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#144 The Pros and Cons of Doing an MBA Outside the US + Assessing a School’s Entrepreneurship Offering with Eddy Zakes, IESE MBA ’17

Eddy Zakes, Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at IESE business school

“The geography of the school is going to make its reputation strongest amongst its home base. IESE is exceptionally well-known in Spain, and well-known in Latin America and Europe, but it is not as strong of a brand in America… If you’re going to go to business school internationally, you need to be aware of this challenge or advantage.”

In 2017, US applicants made up 4% of candidates to European MBA programs and 2% of candidates to Asian MBA programs (versus nearly 70% to US MBA programs). What do you need to know about getting a top-ranked MBA abroad? Eddy Zakes shares why he chose to uproot his young family to pursue his MBA at IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, as well as the pros and cons of his experience. Darren also asks Eddy – currently the Director of the Center of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at IESE – about how business schools can help aspiring entrepreneurs and how you can assess your target schools’ entrepreneurship offerings.


  • Eddy’s background (4:08)
  • As an applicant with 10 years of experience and a young family, why did Eddy choose Spain for his full-time MBA? (11:10)
  • The pros and cons of getting your MBA abroad (23:20)
  • Recruiting at top European schools (27:45)
  • Getting an MBA with 2 young kids (35:00)
  • Eddy’s favorite class and thoughts on the case-study method (42:44)
  • How MBA programs can help aspiring entrepreneurs (49:00)
  • MBA graduates’ typical path to starting their own businesses (54:25)
  • Questions to ask your target b-schools about their resources for entrepreneurship (59:00)
  • The startup scene in Europe vs. the US (1:04:50)
  • Eddy’s final thoughts on having a great MBA experience (1:11:04)

About Our Guest

Eddy Zakes is the Director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center at IESE. Eddy got his B.S. in International Business from Bob Jones University and worked as Director of Advancement at Dayton Christian School in Ohio before getting his MBA at IESE.

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