IESE and CEIBS Offer ‘World Executive MBA’

IESE Business School

IESE Business School

A new player in the international joint executive MBA game was announced yesterday (Feb. 25). IESE Business School at the University of Navarra in Madrid, Spain and China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) will be teaming up to offer the World Executive MBA beginning in January 2016. The program is designed specifically for senior executives with an average age of 40 who already work across borders. Graduates will receive an MBA degree from both schools.

The program is designed for serious and committed people, says Franz Heukamp, associate dean of MBA programs at IESE. “It will be a lot of work and is designed to foster or strengthen leadership competencies,” Heukamp says. “Students will see and learn how business is done across borders. It’s not a sightseeing tour. It’s an MBA program.”

The reason for the distinction is students truly can experience many cultures and places while obtaining this EMBA. During the 18-month program, students have the opportunity to spend their 71 residential days on five different continents. There are six residential modules that are made up of an introductory module, a core module, and four elective modules. The rest of the program will be online. Heukamp says during the online portions, students should plan on about 15 hours of work per week.

“The online portion will be asynchronous,” Heukamp says. “There will be opportunity to work on the same case or group project at completely different times of the day as we expect to have students from all over the world.”


Depending on geography, students may complete required curriculum at any CEIBS or IESE campus. CEIBS has campuses in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and in Ghana. IESE has campuses in Barcelona, Madrid, New York City, Munich and Sao Paulo. Heukamp says the program will also offer a module in India. “We have two specifically strong networks that are coming together with our respective schools,” Heukamp says. “This program is different because it is not simply across the Atlantic or from Europe to Asia. We are looking south of the Equator as well. It is more comprehensive and we will be bringing in people who are quite executive.”

CEIBS and IESE have been partnered for more than two decades with student and faculty exchanges. “There is a long history and relationship between the two schools,” Heukamp says. “It is not just bringing two schools together and saying, ‘OK, lets do something.’ We have faculty that teach on a regular basis on each other’s respective campuses. We have an MBA exchange program. People who are close to both schools asked us why we didn’t do this years ago.”

Heukamp expects to see diversity in student origins as well as in the industries they come from. “Of course we will have many from companies that already operate across countries,” Heukamp says. “But we also expect to see the smaller or medium-sized companies that might be more expert-based with specific products or services wanting to expand more internationally. There are also the entrepreneurs who are doing quite well in one market but might be ready for an expansion to different markets.”


Regardless of where the students come from or what industry they operate in, Heukamp says they must have certain qualities. “We are looking for that combination of an exec who is quite advanced in his or her organization and quite senior but still sees an MBA or leadership development as the right thing and has a corresponding hunger for learning,” Heukamp says. “They will be wanting to get ready for new and larger responsibilities in managing across countries. They will have an international career in line or have a global mindset. They must be ready for a strong learning experience and have a willingness to work hard. It is going to be a tough program and require commitment to taking the time to complete the modules and collaborating in the distance-learning time between modules.”

The tuition for the program is $135,000, which includes course materials, meals during residential modules, and access to business centers and campus services during the residential modules. Students are required to cover the airfare and accommodations for the residential programs separately. The application must be completed at least six months before the start of the program.


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