¡España: Tapas y Fútbol!

Throughout our time in Spain, there was no shortage of two things: Tapas and Fútbol (aka soccer).

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Wyatt Marshall ’19 at Bernabéu

Each and every meal included some form of Tapas. One of our favorite cultural experiences in Spain was the way in which we ate.  The food was nothing short of amazing but the experience was what really made it. We truly enjoyed our meals and that’s because people really like to take their time when they eat and appreciate each other’s company and conversation. This is not to say service was slow, because it wasn’t. We had lots of smaller dishes which seemed like never-ending dishes at times… and our palette was not disappointed to say the least.

Our most notable meal was at El Bohío, just outside of beautiful Toledo, Spain. Course after course came in beautifully crafted flatware, specific to the dish. We even got to meet with the chef, Pepe Rodruíguez Rey, who is famous in Spain for his popularity on MasterChef. He loved hosting a group of business school students and even wore the CBS flag as a cape after we finished eating.

 

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Michelin Star Restaraunt with Chef Rey. Photo by Patrick Sofen

 

From an athletic perspective, we had the chance to attend an Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid soccer game along with an exclusive tour of the world-renowned Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, home of Real Madrid. The stadiums were filled with electric atmospheres and both resulted in lots of goals and wins for the home team (including a 4 goal hat-trick from Christiano Ronaldo!). It was the first European soccer game for most of us so the intensity and remarkable fan support were amazing!

-Patrick Sofen ’19-

The Real Spanish Economy 🇪🇸⚖️💶

A thriving start-up, a world-renowned economist, a country’s largest airline and most powerful bank. These are just some of the different perspectives that we got to hear from this week in Madrid. Each Spanish leader we had the chance to meet with offered different financial insights about the Spanish economy and how it affects their work.

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CBS with Daniel Lacalle – By Patrick Sofen

The economy of Spain is the world’s fourteenth-largest by nominal GDP, the fifth largest in Europe, and it is also one of the largest in the world by purchasing power parity. It is however often cited for high unemployment and taking off the entire month of August. In our first meeting with TV analyst Daniel Lacalle, we quickly learned that this unemployment number (occasionally in the 20 – 25% range) is actually much lower based on how they calculate full-time employment and the underground employment. For example, the current unemployment rate of 17% would actually be 12% if calculated the same way as the US.

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CBS & Geoblink CEO Jaime Sánchez-Laulhé – By Patrick Sofen

Geoblink, led by Jaime Sánchez-Laulhé, a CEO with an MBA, also touched on the differences of trying to make it as a start-up in Spain versus Silicon Valley. He noted 2 key differences in working in Madrid versus the Bay Area. One, wages for software engineers are much lower and less competitive than SF making it more sustainable to be a start-up. Secondly, there is much stronger company loyalty in Spain. Because of government regulations that make laying off employees very expensive, people then do not regularly switch companies because the hiring process is much more difficult. He, in fact, has only had one employee leave in 3 years with the company and a staff of 40.

It’s been exciting to learn about the pride and power of the Spanish economy.

That’s it for now.

¡Adios!

-Patrick Sofen ’19-

Barcelona: The Trip Before The Trip

Chazen trips really offer it all. A once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet with elite companies abroad, go on guided tours by classmates who are true locals, and endless opportunity to create life-long friendships.

But for those of us headed to Marid, Spain this week, it also opened up the door to one more thing: a weekend in Barcelona. The beauty of going to Europe for Chazen is the proximity of such an amazing city like Barcelona which makes the trip even more special. So a group of 6 of us decided to make the most of this trip across the Atlantic. Our last finals were on Wednesday so after getting our things together, we were off on a Thursday redeye to the Catalonian capital.

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La Sagrada Familia – By Patrick Sofen

Barcelona is a city that truly has it all: the beach, the mountains, the art, the history, the nightlife…you name it and they’ve got it. The city that hosted the ’92 Olympics does not disappoint. While the rest of the trip is organized for us, this was our chance to create our own itinerary and get lost in the meantime.

Our itinerary included a trip to some of Barcelona’s coolest cocktail lounges (one of which included a secret room that was through the kitchen and required a passcode that was hidden in the soap dispenser of a bathroom), a historical bike tour covering 12km of the city and of course a visit to the world-famous La Sagrada Familia. From tapas to papas fritas to sangria, there was no shortage of fun and laughter before our big week in Madrid.

 

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Fat Tire Bike Tours w/ Peter Brown ’19 – By Patrick Sofen 

 

We are now en route on the high-speed train to Madrid and are about to kick off the trip with a soccer game featuring world-renowned futbol club, Atletico Madrid!

¡Vamos!

-Patrick Sofen ’19-