Three companies back the talent of the Barcelona School of Management’s international students

Improve the passenger experience on their journey with Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya; identify and develop possible needs and interests of young people for CaixaBank, and define the network of collaborators for the identification of start-ups in which to invest through its CAF Ventures fund for Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, S. A. (CAF). These are the three business innovation challenges presented today to the 85 students who began their Masters of Science at the Pompeu Fabra University’s business school, the Barcelona School of Management. They come under the Challenge Garage, an innovative training proposal which began last year and which constitutes a new learning model for the students on these specialised official master’s programmes, all of which are taught in English for students from all over the world.

The Challenge Garage is a cross-disciplinary subject on these master’s programmes which is intended to offer progress and to revolutionise present-day training models and, acting as a laboratory, to test a new collaborative format based on shared learning, group work and relations between areas. With this aim, it brings together students from the seven Masters of Science with different specialisations (International Business, Corporate Finance and Banking, Management, Marketing, Business Analytics, Strategy for New Business Ventures and ITC Strategic Management) to reflect together on real business challenges. Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat, CaixaBank and CAF are cooperating on the project. The three companies are collaborating on this experience from their innovation departments, offering data, contributions and the necessary feedback.

Ana Valenzuela, Dean of the Barcelona School of Management, stressed that critical thinking, cooperation and creativity are the school of management’s strategic values and that it is thus increasingly committed to joint work carried out by students from different master’s programmes. Over almost three months, the students from the seven Masters of Science will develop their ideas in a virtual environment which will allow them to interact with the companies in an immediate and agile manner, thus incorporating the new technologies that today’s world requires.

In the last Challenge Garage, the participants tackled the main challenges of present-day companies and concluded that start-ups would be the true assets of small and medium-sized companies, a trend that has now been shown to be true. This year one more step was taken and the companies have been included in the experience with specific business challenges which allow the students to apply all their knowledge and skills.  

The Barcelona School of Management thus becomes one of the best instruments that the Pompeu Fabra University has to create leaders capable of large-scale data processing and of offering practical solutions, a trend which in the United States is already considered as one of the most important and most forward-looking in the field of business.

Demand grows for the Masters of Science

This year the Barcelona School of Management has decided to make a firmer and more decisive commitment to the Master of Science, given the success obtained by this new training methodology, and to propose a differentiated and specialised offering in Barcelona, based on innovation and the new learning and specialisation models.

Demand for these Masters of Science is growing above all in foreign countries, and the Barcelona School of Management has therefore increased from three to seven the number of Masters of Science that it will teach this year.  With registration for the 2013/14 academic year not yet completely closed, the number of students on these master’s programmes has increased by 39%, going from the 61 students registered last year to the current 85. Only 16% of these students are Spanish. The majority are from Europe (Germany, Norway, Austria, United Kingdom or Switzerland), Asia (Turkey, China or India) or America and Africa. They are young people between 26 and 30 years old with training in Economics and Business, Social Sciences or some sphere of engineering.

A Master of Science is designed especially for young graduates seeking specialised training and at the same time wanting to acquire a new way of working and of contributing to the world of management, from a cross-disciplinary, analytical perspective, with scientific support. 

The Masters of Science are distinguished from the rest of the conventional programmes by the methodology’s innovative approach to knowledge. This is based on the analysis and processing of objective data and uses the rigour of figures and scientific empiricism as key tools for comprehensive business management. This new learning methodology represents a change of mentality in the traditional operational structure of companies and prepares students for 21st century management. The speed with which everything is changing in the markets and in society itself requires new forms and models of teaching which generate more cross-disciplinary professionals with the ability to process the value of the information and the data from an increasingly global and infoxicated world.

The Masters of Science build on the teaching experience and research of the lecturers of the Department of Economics and Business of the UPF, one of the world’s 150 best Economics and Business centres, according to the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities. The Barcelona School of Management is the Pompeu Fabra University’s business school created with the aim of training the managers that 21st century society will require. Its way of understanding management is based on three pillars: Evidence-Based Management, Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Engaged Social Value.