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The Master of Science in Marketing at the UPF Barcelona School of Management is a program directed at young international professionals with a strong practical focus, based on this management subfield. Within the framework of this master’s program, last December, a series of interdisciplinary seminars were designed in which the students could put the tools and techniques learned in class into practice.
The objective of the seminar was for the students to perform a strategic analysis of the company, through which they could understand the concept of business strategy, its interconnection with the different departments’ strategies as well as how these are aligned with the business strategy and the application of strategic tools. An activity was designed for them consisting of analysing the company from the inside, counting on invaluable collaboration from three startups linked to UPF through the UPF Business Shuttle innovation unit. The activity was designed and supervised by Professor Susana Domingo, an expert in strategy, entrepreneurship and innovation at BSM.
The startup companies participating in the initiative were ByHours (hotel booking platform), 3ddigitalvenue (3D digital venue management solutions for sports and the entertainment industry across the world) and Photoslurp (visual marketing and e-commerce platform). All of these have a strong technological base and innovative solutions in their respective sectors.
The seminar was composed of three activities that took place inside the classroom and two outside of it.
1. In the first activity, objectives and methodologies were established, work teams were formed and startups were presented and then assigned. The next step was to acquire a company and industry sector background before students went to the company and worked on site with the company’s founders and team members.
2. The second session (in the company) allowed the students to learn the day-to-day activities of the companies and understand the focus of each one of them, their market strategies as well as their challenges, plans and ambitions for the future.
3. The third session (in the classroom) had the goal of working with the information acquired and sharing concerns and doubts to be ready to undertake the second and last visit to the company.
Lastly, the final session consisted of a collective working session in the classroom involving students, startups, the program directors and the person responsible for the activities in which the students’ conclusions and recommendations were debated.
The startups’ founders, BSM alumni, were very satisfied with the results achieved. Eulogi Bordas, CEO of Photoslurp highlighted, “This meant we had exhaustive market and competitive environment analysis that provided the company with greater intelligence to design our future plans. Moreover, thanks to this analysis, the students formulated a set of initiatives for improvement that will undoubtedly bring us value in the following months”.
This activity allowed the students to interact with companies recently developed within the Barcelona Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, seeing successful startups up close and working side by side with their founders. Giuliana Sofia Rossi, student of the MSc in Marketing, commented, ”Working directly with a company allowed us the opportunity to combine strategy with creativity. Looking at ByHours.com from an internal and external perspective, having the guidance from their professionals and even analysing what the future holds for them was an experience none of us will forget!”
The directors of the master’s program consider that “These types of initiatives allow different parts and contents of BSM programs to be connected through interdisciplinary activities that take place both inside and outside the classrooms with the outcome of applying the concept studied and experiencing the companies’ day-to-day activities from up close”.
Finally, as part of this activity, the students wrote a business case under the supervision of all of the parties involved which could be used as teaching material.