Business in Spain
Business in Spain directly reflects the content of the class. We learned the intricacies of conducting business in Spain as well as many other countries. The class took place at the EADA (Escuela de Alta Dirección y Administración) Graduate School of Business. The normal class schedule involved a 30-minute walk to the school in time for the 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. class session, which covered topics such as Cross Cultural Management, Working in a Multinational Company, Human Resource Management in Spain, Supply Chain Management, and the EU. Along with most of these topics, each professor would use a case study to help us to use the information we just covered in a critical thinking process. The case study method was beneficial for me, due to the critical thinking it took to come up with answers to problems that most businesses have specialized professionals to deal with. On top of this, we were supposed to solve the problem in a short 10- minute group session often lacking details I would have liked to have access to.
Another benefit to these classes was the experience of the professors, who came from different countries such as Britain, the Netherlands and Spain. These professors all had extensive work experience in the area that their topic covered, which I found helpful due to the personal stories that they used to improve the learning experience.
Company visits were another important part of the learning process. We visited a manufacturing plant for Sharp Corporation, which manufactures LCD TV’s; Bodegas Torres, a winery; and FC Barcelona, one of the best known soccer clubs in the world. These visits were enjoyable, and doubled as visits to the businesses on which the final presentations were based.
As another facet of the learning experience, we visited many historical and tourist sites. One of the highlights for me was the Sagrada Familia cathedral, which was designed and partially built by the architectural genius Gaudí before his death and is still under construction. We also visited several other buildings that Gaudí designed, which were phenomenal, along with visits to museums, and even an entertaining water fountain show in which the fountains danced to music that was played simultaneously. We also took a trip to a monastery called Montserrat, which was located in the mountains outside of Barcelona.
One interesting part of the trip was the going out to eat with Phil Rush. Phil gave us the opportunity to try different types of foods by choosing a variety of different restaurants. Everyone in the group had the opportunity to eat paella, which was fried rice and seafood, a well known dish in Barcelona. One restaurant stands out in my mind due to the distinct food options available. My meal started with a seafood salad that included muscles, crustaceans and even pieces of octopus, part of which had a suction cup nearly half an inch in diameter. This was followed by a main course of rabbit with snails, which was the first time I have eaten snail in my life. The highlight of my meal was getting Phil to eat a snail, along with Joel Horner eating a full meal of food he had never tried before in his life–from the seafood to the rabbit and snails.
Even though, while we were there, Barcelona witnessed more rain in one weekend then the area had witnessed at one time for two years, the trip was incredible. It provided a unique learning experience, and I would encourage anyone who has the chance to attend to do so. Besides, no one can turn down the opportunity to spend a little time on a Mediterranean beach.
-Ben Martin graduated from Goshen College in 2008 with a major in business. During May term of his senior year, he, along with several other business students and business professor Phil Rush, traveled to Barcelona, Spain, to learn about how business is conducted in the capital of the country as well as internationally. He describes his experience as part of the class, fittingly titled “Business in Spain.”