Partner Sites

Logo BusinessBecause - The business school voice

Inspiring and informing your business school journey

Why MBA: IE Business School

Management consultant wants to spread the word about IE in South Africa

Thu Jul 1 2010


Ask an MBA hopeful about top European b-schools and IE will figure along with the likes of INSEAD and London Business School.


Although the Spanish b-school has a footprint in Europe and America, it has only recently stepped into the MBA market in South Africa.


Maria Uys, a management consultant at Accenture South Africa, hadn’t heard of the school until she decided to enhance her career prospects with an MBA.


While searching for a suitable program, Uys unintentionally stumbled upon IE at a b-school conference in



 “I was mainly looking at Chicago [Chicago Booth],” explains Uys.


“I was there two years ago to visit a friend, liked the structure of the program and there were a few Accenture alumni there. I also looked at London Business School but the living expenses were too high considering I wouldn’t be working for two years.”


The Accenture employee had also considered INSEAD before opting for IE as its detailed program, focus on entrepreneurialism and vibrant social life was in stark contrast to INSEAD’s “military” approach to studying, says Uys.


Despite IE previously being off her radar, Uys is helping the Madrid-based b-school to build a greater presence in

South Africa, hosts of the World Cup.


“Since I’ve been at the school they’ve tried to aggressively expand in South Africa and I have helped them to get some corporate contacts,” reveals Uys, whose degree is funded by Accenture’s Global MBA Management Consulting Scholarship.


“I met with Accenture South Africa to maybe build an agreement to meet with companies to see if they are willing to fund scholarships and … internships.


Uys also organized IE Business School's first ever South Africa Day, with a series of lectures and activities to help the IE community understand the country better.


Uys’s eight years of industry experience, spanning broadcasting, energy and mining, has allowed her to make practical contributions to class discussions. She has also filled in the skills she was lacking in Finance and taken on several subjects including Human Resources and Strategy.

“I have enjoyed many of the subjects, but by far Operations Management and Supply Chain Management as both are more practical and tangible,” says Uys.

“As much as I’ve enjoyed working on Strategy both here and in consulting, Operations and Supply chain have shown me a more detailed side, which I must say I enjoy as it’s closer to "reality" for me.”


After spending more than a year away, the management consultant will return to South Africa when she graduates from IE in December.


Instead of scrabbling to get an interview in the hope of securing a dream job, Uys will return to Accenture with the aim of becoming a mining industry consultant.