Three times a year, our Online MBA students meet up for a week of activities on one of our campuses. Last week, they arrived in Barcelona for an excellent mix of guest lectures, industrial visits and social events. It couldn’t all be fun and games however, as all students had the serious business of on-site exams too.
On arrival, students who were so used to speaking to each other over the internet during their online classes gathered face to face for welcome drinks and Italian food in Massimo Ristorante, just around the corner from the EU Barcelona campus. It was an enjoyable event which allowed them to get to know their course mates and staff – and relax a bit before their exams.
The students continued their week with a visit to Freixenet, one of the world’s leading cava companies. Students were taken on a guided tour to see the manufacturing and business side of the company before enjoying the fruits of its labor. Freixenet is a sparkling wine synonymous with the region of Catalonia and is well-known for its Christmas adverts, which have included celebrities such as Shakira, Antonio Banderas, Sharon Stone, Demi Moore and Kim Basinger.
For a complete change from their earlier industrial visit, the group next went to Hansgrohe, one of the largest manufacturers of shower systems and bathroom taps. There they learnt about the company’s two brands, including Axor, who collaborate with world-renowned designers such as Philippe Starck and students got an understanding of the amount of work that goes into marketing strategies for luxury brands.
During the week, guest speeches came from Roger Solergibert Mora, Automotive Division Director of Honda (Spain & Portugal); and Alex Escartín, Vice-President of BCD Travel, with a special introductory speech by EU President, Dr. Dirk Craen.
On the eve of the 2015 Barcelona Commencement Ceremony, Online MBA students climbed aboard the “Orsom” Catamaran with distinguished alumni, faculty and staff for an evening of cheese, wine and live saxophone music against the Mediterranean sunset. This was a perfect event for networking as well as catching up with lecturers and getting to know faculty.
A beautiful Saturday afternoon set the scene for the 2015 Barcelona Commencement Ceremony. Many Online MBA students joined all of our on-campus graduates for a memorable ceremony complete with group pictures of all graduates and a fantastic cocktail reception in the grounds of the Pullman Barcelona Skipper.
All in all, our Online MBA students had an educational, successful and thoroughly enjoyable time. Here’s to the next one!