Life at ESADE Business School has finally begun! The first week of welcome has concluded and all I can say is, "overwhelming, exhausting and a lot of fun."
The daily grind here in Barcelona, Spain is a little different than Vancouver, BC. I'm slowly adjusting to the walks to the metro station, scenic train ride and then the 20 minute walk through the suburb of Sant Cugat before finally arriving at campus. When I arrived at school, it was strange to be dressing up for "CV photos" and finding my assigned seat in class after five years of going to the office.
In Europe, it is not uncommon to attach a photo along with your resume (or CV) to show employers. I first found this quite surprising, since in Canada it would be considered a form of discrimination to select a candidate based on a photo and resume. Already, I'm noticing the many cultural differences between North America and Europe, but I'm trying to keep an open mind about all of this. There is really no right or wrong way to do things, just different ways.
Welcome week at ESADE was filled with an overview of the program and demographics of this year's student body. For the class of 2016, we are 90% international students from 42 nationalities. I'm not sure how much more diverse my classmates could get! I've been told admissions specifically has quotas on the number of students from each region, to maintain a balance in diversity and create the best possible environment for truly global learning. To match this student diversity, our professors also come from all over the world to teach at ESADE, bringing their global academic and professional industry experience. In addition, ESADE has 153 international exchange agreements and a 48,500 strong global alumni community, both of which I am excited to take advantage of throughout the next year.
At the end of the week, we truly experienced this diversity through a team building trip to Girona. We were placed in random teams of people from different professional backgrounds and countries to compete in fun challenges. And of course, it all culminated in the infamous ice bucket challenge! I look forward to the upcoming semester and year ahead. I'm sure the best is yet to come!