Term 2 is not easier or harder than Term 1, but quite different from how you experience time pressure and work load. Whereas Term 1 was mostly demanding because everything was new, basic things had still to be arranged, and you had to build your routine to handle all the work, Term 2 had other challenges awaiting.
For me it was mostly juggling two things at the same time: career aspects and academic coursework. Although the first round consulting and banking interviews had already been done just before the first day of Term 2 classes, the process continued to drag weeks into the term. I had to fly out to Munich for BCG and McKinsey interviews twice and would have had to travel for Microsoft and Bayer Business Consulting the next week, if I hadn’t accepted the McK offer before that. People missed a lot of classes due to interviewing and traveling those weeks.
It’s hard for two reasons:
- Because you miss classes, it’s harder to stay on top of the subject. Every class has substantial learning points or new concepts, and if you miss out on those you have to dedicate time to get back on track – which is hard, because:
- You need to keep your focus on the interviews. Basically every free minute that you can spare in between doing the minimum required work to handle academics goes toward interview preparation. For that meant lots of practice on the fit part and then once in a while a real case interview with peers.
The mix of quant heavy and qualitative subjects was similar to Term 1. We had Marketing II, Operations Management, Operational Finance, Business Ethics, Self-Management, and Managerial Accounting.
This time the emphasis on teamwork was much higher than before. The term was packed with large team projects that kept us on campus until midnight a few times. We developed two full marketing plans, worked in-depth on three operations cases, analyzed two companies’ cost allocation systems for managerial accounting, and wrote a paper on a recent ethical issue for Business Ethics.
If your team didn’t work well in Term 1 you could still get away with that – not anymore in Term 2. Being able to successfully split tasks among team members is key to get through the high amount of work.
But then Term 2 also has two of the greatest IESE social events: SKIESE (300 people ski trip to Andorra) and Multi-Culti (a party to remember! People still come to Barcelona for this event – years after their graduation).
And of course, everyday life is packed with dinners, sports and parties.