Executive Director, IESE Global Executive MBA
In today’s rapidly interconnecting economy, there is an urgent need for strong business leaders that share a global vision of business and management. At the forefront of this movement is IESE Business School, whose extensive experience in delivering innovative, high-quality MBA and executive education programs allowed the school to respond quickly to this new challenge.
As executive director of IESE’s Global Executive MBA, Maria Puig has the privilege to oversee the program’s development. In a recent interview, she provided an outline of some of the key features of the program.
Put quite simply, the Global Executive MBA is an opportunity for experienced managers to learn from international peers and to strengthen professional competencies. By offering the choice of either a bimonthly or monthly modular format, the flexibility of the program draws upon and builds on participants' career experiences, while strengthening their professional ties.
The bimonthly format lasts 17 months and is made up of seven 10-day residential modules, which take place at IESE's Barcelona and Madrid campuses, at the Shanghai-based China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) and in Silicon Valley. The monthly format lasts 22 months and is made up of seventeen 5-day residential modules, which take place at IESE's Barcelona and Madrid campuses, as well as New York and India. During each residential module, participants interact with key figures in diverse industries and develop a thorough understanding of how management theories and practices play out in different regions of the world.
When not meeting in session, participants are linked virtually to the school and each other through a state-of-the-art technology platform. This allows participants to share ideas and also interact with faculty in an interconnected global community. Live chats, online case discussions, asynchronous bulletin boards, blogs and wikis, as well as a variety of video-conferencing techniques are used to support the team experience during distributed learning.
In times when the world economy is more interconnected than ever before, managers need to know how to be interactive on a global level. The Global Executive MBA gives them this opportunity, without taking them off the fast track professionally.
The Global Executive MBA program has been designed to meet the needs of senior managers looking to earn a world-class MBA degree but who don't want to put their careers on hold. We wanted to avoid simply compressing a full-time MBA into a tighter time frame and instead opted for a modular organization of the program. The use of distance learning technology has made this possible.
Participants in the Global Executive MBA come from more than 25 countries, with 88 percent of them from abroad. The average age is 37, and they have all reached management level and boast an average of twelve years’ work experience. The general management perspective of the program is particularly attractive to entrepreneurs who want to build better businesses with a solid understanding of the big picture. Around one in six participants in the program is a woman. Among the companies represented by our participants are Accenture, Coca-Cola, DHL, Hewlett-Packard, Nokia, and The Red Cross.
IESE has long been a leader in executive education. The school was founded in 1958 as the graduate school of management of the University of Navarra, Spain. In 1964, IESE established Europe's first 2-year MBA program, with the guidance of Harvard Business School. In 1981, the school launched the Executive MBA program and ten years later, a second campus in Madrid was inaugurated. Then, in 1994, IESE began offering joint-venture international executive education programs with other leading schools such as Harvard and Stanford.
That same spirit of innovation led the school to launch its Global Executive MBA in 2001 and to continue with other initiatives.
Part of IESE's uniqueness is its ability to deliver programs overseas. We currently offer programs on four continents, including: Europe (Barcelona, Madrid, Munich and Warsaw); Asia (China, together with CEIBS in China and India); the Americas (Brazil and New York) and Africa (Egypt and Kenya).
Our success in all of our programs stems from the personalized approach we take to business education. We focus on the professional and personal development of the individual; something that our graduates say sets us apart from other leading business schools.
IESE has a proven record of providing custom programs for global senior management teams of some of the world's leading corporations such as Nestle, Henkel, Goodyear and Abbot Laboratories, among many others. An interesting example of an IESE custom client is Visteon, one of the world's largest automotive suppliers and a spin off from Ford. We created the Visteon Leadership Program, a blend of leadership concepts and solutions to real-life business problems.
In 2007, the Financial Times ranked the school 5th in Europe in its MBA survey. In executive education, IESE came in third in Europe and 7th in the world for open programs. We also ranked third in Europe for custom programs.
Maria obtained her degree in Agriculture Engineering in 1986 and a PDG at IESE Business School in 2002.
She joined the Arthur Andersen’s Consulting Division (now Accenture) in 1987, where she developed her career in the Financial Industry for 10 years.
Her next career move was to IESE Business School in 1997, as Director of the IESE Alumni Office where she focused on the international development of Continuous Education Programs and networking opportunities for the IESE Alumni Association.
In 2007 she took on the Executive Direction of the Global Executive MBA, covering the Market and Admissions and the Program Management roles.
She serves on the European Board of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and is an active member of several institutions with social purposes: Mirada Plural, Amics de Cabrils.