IE University Bachelor in Business Administration alum, Miguel Delgado, offers his advice for future students. He answers the most frequently asked questions based on his experience as a student at IE University.
What is most valued in the Bachelor in Business Administration?
The Bachelor in Business Administration most values business orientation, an entrepreneurial mindset, being a dynamic individual, having an innovative and disruptive mind, strong technology orientation, an international background, and the ability to work well in a team.
What are the main course topics? What was your favorite one?
The main topics are finance, accounting, human resources, marketing, strategy, economics, and management. My favorite topics to study were finance and accounting because I enjoy working with numbers and consider myself to be quite analytical. I also enjoyed management because it was focused on decision making, which is a very important skill for leaders.
Do professors place more emphasis on practical or academic learning? Are the professors experienced practitioners?
IE University uses a hands-on approach to learning and the professors emphasize that in their teaching styles. You will be solving real-life case scenarios, reading case studies, and participating in in-class games. You will also do a lot of presentations and have discussions that thrive off student interactions.
Our faculty is made up of a group of incredible professionals who have been practitioners in their fields of study for more than 20 years. They tend to share personal experiences with you and this is helpful for understanding theoretical concepts.
Should I take notes on my computer or in a notebook?
You should always bring your laptop to class to take notes. There will be classes where the professor will ask you to close your computers and put down your pens and simply pay attention to them. Then they will later upload their presentation to the online campus for reference. A lot of times, you just need to sit down and listen to the professor and focus on understanding the concept without worrying about taking notes. This type of class further proves the practice-based learning approach IE University uses.
Should I live in a studio, a shared flat, or a residence hall?
This question depends entirely on the person. Some students prefer to live alone, some with friends, and some want to experience a residence hall. I personally would recommend living in a residence hall for the first three-to-six months because it’s an easier transition. Your cooking and cleaning will be done for you, which is one less thing you’ll have to worry about when trying to transition to living in a new country. After those first few months, you’ll be more settled in and will have new friends and you can rent a flat with them. Not only will it be cheaper than the residence hall, but you will also have more freedom and it’s great for personal development.
How are the classes structured? What’s the schedule like?
The classes are 80 minutes and they tend to be about 20 minutes of theory and then an hour of applying that theory to the real world. This structure depends entirely on the subject and professor, but it’s generally the norm.
One of the many things I loved were the schedules. They varied week to week and this was nice because it broke routine and I didn’t get bored. You usually have between one and four sessions per day.
How many hours per week will I spend doing homework?
This really depends on each student and how they organize themselves. You will probably spend between three to 10 hours per week working with classmates on presentations and projects. In terms of individual study, it depends on the person, but you can count on working a minimum of five hours per week outside of class. I also suggest reviewing everyday so that you will be well-prepared for exams.
What does a typical Bachelor in Business Administration student’s day look like?
The schedule tends to change from week to week. The changing schedule makes it difficult to explain a “typical” day because every day will be different. You will have a couple hours of class time, as well as a few study hours. There will also be some days where you’ll have to spend more time working on group work. Because everyday is different, you’ll have time for other activities. You can do sports or join an IE University Club to maximize learning and your social life. You could even use your free time to build your startup with great mentors to teach you how to launch your business. Most importantly, you can have fun. Your time at university is meant for studying and becoming a great professional, but it is also a time where you should have fun and make lifelong friendships.
Is there any preparation required before starting classes? Is there a language requirement or required readings?
You must have a C1 English Level. If you are close to a C1, but aren’t quite there yet, you should check out the Language Proficiency Track. The two-week intensive English course will prepare you for the terminology that you’ll need to be familiar with in order to start your courses. Other than that, you just need to bring your motivation to learn! 😉
How can I best organize myself in order to get good grades?
This is quite a broad question, but my biggest piece of advice would be to really pay attention in class. Also, you should review every day and keep up with your daily assignments so that you can go into the exam period feeling confident and well prepared. If you are attentive and study outside of class, you should be able to get good grades. It is by no means an easy bachelor degree, but the practice-based approach to learning means that you won’t have to study endlessly because you’ll learn naturally by doing.
Are there opportunities for BBA students to participate in an exchange program?
I honestly couldn’t list all of the exchange opportunities because there are so many available. What I can tell you is that there are opportunities on every continent and where you get to do your exchange depends entirely on your GPA. I highly recommend trying to get excellent grades in your first two years so that you can choose the exchange program that you like the most. Exchange opportunities are a great way to learn from another outstanding institution while also discovering the world.
What are the internships opportunities? How easy is it to find a BBA internship?
Similar to exchange programs, there are a lot of internship opportunities. The Talent and Careers center offers a platform for you to search and easily apply to internships both nationally and worldwide. You can also participate in an internship that you find on your own. IE University also offers guidance on how to get selected for an internship, prepare for interviews, and land your “dream job.” The career department is an excellent resource for personalized guidance.
What are the exams like?
You will have a mid-term and a final exam in every course you take. Mid-term exams are worth 10-30% of your final grade and final exams are between 20-50% of your final grade. Exams may be open-ended questions, multiple choice, or a combination of both. The exam format varies depending on the course and professor.
Any additional tips for getting the most out of a BBA degree?
Take advantage of all the opportunities that IE University offers. Enroll in online competitions, participate in clubs, do internships, go on an exchange, play sports, study hard, and have fun. The IE University experience can only be maximized if you experience everything that it has to offer.
Last but not least, make connections with your peers and the faculty, they make up part of your global network of contacts and will be really important for your future.