Interview with Maria Kounturi, head of the admissions office at GBSB Global Business School in Barcelona

GBSB Global Business School meet the teamAt the time when the admissions process is at its peak we decided to share with our prospective students the interview with the head of admissions at GBSB Global Business School in Barcelona Maria Kounturi who talks about the most prominent features of studying and living in Barcelona and shares some ins and outs of what students can expect when they are not sun tanning on the beach or enjoying paella and Spanish tapas.

What are the absolute key facts about GBSB Global Business School that all applicants should know about?

GBSB Global Business School is unique in many ways but most of these are driven by our commitment to educating the business leaders of the future. If I were asked to describe the business school in a few words, I would say “Global focus, sustainability and ethics, employability, entrepreneurship and diversity”.

What about Employability and Entrepreneurship?

These two aspects are highly interconnected. We want to provide our students with practical business knowledge which they could use in order to find better employment opportunities. In many countries of the world there is a high rate of unemployment among young people under 25 years old. Taking this situation into account, we work with Enterprise Lab – an organization that promotes employability among young people and establishes relationships with potential employers.

Nowadays, even those who got a job do not have a security of holding it for life. That is why it is important to be proactive and entrepreneurial. Modern companies value creativity, confidence, and self-management – all the characteristics that training in entrepreneurship can give. Contrary to other business schools, we have a Bachelor’s degree with a specialization in entrepreneurship as well as MBA in Entrepreneurship and an MSc program focused entirely on the entrepreneurial management.

How many students are admitted each year?

Our long-term strategy is to maintain a class of approximately 20-30 students and to provide a high level of personal career guidance and academic support.

What is the typical profile of a student at GBSB Global Business School?

Our students come from different countries of the world and they are people with an open mind, who wish to explore the world and learn about new opportunities. The profile varies from program to program; however, the most consistent factor is our students’ willingness to use their own initiative in starting projects and developing their professional networks. We value ambition and desire to make a difference in the world. Some of our students enjoy great scholarship schemes; this way we encourage young people to work hard towards better business practices.

Can you provide some examples of the types of jobs GBSB’s graduates have got?

Considering our global focus, all our graduates speak more than two languages. While studying they have an option to study an additional foreign language. In combination with the knowledge of global business, these skills are valued extremely high among multinational companies. Some students return to their home countries, while some look for jobs in Europe. The specific job titles depend on the degree students were studying for (e.g. marketing, finance). Increasingly, more and more of our students start their own successful businesses.

What’s the best thing about living/ studying in Barcelona?

The best thing about living in Barcelona? There are so many! Each person is going to reply differently, but for me it has to be the sea. It doesn’t matter whether it is a walk along the beach on a sunny winter day or just going for seafood at some restaurant on the beach. Spring and summer are excellent for going to suntan after classes, play volleyball or simply have a cocktail in one of the many bars in the port. Another good thing especially for business students is the cities openness to international business. Barcelona is one the top cities in Europe for international investment and home to 40% of all foreign companies in Spain!

What, would you say, are the most important aspects of your job?

The most important aspect is being able to sense each student’s individual needs in order to advice them properly on the programs we have, specializations, elective classes, etc. In the admissions office we often see that many prospective students do not know which degree to choose, sometimes they don’t even know whether they should study business. Our role is to extract the most important information from their profiles and help them to make one of the most important choices in life.

What do you think is the most exciting thing happening in the business school world at the moment?

The most exciting thing has to be the attention paid to ethics and sustainability at business schools. Slowly slowly business schools around the world start to realize that business educators must contribute to the future by educating responsible business leaders instead of those who focus only on profit maximization. At GBSB Global Business School we were one of the first who recognized this need and we are happy that other business schools follow.


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