IE MBA Essays : Sample Essays & Writing Tips for Students

When it comes to applying for an MBA at IE Business School, your essays are not just a formality; they are a window into your personality, aspirations, and suitability for the program.

In a world where test scores often blur into uniformity, essays offer you the unique opportunity to speak directly to the admissions committee. They allow you to showcase not only your professional accomplishments and academic prowess but also your personal journey and the distinct qualities you would bring to the IE MBA community.

Understanding the Role of Essays in IE MBA Admissions

Essays: More Than Just Words
In the admissions process for the IE MBA program, essays play a pivotal role. They are the narrative thread that can weave together the various elements of your application into a coherent and compelling story. While your resume may list your achievements, and your references can endorse your capabilities, it’s through your essays that you can breathe life into your application.

Differentiating Yourself in a Competitive Pool
In the competitive realm of MBA admissions, where many applicants boast impressive resumes and high test scores, essays provide a critical differentiating factor. They are your chance to go beyond the quantitative aspects of your profile and reveal the person behind the numbers. The essays are where you can illustrate your ability to reflect, grow, and face challenges, showcasing the unique perspectives and diverse experiences you would contribute to the IE MBA cohort.

Breaking Down the IE MBA Essay Questions

Decoding the Essay Prompts
IE Business School’s MBA application includes essay questions designed to delve deep into your motivations, personality, and future goals. Understanding the underlying purpose of these questions is crucial to crafting responses that resonate with the admissions committee.

Analyzing Each Question
Each essay prompt serves a specific purpose. For instance, a question might ask about your career goals to gauge your clarity of thought and realistic understanding of how an MBA from IE can facilitate these goals. Another prompt might invite you to discuss a significant challenge you’ve overcome, aiming to highlight your resilience and problem-solving skills. It’s essential to not only answer these questions directly but to also reflect on what each question is trying to uncover about you as a candidate.

Strategies for Crafting Compelling IE MBA Essays

Reflect and Analyze
The IE MBA essay prompt asks you to reveal something significant that is not reflected in your resume or application. This requires introspection and a deep understanding of your unique attributes and personality. Start by jotting down your key experiences, achievements, and passions, then reflect on what sets them apart and how they have contributed to your development. For instance, you might have been raised in a family that frequently traveled, influencing your worldview, or you might have switched industries, driven by a shift in your future goals. Use these experiences to showcase how your unique qualities evolved through your journey​​.

Presenting Your Unique Self
While discussing your attributes, emphasize why you specifically chose them to characterize yourself and how they distinguish you from others. Consider how these traits could enrich the IE MBA program. Are you particularly empathetic, or do you possess an acute cultural awareness due to global exposure? Frame yourself as a candidate who can not only augment the program’s value but also potentially redefine its dynamics​​.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in IE MBA Essays

Avoiding Gimmicks and Repetition
Sincerity is key in responding to the IE MBA essay prompt. Avoid becoming gimmicky or trying to appear overly creative. Focus on narrating your personal story and providing a dynamic image of yourself. With a maximum of 650 words, be succinct and avoid unnecessary buildup or repetition. Your story should be lively and provide sufficient context for the admissions committee to fully understand and appreciate it, but it should also be concise enough to allow you to share details that add color and individuality to your message​​.

Video Essay Tips
If you choose to submit a video essay, remember to be concise, expressive, and mindful of presentation. Rehearse your script to become comfortable with its rhythm and flow, and let your genuine self shine through your words. Pay attention to your clothing, background, and lighting, and ensure your camera and microphone work smoothly. After recording, check for speech or body language errors and ensure the video link works correctly​​.

PowerPoint Presentation Tips
For a PowerPoint presentation, pay attention to structure and content ordering. Aim for a word limit under 50 words per slide, using a clear typeface and double spacing. Start your presentation with an overview of what’s on your resume and application, and then move on to your unique personality trait or experience. Include photographs or videos from significant moments in your life, and ensure your presentation stands out from others​​.

Success Stories and Testimonials

Essay Example 1: Redefining Urban Living
In one impressive essay example, an applicant envisioned the creation of community-centered residence buildings in their home country. They discussed how smart buildings could draw people out of isolation, fostering a network of social revitalization in urban areas. This vision, coupled with their country’s technological edge and entrepreneurial values, showcased their innovative mindset. The essay linked their ambition to IE’s curriculum in real estate and entrepreneurship, demonstrating how the MBA program could equip them with the skills needed to pioneer this innovative concept​​.

Essay Example 2: Harnessing the Power of Music
Another applicant shared how singing and leading a Scouts troop in an economically disadvantaged area developed their leadership and community skills. They described forming a singing group that became a community sensation, winning competitions, and performing at local events. This experience not only showcased their creative talents but also their ability to inspire and lead, reflecting the values of the IE MBA program​​.

Essay Example 3: A Vision for FinTech
An essay focused on the Financial Technology (FinTech) sector illustrated the applicant’s deep understanding of the industry’s challenges, such as regulation, data security, and risk management. They discussed their background in finance mathematics and operations research, aiming to use their IE MBA to build a career in mitigating risk exposures in FinTech. This essay effectively demonstrated how their unique background and IE’s program could synergize to address significant industry challenges​​.

Essay Example 4: Leadership in the Navy
Another applicant recounted their experience in the Navy as an Operations Researcher and how they transformed their assistant’s work attitude and performance. The essay detailed their journey from considering a replacement to instead inspiring and motivating their assistant, demonstrating effective leadership skills. This story highlighted the applicant’s potential to bring valuable leadership experiences to the IE MBA community​​.


The IE Business School’s MBA essay offers a platform for applicants to display their unique personalities, experiences, and visions. These essays are not just about professional achievements; they are about the human behind the application, their dreams, and how they plan to make a difference in the world. The success stories of past applicants, as seen in the examples above, illustrate the diverse ways in which individuals can contribute to the rich tapestry of the IE MBA program.

For prospective students, these examples serve as a guide to understanding what makes a compelling and successful MBA essay. By weaving together personal stories with professional aspirations and showing how an IE MBA aligns with their goals, applicants can create a powerful narrative that resonates with the admissions committee.

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