600 international students visit firms and institutions in Barcelona
MBA Day organized by Barcelona Global allows future executives studying at local business schools to learn about city's "competitive dimension"
Thursday was MBA Day, which saw some 600 masters students from Barcelona's main business schools, 90% of whom are international, visiting some 60 firms and institutions in the Catalan capital.
This first edition of the initiative, from Barcelona Global and the IESE, ESADE and EADA business schools, aims to "promote the city's competitive dimension" to future executives and boost "excellence in higher education as a new attribute of the Barcelona brand."
According to Ranji Kant Tiwari, a 27-year-old student from India who is studying an MBA at ESADE, "people think of Barcelona as a tourist city but I can clearly see that it has a lot of academic potential and that I still have a lot to learn about the city."
Ranji's visit began in the morning at the HQ of the Puig company, in Hospitalet de Llobregat. Along with a score of other students, and businessman Ferran Rodés, Ranji's group toured the facilities and met the executive president of the Catalan fragrance firm, Marc Puig.
From there, the group moved on to the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park, and their visit came to a conclusion in the studio of the Lagranja Design company. On Thursday evening, the hundreds of students ended the day at a meeting with entrepreneurs.
"My idea is to find work and stay in Barcelona"
Another masters student from ESADE, 27-year-old Leah Heck, from the US, told the Catalan News Agency (ACN) that she would like to live in Barcelona when she finishes her two-year course at the business school. "My idea is to find work and stay here. Having this chance [to visit firms and institutions] makes that more realistic," she said.
The reason why Leah says she has chosen Barcelona is that she is attracted to the city's atmosphere, and because of "the number of international companies and the community behind them, which seems genuinely open to new people."
According to the head of the ISP firm, Ferran Rodés, MBA Day is a chance "to show [students] a part of the city you don't see at first sight." Rodés also called the experience "very authentic" and said many students he spoke to expressed a wish to stay in the city.
"I was very aware of the political situation and the growing tensions when I applied to the business school. In fact the school even mentioned it but it had no influence on my decision," says Ranji, who adds: "I am in a peaceful country, there is nothing for me to worry about."