Barcelona GSE Year Kicks Off with Welcome Day For Students

The 134 students forming the 2008-2009 class of the Barcelona GSE had their first official opportunity to meet each other and professors during a welcome celebration on September 15, 2008. The event took place at Shoko, a beachside lounge and club, where students met one another and mingled with Affiliated Professors of the School. For many, it was their first time meeting other students from their master programs.

The celebration was well-provisioned with tapas and drinks

This year’s class is nearly 40% larger than the previous year’s, due in part to the introduction of 2 new master programs, the Master in Macroeconomic Policy and Financial Markets and the Master in International Trade, Finance, and Development.

The Master in Economics and Master in Finance offered by the UPF for the past 14 years, are the School’s largest programs, at 45 and 25 students, respectively. The Master in Competition and Market Regulation and the Master in the Economics of Science and Innovation, both of which are entering their second year of existence, drew 14 and 13 students, respectively. The Master in Macroeconomic Policy and Financial Markets and the Master in International Trade, Finance, and Development, the two programs that were introduced this fall, have 15 and 19 students, respectively.

Barcelona GSE Chairman Andreu Mas-Colell gives a short welcome to students

Drawn from Afar

Students of the GSE come from diverse backgrounds, both culturally and educationally. While the most common undergraduate major is Economics, the School draws students who have studied Finance, Mathematics, a variety of Social Sciences, and, in the case of the Master in the Economics of Science and Innovation, Engineering. Additionally, 17% of the students hold a master degree or higher, while the remaining 83% hold a Bachelor degree.

When asked, students cite a variety of reasons for deciding to attend the Barcelona GSE. Yamila Yael Simonovsky, a student in the Master in Economics, explained that her decision to attend was based on a desire to round out her international background. “Being from Argentina, but having studied in British Columbia, I knew that doing a master in Europe would provide me with a well-rounded context of economics”, she said, adding that “the School is comparable to the best in Europe.”

A student in the Master in Macroeconomic Policy and Financial Markets, Zoltan Vasary, from Hungary, reiterated the high expectations held by students. “I came because the Barcelona GSE is widely known as the best place for macro in Europe right now. The faculty of the program is composed of some of the top macroeconomists.”

Students from the six master programs of the Barcelona GSE meet

Outlets for Success

Many students stressed that they would use the yearlong master program to strengthen their theoretical and practical knowledge, and decide during the course of the year whether to continue on to a PhD or enter the labor market. Because the Barcelona GSE combines a research side with its dynamic master programs, students have the opportunity to target their learning toward either professional or academic future plans.

Gabi Patron, a student in the Master in Economics, said, “I will either do a PhD next year or work- I have a year to decide on that. Regardless, I think the year will be very helpful”. Having lived in Uruguay, Argentina, Mexico, the US, and Barcelona, she feels comfortable in the international environment and career opportunities the school provides.

Francisco Moreno, a student in the Master in the Economics of Science and Innovation, is one of the few Barcelona natives studying at the Barcelona GSE. He is excited to participate in the program because of the dual professional and academic preparation and because “in coming years Spain will have a lot of investments in science and innovation. The master is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the future.”

Master in the Economics of Science and Innovation Director Salvador Barbera (left) talks with GSE Chairman Andreu Mas-Colell (middle) and GSE and UPF Professor Jose Garcia Montalvo

The GSE student body has 5 continents represented


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