Nine obligatory courses make up the first term of your MBA. Click on the titles below to find a brief description of each course.

Analysis of Business Problems

In business, as in life, we are confronted by a wide array of problems and situations that require us to take action. But while some life problems are relatively straightforward or structured, in business most problems are not. They often involve economic, technical, and human issues and can be quite complex and/or unstructured. By definition, they do not have a single “correct” solution. Solving unstructured problems is much of what managers do.

Capital Markets

Capital Markets is the first course in the Investment Curriculum at IESE. A half-credit course, it focuses on the foundations of financial markets. The course also introduces one of the most important sources of financing for companies and governments: public markets. A thorough understanding of the basics will be important for any senior manager or aspiring one.


The mission of the Scale YOU – Personal efficiency and effectiveness program is to support and challenge the 350 first-year MBA students – all with diverse goals, stations in life, cultures, expectations and challenges, in designing and bringing to fruition unique plans architected to navigate a successful and collaborative educational experience at IESE albeit without all the stress that often ensues.
Emphasis is placed on providing practical tools and methods aimed at supporting individual needs, and in so doing, this course is hands-on and requires students to engage and collaborate with each other in real-time during each module/workshop.

Decision Analysis

Making decisions is a crucial element of a manager’s job. Good decision-making matters. It matters to the decision maker and his or her surroundings, to other people and to entire organizations. This course is designed to help you improve your ability to make good decisions by learning about the different elements of decisions and about how to structure and analyze decisions.

Financial Accounting

The principal aim of this course is to help you understand better the financial information companies publish in financial reports such as annual accounts and prospectuses.

The course explains the form and purpose of the three principal financial statements (balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements) and defines the key terms they contain. Students learn to interpret the information, and to understand the limitations of financial accounting.


All students arrive to the MBA program after several years of challenging work experience. In most cases, however, this experience is based on individual performance, or working in small teams, and managing only few direct reports. This course will help students develop an understanding of the increasing complexity of leading and managing people at different levels of the organization. Combining theoretical, empirical, and practical frameworks, this class will provide the tools necessary for students to make meaningful contributions as leaders of people, teams, and organizations.

The course is designed to address several fundamental aspects of managing and leading people in organizations. These include understanding human behavior and work motivation, inspiring trust and commitment, managing interpersonal relationships and conflict, working in teams, developing talent, and fostering a sense of mission in the organization.

Marketing Management

As businesses become increasingly defined by networks of partnerships and by customers, the role of marketing is changing accordingly. Rather than simply responding to sales, marketing encompasses making sure that every aspect of the business is focused on delivering superior value to customers. As such, marketing management as a distinct business activity will be responsible for being the expert on the customer and keeping the rest of the networked organization aware. The skill of marketing is the skill to monitor customers, competitors, and collaborators, and to find in each domain a better way to design and deploy the firm’s capabilities to serve customers profitably. In this way, marketing helps to set a firm’s strategic direction.

This role of marketing takes different forms at different levels of the organization. At the corporate level, marketing will inform the problem of defining the business the company is in and help determine the mission, scope, shape, and structure of the firm. Here, some of the major roles will be to assess the attractiveness of alternative markets, to promote customer orientation, and to develop the firm’s overall value proposition. At this level, the role of marketing as a culture is evident. At the business level, the key issue will be how to compete in the chosen business. This will be achieved by segmenting the market and, after a careful analysis of competitors and selected customers, elect a distinctive position. Finally, at the operational level the familiar issues related to the marketing mix need to be resolved.

The first (and arguably most important) element of the marketing mix is product/service selection (within the chosen market). A second critical element is price (for individual products and lines, while accounting for discounts, special conditions, promotions, etc.). Next come decisions regarding the distribution systems, i.e. the design and control of channels of distribution, through which our products and services move to the ultimate users. These decisions also involve addressing “going to market” issues such as sales force, agents, and partners. Finally, market communications decisions include components such as print and television advertising, direct mail, trade shows, point-of-sale merchandise displays, sampling, and telemarketing.

Each level of strategy and each dimension of marketing must be developed in the context of the preceding level. The final implementation has to be founded in sound formulation at all levels. To complete the picture, marketing objectives and strategies have to be formulated taking into account the firm’s core competencies as well as its resource limitations.


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