Global Moment: MBA students building bonds through Barcelona excursion

Olin BlogOlin Blog

Angela Lu, MBA ’19, is president of Olin’s
Graduate Business Student Association. She wrote this post for the Olin Blog.

What I remember
most about Barcelona is the crush of bodies, pressed against me from all sides,
holding me up, rendering me immobile and rigid—stable enough to sustain the
five or six additional levels of the “human castle” above me.

Castellers demonstrate an unsurpassed level of teamwork when constructing and assembling towering castell structures—literally, a castle constructed with people. This is the very definition of “tight-knit.”

I lived in
Barcelona for a year before joining Olin for my MBA. It was actually in
Barcelona that I took my GRE and wrote my application essays (and participated
in castell-building). It seemed
particularly fitting that, six weeks before graduation, I found myself once
again in Barcelona as part of Olin’s pilot
for the new global curriculum.

How would the city
testify to my growth over the last two years?

Students pile into a jeep during a tour and discussion of marketing needs at Barcelona’s Gramona Winery.Ask any local what
makes Barcelona a special city, and you’ll likely hear something about the
thriving and integrated diversity of the city. We experienced this warm,
inclusive welcome during our week, both at ESADE Business School and at the
family wineries that opened their doors to allow us to learn about their craft
and business operations.

While we turned
our classroom
knowledge into actionable insights for our hosts, I realized something else
was knitting itself into existence: deeper bonds between two-year colleagues.

Here we were,
thinking we knew each other well enough, yet discovering commonalities never
uncovered before and having philosophical discussions and intimate reflections
previously unimagined. The coursework was intense: We had long days with much
work to accomplish, and just as much desire to explore the city and …

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