Here's a post to address another frequently raised question - How does HEC compare with other European b-schools.
Disclaimer: The views given below (in Italics) are NOT mine, but of an INSEAD 2003 alum who shared his views on this forum in response to a question on HEC v/s IE
Now here's the scene. I am going to give u a non-biased opinion on both the schools. Having said this, please understand both are superior business schools and I have not done my MBA at either school, so I can only tell you from what I have heard and understood.
Let me dissect your question.
1. Lets keep RSM aside when you have already made it to IE.
2. IESE - It's a two year program and very expensive. So when you have IE, lets even keep IESE aside.
3. ESADE - What is your career goal? is it in marketing? Then Esade is a very good school. But for other specializations like finance and strategy, ESADE is just about mediocre. But, I would definitely put ESADE on the league of IE Spain though there is a huge difference in their rankings.
Now we come to HEC v/s IE Spain. I need to know your career interests to give u a more detailed answer on this. If i were you, I would have taken HEC - Paris and I'll let you know the reasons.
(i) Curriculum - The way HEC has planned its 16 months curriculum is fantastic with projects, internships and its a shortened 2 year program. So you enjoy the process of management.
(ii) Diversity - After INSEAD, HEC is second when it comes to class diversity. With IE you will have 75% Spanish speaking people. If you know Spanish well, its great (you will anyway have to learn either French or Spanish) but you might just feel left out because the Asian influence on this school is very low.
Whereas HEC is 30%+ Asian, along with applicants from other parts of the world. The school is completely in English. I have also visited HEC long time back and the campus is beautiful. You will definitely need to learn French but during the 16 months, French is not a mandate, you pick it up along the way. and that's beautiful because by the time u r out, you know an extra language which takes u so many notches higher.
(iii) INSEAD does not give HEC a competition, for one that HEC has a class size of 150 and its easier to place these students. INSEAD is in a different league altogether. INSEADians wont find it tough to get a job.
(iv) Placements wise IE and HEC will have the same placements, though HEC being in France, closer to LUX, BEL, SWI and UK will give u better opportunities.
(v) It scores over IE in marketing, strategy and finance. IE scores over in entrepreneurship.