Engineer + MBA

Could A Year In Barcelona Turn You Into A Leader? This Former Engineer Thinks So!

Written by Maria Ahmed | Engineer + MBA | Tuesday 18th June 2013 22:10:00 GMT

Giulio Toscani, MBA Programme Director at EADA Business School in Barcelona, tells us why engineering plus an MBA is an unbeatable combination!

The class trip to the Sahara in Morocco was a highlight of this year's EADA MBA

The class trip to the Sahara in Morocco was a highlight of this year's EADA MBA

Giulio Toscani is MBA Programme Director at Barcelona's EADA business school. A former chemical engineer, he became a strategy consultant before deciding he wanted to educate the next generation of business leaders. 
We caught up with Giulio to find out why an engineering degree followed by an MBA is such an unbeatable combination, loved by recruiters like Samsung! We also heard about some of the highlights of the EADA MBA, which include trips to incredible locations and business training in the mountains of Barcelona.
Where did you study engineering?
In University College London and Universit√° of L'Aquila, Italy graduating in 1999. 
Engineering students are famous for being pretty crazy - any funny stories from when you were an undergrad?
We had many funny moments, especially when some problems were looking unsolvable. I remember once at UCL when I found the solution to a thermodynamics problem, one girl started to jump so euphorically she almost crashed her head on the board.
You became a management consultant after you graduated. What kind of projects did you work on? 
I was a strategic consultant after the MBA, working on a project with the Italian Government, mainly in the area of technology
Then you went for an MBA at EADA. Why did you decide to do it?
I was a patent attorney before the MBA, in the chemical engineering industry, but i wanted to work more with people.
After completing the MBA at EADA, you're now running it. How did that happen?
I went to strategic consulting after the MBA and then a year and a half later David Dinwoodie, who was my director during the programme, asked me to replace him, since he was becoming the Dean. 
What are some of the highlights of the EADA MBA?
Real world training - the EADA MBA is not just a programme, by case discussions, marketing plan, consulting or entrepreneurial projects for existing companies, we want our participants to face and solve real problems,
Personal development - we teach the latest tools of Finance, Marketing, Operations, Strategy and Human Resources in Barcelona, but we take a special care of soft skills in our training center in the mountains of Barcelona.
Global experieince - 90% of our MBAs come 40 different countries and 40% of the academic staff - we have a South African professor who normally comes to school on his personalised Harley Davidson. He's famous  for being very demanding but also very close to the students.
The workload is intense, and students work very hard, but they also get to let off steam. The Spring Games organised by IESE [another top business school in Barcelona] bring MBAs together for sports and partying.
What percentage of the class are typically engineering grads?
Around 30 per cent
Are engineers particularly well suited to particular areas of business?
Anything involving complex analysis, combining engineering skills with common sense. 
Samsung specifically hires specifically with engineering degrees, to manage complex technical issues with an open mind and a deep understanding of people management. At our last careers day, Samsung came to recruit 30 engineers with MBA degrees for its Seoul head office. 
What are some of the best experiences you've had as MBA Programme director?
Just a month ago taking the students to the Sahara Desert was an extremely rewarding experience, lots of difficult moments because of the long hours in the bus, the heat and some mistake I did in the organisation, but also lots of great moments.
What do you love most about living in Barcelona?
The light
You love running - where's your next big race?
Ehun Milak, 168 km in the mountains of the Basque country
And your next travel destination?
Crossing Greenland or Iceland by bike


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