ESADE: Group Work with a Dash of Playa

esade footballAs a recent graduate of the ESADE full-time MBA program, I feel uniquely qualified to answer a few questions about life inside and out of the classroom in Barcelona. More and more students are choosing Barcelona. In fact, MBA City Monitor recently published a study naming Barcelona as one of the most attractive cities worldwide for MBA students. With incredible diversity, a thriving start-up ecosystem, and assorted other adventures, it’s no wonder people come for their degree and stay for the lifestyle.


What makes ESADE stand out in a crowd?
Upon arriving at ESADE, I was struck by how international the students were. From a program of just about 160 full-time students, there are 48 countries represented! At ESADE, diversity includes not only nationality and language, but also work experience and function and industry background.

How has studying at ESADE challenged you?
Love it or hate it an MBA forces you to play nice with others and ESADE places a special emphasis on group work. My first team tells the story best. I spent some intense days and nights working alongside a Brazilian real estate project manager, a German media entrepreneur, an Israeli banker, a Nigerian energy and telecom expert, an Indian IT consultant, and of course me, sales/marketing/business development extraordinaire from the US. Experience working on international teams will continue to serve me well here at Knok.

What’s ESADE’s soul made of?
What I really loved about ESADE was the surprising lack of egos. Collaboration comes in many forms, whether you’re huddled around an Excel sheet trying to value UK retailer, helping a classmate find a job in your previous industry, or kicking a football around at MBAT. MBA’s love to quantify everything but there is something intangible about the ESADE collaborative spirit.   esade-classroom

What’s ESADE’s best-kept secret?
One word: Clubs. No, not the discotecas of Ciutadella…I’m talking about ESADE’s 17 business clubs. These clubs work together to put on some of the best events of the year. Some examples are the ESADE Innovation Summit which combines design thinking with real business challenges; a talent show to raise funds to send digital books to developing countries; a case competition where top performers win internships at adidas; and treks from Saudi Arabia to Ireland.

Why does Barcelona make students happy?
A place to relax after hours of studying, networking, applying for jobs, and meeting with companies is vital for MBA survival! Good thing Barcelona is home to some fantastic beaches and the airport is well connected for impromptu weekend getaways. As we like to say, a little playa never hurts…


Sheera Gendzel is a recent MBA graduate from ESADE. ESADE offers programs in business, law, and executive and language education  with campuses in Barcelona-Pedrales and Sant Cugat. The full-time MBA program was recently named among the top 25 in the world according to the Financial Times. @sgendzel