Mango supports the training methodology and the students from UPF Barcelona School of Management

• The Challenge 2014 is a project for open innovation applied to learning, in which the Catalan fashion company is to participate together with lecturers and 120 international UPF students

The Catalan company Mango has backed Pompeu Fabra University’s business school to participate in a project which brings students, the university and the business world together. This is the philosophy behind Challenge 2014, a project that UPF Barcelona School of Management began three years ago, and which aims to move towards a new integral model of learning, based on resolving real life business challenges that really connect students with the world of work.

This reason this program is so original is because it does not apply business case studies which have been used in the majority of business schools and universities worldwide for a long time, but concentrates on the interrelation between the participating company and the multifaceted fields and backgrounds of the participating students: 120 students from 40 different countries, studying different Masters of Science. ‘This is a transversal project comprising all of the Masters of Science, with the idea of trying a new type of collaboration based on shared learning, collective work and the relationship between different areas’, explains Daniel Sierra de La Higuera, dean at UPF Barcelona School of Management.

 

It means that a Finance student has to work together with one from International Business, Marketing, Business Analytics or Information Technology, for example. ‘This project favours the development of multifaceted abilities in students that probably would not have appeared if all of them came from the same field’, added Sierra. For two weeks, university, company and students work intensively by means of a virtual platform, where creativity and innovation sessions are exchanged, ideas shared, proposals and even business models are made. The role of the company is very important throughout the process because it isn’t just about proposing a challenge that students need to work on, but it’s a real contact between company and university in which they discuss and work together on real challenges’.

The Mango challenge

The presentation of Challenge 2014 took place yesterday with the participation of Mango with Eva Fité, responsible for evaluation and performance in the company’s HR department, who presented the students with an innovation challenge. The Catalan fashion company explained that the company has experienced important worldwide growth since 2010, partly due to the expansion within the company (2,700 sales points spread between a total of 105 countries) and the creation of new product lines such as HE, kids, Violets or S&L. For Mango the key is finding new innovative publicity tools which allow them to reach different consumer sectors all over the world. This is precisely the challenge that will be worked on for Challenge 2014.

Students who come from different countries, realities, surroundings and different disciplines, transform into a whole new source of fresh ideas, almost pure ones and even quite wild ones. These ideas, using the different tools and dynamics that lecturers provide them with, end up turning into proposals or business projects that the company will personally evaluate at the end of the project and a winner will be chosen. ‘Certainly the idea is that students develop their own competencies and a certain working method that they will be able to reapply in the future in the working world. We believe that future professionals will have to work in a changing and complex environment with regards to organizational, communication or working methods, and our objective is to give global training based on science and data analysis that provides them with a critical approach, gives them a fast response to constant challenges, and allows them to lead competently in a complex environment’, pointed out Sierra.

 

Applying science to business

The Master of Sciences programs given by UPF Barcelona School of Management stand out because of their totally scientific methodology, very much focused on analysis and data processing applied to the business world. They are aimed at young graduates who want to be prepared for 21st Century management, and they are given totally in English in a highly international environment. For this edition, UPF has 120 students who enrolled in September on the Masters of Science with different specializations (International Business, Corporate Finance and Banking, Management, Marketing, Business Analytics, Strategy for New Business Ventures and ITC Strategic Management). Some 85% of these students are foreign and come from up to 40 different countries. This international element is also highly valued by businesses who, in this experience, look for young talent with different outlooks and perspectives.

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