italian/cover the Italian-speaking market.

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Best Response
Jan 26, 2017 - 1:24am

Do you speak Spanish, Catalan or Italian? Don't underestimate local language skills in enjoying your time/networking. If you only speak English, it gets much more difficult on the continent to get a job post-grad. Even in London, most Bocconi grads speak Italian/cover the Italian-speaking market.

Don't fully agree with this. Can't speak for the Spanish schools, but you don't need to know Italian to make it from Bocconi to a BB in London and most guys don't cover Italy (and a good chunk of the internationals doesn't speak Italian upon graduation either) but get placed into industry coverage groups.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

See my Blog & AMA

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Mar 31, 2016 - 2:30pm

IE or ESADE then, not that close. Learning Italian is possible from Spanish but you already have the language skills and you are there for a business education, not a linguistics one.

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Apr 1, 2016 - 7:14am

And so between these two would you have a favourite? I am finding it quite hard as some say IE is way ahead and others say that I should definitely pick ESADE...
Many thanks again!

Apr 1, 2016 - 8:14am

Would choose Bocconi, IE is one of the most overrated business schools in Europe! Stellar high tuition fees for the finance master (€ 37500 for one year) and only average placement in London an Frankfurt. Friends of mine that graduated there last summer had to look one year for a job and ended up doing internships (they were all among the top20% in the program and already had finance internships, so reputation wise IE brought them nowhere).

ESADE has a better lifestyle then both other options but placement is not equal to Bocconi but the same for IE.

Apr 1, 2016 - 11:00pm

Many thanks for this! So by that you would rank them in the following order: Bocconi > ESADE > IE?
Could you comment on the different class sizes (250 vs 60) and a predominantly international demographic for the Spanish unis vs a majority of Italians at Bocconi- and whether that should be of any concern?
Many thanks again!

Apr 4, 2016 - 6:08pm

I have friends that studied at all three universities, I know that ESADE was a pretty good place to study at and the grading was much better than at IE (ESADE is using a general merit based approach, while IE is curving/ standard distribution approach). So if you showed a good performance during an exam you received your grade based on your own merits and not on the overall performance of the students sitting the exam. ESADE grading was more generous.

Class size is smaller at ESADE, but IE and ESADE both have small class sizes of 80-100 students (would have to ask for the exact numbers though), Bocconi should have a bigger class size of 150-200 I guess.

In terms of internationality ESADE was pretty good with lots of people from different European countries and a few students from elsewhere. IE had quite the same mix but lots of Italian, German and guys from the middle east (such as Lebanon, Saud Arabia). Bocconi has a huge proportion of Italian students in their masters, so internationality is lower (not applicable to all their programs, but Finance was definitely one of them), not bad if you want to learn the language or find local friends (which is sometimes not that easy though).

Reputation wise I would say that Bocconi has the strongest placement, but if you can get good internships before applying fulltime (or already have them) than your university doesn't matter that much. Actually the differences between Bocconi and ESADE reputation wise is slim, you shouldn't worry that much.

I think the ESADE master with CEMS is the best of all three options, given that you will have a good time, a good reputation and international study experience. Barcelona beats Milan as well. Hope that helps, if you have any further questions, feel free to ask!

Apr 12, 2016 - 9:16am

I slightly disagree with Halton01: If you want to max your chances, go for Bocconi! It's a great uni with very good rep in the city. The Spanish schools are good choices, but imho clearly behind Bocconi. I even see IE slightly ahead of ESADE, but that's only a personal impression.
Good luck!

Jan 21, 2017 - 2:26pm

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