Ranking first in the world by the Financial Times for the sixth consecutive year, IESE Business School is a leading force in the world of Graduate Management Education.
With their largest campus located in Barcelona, IESE also boasts locations in Munich, New York, Madrid, and São Paulo. On all of these campuses, IESE centres learning around the case methodology. By having students from all around the world take real problems and work in teams to propose solutions, the school creates a unique and diverse learning environment that sets it apart from other schools.
It’s for this reason that assessing an applicant’s communication skills within the admissions process is so important.
“An applicant may look very impressive on paper, but we need to know that they can arrive on campus and be able to work with their peers on cases,” shared Admissions Director Paula Amorim.
Needing an efficient way to assess applicants’ communication skills, IESE turned to Kira Talent.
Keeping ‘fit’ at the forefront of admissions
“We use Kira Talent for our deferred admissions process for our MBA, which we call the Young Talent Path (YTP),” explained Amorim.
Having started as a summer school, the YTP program has evolved into a preparatory course that offers successful students deferred admission to the MBA. As acceptance to the YTP is just the start of a longer relationship with the school, IESE places significant emphasis on identifying and selecting applicants who are the right fit not only for the YTP program, but for the greater IESE community.
“Our full-time MBA is aimed at people with five to six years of full-time work experience, so we use the YTP program to help foster younger prospective students’ interest in the MBA,” she continued. “Through both the YTP application process as well as the actual course, we help them learn more about IESE and build a connection to our campus.”
“The Kira platform really helps us do that,” Amorim added. “Having videos embedded within the application process means that we can guarantee applicants are watching them.”
“IESE is a very values-oriented school, so the alignment between our mission and an applicant’s values is very important. We are looking for best-fit candidates and that also means that IESE needs to be a good fit for them. The customized and personal experience in Kira allows us to show off our personality, so applicants can see if IESE is what they’re looking for and we can find that alignment in a personable and efficient way.”
This intentional selection progress has helped foster a very strong brand for YTP graduates within the larger IESE community.
Building a consistent evaluation process
“Before finding Kira, we tried having applicants upload and submit a video essay,” shared Amorim. “We found that the submissions were so varied it was difficult to consistently score applicants. On top of that, we didn’t know whether this was the product of several minutes or several days of work, and we couldn’t ensure that they hadn’t received assistance.”
“It was almost impossible to accurately assess their abilities.”
“With Kira, we’re able to assess applicants on comparable submissions,” she continued. “We know that each applicant has had the same amount of preparation time and delivery time.”
“Kira gives us comparable samples of the candidates which makes the scoring process more fair.”
Adding efficiency to holistic admissions
The admissions team at IESE prides itself on a holistic and hands-on approach to the admissions process. Despite the fact that they’re often recruiting applicants from all around the world, the admissions team is able to build a personal connection with each candidate. As something that students often highlight as unique to the IESE admissions process, the school was adamant that the admissions process for the YTP live up to that reputation.
“IESE has always been very international, so we’ve always conducted our interviews online,” explained Amorim. “We don’t delegate the interviews to alumni or faculty, our admissions committee is always responsible.”
“Before Kira, we were spending a lot of time coordinating interviews,” shared Amorim. With the significant number of applications coming in each cycle, the real-time video interview solutions available simply weren't scalable.
By switching to Kira’s Asynchronous Assessment, IESE is able to invite every applicant to complete an assessment and is still saving time in the overall process.
“We were able to go from about 1.5 hrs per application –which includes organization time, scheduling, reading the application, and actually conducting the interview – to around 10 minutes.”
“Kira helps us save time in the admissions process," Amorim added. "And we're still able to assess our applicants’ communication skills and create that personable, hands-on admissions experience that attracts applicants to our programs.”