The 2009-10 class of the Barcelona GSE brings together a group of 148 students from 43 different countries and fulfills the school’s objective of attracting individuals with an international focus, outstanding academic backgrounds, and a diverse range of work experiences. Sitting side by side in the classroom are recent bachelor graduates and doctoral candidates; senior consultants and interns; industrial engineers and investment analysts.
Growing - and growing more diverse
This year’s group is 15% larger than the class of 2008-09. A corresponding increase in guest and affiliated professors ensures that students will continue to enjoy small class sizes and meaningful interactions with faculty. This year's class also improves on last year's gender ratio, with 36% women to 64% men forming the student population.
The class is more international as well. While 83% of students came from outside of Spain in last year’s class, this year the percentage has risen to 88% with 39% coming from outside Europe. The class comes from 43 different countries in comparison with the 30 countries represented in 2008-09.
New scholarships made available for the 2009-10 academic year from “La Caixa” Foundation and BBVA Foundation made it possible for the GSE to attract outstanding students from developing countries and Latin America, contributing to the increased diversity of the class.
“As a school we are tremendously excited by the 2009-10 intake of students,” said Duncan Hamshere, GSE Program Development Manager. “Once again we have achieved very high quality students, but we have also increased the diversity. With the support of our sponsors we have attracted students from countries such as the Ukraine, Ethiopia, and Pakistan.”
Partnerships with all of the GSE’s scholarship sponsors affirm their belief in the high quality of the Barcelona GSE and their vested interest in bringing top students to study in the master programs as part of their corporate social responsibility actions.
Students from the MSc in International Trade, Finance and Development.
A variety of rich academic and professional backgrounds
In this year’s class, 21% of students already hold an advanced degree from another institution (up from 17% of last year’s class). The other 79% of students have completed bachelor-level study in a variety of academic areas.
Around 66% of students have a background in Economics or Finance, while others have degrees in fields such as Business Management, Mathematics, Statistics, Engineering, or the Social Sciences. The distribution of backgrounds varies by master program. (View the program-specific class profiles by selecting from the list at right.)
The student body also brings with it a variety of work experiences in banking, government, consulting, academia, and other industries. Nearly 50% of the class has two or more years of work experience in an area related to the master program. Joining them are students who have come to the GSE directly from bachelor-level study with little or no professional experience.
Neither an advanced degree nor extensive work experience is a requirement for study at the GSE, but the strong presence in the student body creates a rich dynamic in the classroom.
With diverse backgrounds, diverse expectations
Jebb Peria, an MSc in Finance student who was born in the Philippines and studied in Canada before coming to the GSE, is impressed with the diversity of the GSE class. “I knew coming in that the GSE is very international, but now that I’m here it’s even more diverse than I expected.”
Mr. Peria, who has a Master of Economics from the University of Toronto, has also worked as a Fund Accountant at the Royal Bank of Canada. His goal is to use the MSc in Finance to prepare for PhD work either in the reference doctoral program at the UPF or elsewhere in Europe. “I expect the program will provide me the necessary theoretical background and technical skills to do further research on credit risk management for central banks and investment firms,” he said.
While some students plan to enter PhD programs after completing the GSE master, others expect to use the knowledge and training they acquire this year to advance their professional careers.
Zita Vasas is a student in the MSc in Competition and Market Regulation who worked at the Hungarian Competition Commission for two years before coming to the GSE. She holds a Master in Economics from Corvinus University in Budapest.
"The master perfectly fits in my plans and will help me to get the theoretical and practical knowledge required by the European competition authorities and international economic consulting firms where I would like to apply to after graduating," she said.
Class Profile 2009-10
Intake of students: 148
Average Age: 25.7
Gender: 36% Women, 64% Men