Do you want to study at IE University of Madrid? First of all, he wants to ensure your well-being.

First of two parts

In the classification established by the Financial Times in 2022, IE University ranks as the most diverse program in the world in the online MBA category, with a whopping 92% of international students.

In fact, the university is building an alumni community in several parts of Asia, such as the Philippines, Singapore, and Japan.

The current intake from Asia hovers around 5% of the total student body. But the numbers are growing. And the university attracts potential students from continents all over the world.

Originally known as Istituto de Empresa, IE University has emerged since the 1970s as a top-level business school in Madrid. There it established itself as a leading institution, expanding its curriculum to bachelor level with faculties such as law, architecture, science and technology, and more.

sit with JAPAN Striker October 14, Andrea Longaretti, Global Head of Recruitment and Admissions, discusses some of the university’s newest developments.


Focus on well-being

In 2006, a positive psychology course from Harvard University became the most popular course of the semester, beating introductory economics.

In the wake of the pandemic, when everyone remained confined to their homes, the theme of well-being and happiness became even more essential. IE University has made this a key topic to address.

“We have wellbeing as a compulsory subject in the first week of classes (two sessions, for three hours in total), for both graduates and undergraduates, so that students can familiarize themselves with the subject “, reports Longaretti.

For its part, IE University had The Center for Health, Wellness and Happiness since 2016. Also, the staff of the university tries to do things differently from other institutions. As Longaretti says, IE has built a proactive approach on this subject.

“Other institutions may have happiness centers, but they usually have a reactive approach,” says Longaretti. “It’s one of ‘If you have a mental health issue, you come to us, and we can help you find a solution. “”

Instead, at IE University, the effort is to encourage “people to think about what wellbeing is and where it comes from.” The basic concept, according to Longaretti, is that of “positive psychology”.

Ultimately, he says, “the idea is to have students work on their own personal wellness plan, so that during their programs, they can continue to work on themselves.”


IE University candidate-centric approach

The idea of ​​prioritizing student welfare is also reflected in the university’s application process. Longaretti explains the evolution of the university’s approach to admissions.

“We used to promote different schools and then assess the quality of applicants based on them,” he explains.

However, as of 2020, the emphasis on admissions has been what the university defines as “candidate-centered”.

The principle comes from assessing students in their own right, including their individual ambitions, and then streamlining them to the most appropriate program. Notably, students are guided through career paths, rather than just faculties.

“Students receive professional guidance at the time of admissions, so they can be matched to the most suitable program. This in turn matches what students want to do later,” says the admissions officer.

IE University Tower Campus (Ⓒ IE University)

Yet even when students are guided through their career paths, today’s job market is more competitive than ever. And with it come new mandatory skills.

For example, regardless of the career paths students choose, IE University makes digital literacy courses available to all of its students. The goal is to equip graduates with the tools to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

But it’s not just about acquiring technical skills.


Analytical thinking and innovation, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility are among the top 10 skills required by 2025 listed by the World Economic Forum. Some of these terms can be placed under the umbrella of emotional intelligence.

The question is how to put students in an environment where they can hone these abilities.

Rising to this challenge, IE University prides itself on the diversity of its student body, which welcomes people from over 140 nationalities.

Notably, learning opportunities are not limited to the number of nationalities represented. Longaretti, who was himself a master’s student at IE University between 2010 and 2011, explains: “What I learned the most at IE was how to work with people from different parts of the world every day. Adaptability. It is a very important skill. , and one that I don’t think is valued enough.”

Referring to IE University, he continues: “We need to be able to adapt quickly to various situations, whether professional or personal. And I think that can only be done in a certain type of environment. ”

Skills for the future

With diversity as a key, the university is focused on attracting students from the Asia-Pacific region. Longaretti recalls episodes with various alumni from his recent tour of the region, including NGO founders and law students who came to IE University like him, seeking a broader vision of the world.

Regardless of the country of origin or the university destination, the admissions officer stresses that it is important to spend some time to reflect on what education best suits each of us in this rapidly changing environment.


“Everything is changing so fast,” Longaretti urges. “It is said that 50% of people currently working will have to retrain by 2025.”

“Sometimes we need to turn off autopilot and think of ways to make our profiles more interesting to deal with the challenges that technology will bring,” he points out.

Continued in part 2.


Author: Arielle Busetto

Denise W. Whigham