Graduation ceremony for the 10th cohort of Barcelona GSE master's students


The 10th cohort of Barcelona GSE masters students graduated on July 7, 2017 at AXA Auditorium. Welcome to the BGSE alumni community, Class of 2017!

Video: Graduation Day Recap

Watch the full graduation ceremony on YouTube

The Barcelona Graduate School of Economics celebrated the graduation of the tenth cohort of masters students on July 9, 2017 at AXA Auditorium. The ceremony was a celebration of the effort and achievements of the students in the Barcelona GSE Master's Degrees in Economics and Finance, Specialized Economic Analysis, and Data Science.

On the stage to congratulate the students were Mr. Josep Armas, Director Territorial Este AXA Seguros; Prof. Ramon Marimon, Chairman of the Barcelona GSE; vice-rectors from the BGSE's founding universities Prof. Jose Lluís Martí, Vice-rector for Innovation Projects, Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Prof. Carles Gispert, Vice-rector for Economy and Campus, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; and Prof. Andreu Mas-Colell, founder of the Barcelona GSE and the invited speaker for this year's graduation ceremony.

Andreu Mas-Colell: "The right attitude is an inclination to communicate and collaborate"

Professor Mas-Colell shared reflections from his lifetime of experience in both academia and the public sector, where he most recently served as the Catalan Minister for Economy and Knowledge (2010-16). He touched on several topics regarding the training of economists and the skills they will need to be successful. Two points he emphasized were the need for collaboration with professionals from other fields, and the importance of communication skills.

"The right attitude is an inclination to communicate and collaborate," Prof. Mas-Colell said. "Economists should get used to having, among others, sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, historians, even neuroscientists, as colleagues with whom to talk."

As for communication, he advised the new graduates to "keep in mind that the style of communication needed varies according to the receptor audience. It is different to communicate with economists, with political appointees, or with the general public," Prof. Mas-Colell said.

Video: Andreu Mas-Colell, founder of the Barcelona GSE

Gaston Besanson (Data Science '15): "Improve other people"

This year's alumni speaker was Gaston Besanson (Data Science '15, now an Analytics Consultant with Accenture Analytics Innovation Center in Barcelona), who gave the Class of 2017 a list of six short messages about professional life for new graduates that he hoped would stay with them as they move on from the Barcelona GSE.

One of his messages echoed Prof. Mas-Colell's words about cooperation with fellow professionals. "Be collaborative. Improve other people. Elevate them," Mr. Besanson said. "It's ok to be really good or the best, but it is amazing when you can make others better, even better than you."

While the entire list gave the students food for thought, it was Mr. Besanson's final message that drew emphatic applause from the parents and friends in the audience: "Try to find a balance between your life and your professional career," he said. 

Sandra Nkusi (Economics of Public Policy '17): "We learned to shine a light on each other's strengths"

Sandra Nkusi was the speaker for the Class of 2017, and as she spoke about the master year the students had just completed, she made special note of the cooperative spirit that Prof. Mas-Colell and Mr. Besanson had identified as an important element for success.

"This year, the BGSE is celebrating its ten-year anniversary, marking 10 years of learning, excellence, recognition, and, above all community. The one thing that I was struck by the most, at the GSE, is the great sense of community that you can feel," Ms. Nkusi said. "Whereby I expected to see other students ruthlessly competing against each other, instead I saw collaboration and assistance...We learned to shine a light on each other’s strengths, and offer a helping hand to overcome our weaknesses."

"At a time when the world seems to be pulling further and further apart, the GSE has managed to foster a diverse environment that boldly stands for togetherness," she said.

Video: Alumni and student speakers

All videos, photos, and more from Graduation 2017

Photo album from the graduation ceremony on Flickr

Video playlist on YouTube

List of all students in the Class of 2017 and more in the graduation booklet [pdf]

Class of 2017 alumni page

graduationHighlights from the master year and future news and announcements for alumni will be available at